Boston not in Chris Russo's top five for best sports fan bases

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ESPN hosts rip Chris Russo for leaving Boston off 'top fan bases' list originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Chris "Mad Dog" Russo ranked his top-five best sports fan bases by city on Wednesday's episode of First Take on ESPN.

His biggest mistake: leaving Boston off of the list entirely. Controversially, he put Cleveland as No. 1.

Russo's full list is the following:

  1. Cleveland

  2. Detroit

  3. New York

  4. Chicago

  5. Philadelphia

Russo claimed his criteria was a "rabid" fan-base that has "loyalty and enthusiasm." If that was really his criteria, where is Boston on this list?

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Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim rushed to Boston's defense during the show. Smith walked off screen in shock and disgust when Russo revealed Cleveland as his top fan base. He was up in arms over the list, calling it "an abomination" and "a horrible list."

Qerim left her desk to repeatedly yell "Boston" in Russo's direction while Smith stated "Boston's number one."

Russo defended his list by claiming that "if the Boston teams don't win, they don't care about any other team. All they know are the Boston teams... I'm looking for sports fans all around."

Russo contradicted himself. He first claimed that he was basing his ranking on loyalty but then turned around and said Boston is too loyal. Smith and Qerim pointed out this key inconsistency.

But, it is not just the contradiction that makes Mad Dog's list horrible. It is also the falsehood of the general statement.

Many Boston fans follow the Stanley Cup Playoffs, NBA Playoffs, the Super Bowl, and World Series even when the Bruins lose in first round, the Celtics don't reach the NBA Finals (as was the case for the past 11 years), the Patriots no longer have Tom Brady to carry the team to a Super Bowl victory, or the Red Sox have an 86-year title drought.

When our teams are not involved, we still remain engaged in the sports world. Yes, we are less passionate about the post-season if Boston is not a part of it. A love for sports is in Boston's DNA. Even if Chris Russo fails to recognize it, Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim do.