What Is “Coming Up Small”?

The inspiration for this blog's name comes from a Sports Illustrated article written after the Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals. (The authors were pleased with that outcome.)

“Coming up small” is what the teams that the authors of this blog love seem to do annually. It’s Ichiro and the 2001 Seattle Mariners tying a Major League Baseball record for 116 regular season wins in … before managing to take only game from the Yankees in the ALCS. It’s the Cleveland Cavaliers swashbuckling through the rest of the NBA enroute to the best record in both the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons … and failing to make it to the NBA Finals both seasons. It’s the Atlanta Braves making it to the postseason every year for 14 straight years, beginning in 1991 … and only notching one World Series victory (and that, in the strike-shortened 1995 season).

It’s losing the Sonics to, of all places, Oklahoma City. It’s handing Baltimore a Super Bowl-ready franchise. It’s failing to adequately support not one, but two hockey teams (the Flames and the Thrashers).

The authors of this blog all live in New York City, home to storied franchises, such as the Yankees, Knicks, and Giants. (Yes, there are some less storied franchises here, too.) Yet, they have held steadfastly to the franchises of their youth and suffered perpetually from those teams’ unfailing mediocrity. They hail from the towns, that according to Forbes’ most recent assessment, are the first-, second-, and eighth-most miserable sports cities in the country.

Coming Up Small  is a venue to discuss what it means to be an expat fan, to honor your vestigial loyalties nearly a decade or more after you’ve left the city where you grew up. It’s a site to document the process of trying to teach your newborn son to love teams from a city he’s never known, that don’t get a lot of media coverage in the Northeast, and that don’t have a track record of success. It’s a corner of the web to discuss the mix of pride and shame that comes from going to a sports bars and having people point and say, “Whoa, a Falcons fan!”

This is a blog about being a fan. It’s also a blog about being a fool.


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