Over the years, Fort Wayne has taken its share of licks to its reputation.
We've been labeled the dumbest city in America, a distinction that one newspaper explored by coming to the city and looking for intelligent life.
We've also been labeled the fattest city in America, a label that didn't seem to stir a lot of people from their sofas.
Personally, I don't put a lot of faith in these rankings. They're usually based on a variety of sometimes irrelevant statistics that, if you have an ax to grind, can be tortured in such a way as to make them say anything.
The people of Fort Wayne don't seem to be especially bothered by these embarrassing rankings.
It takes a lot to get the people of Fort Wayne up in arms, which leads me to believe that we might actually be the most phlegmatic city in America.
Recently, though, I came across another one of these rankings, and amazingly enough, it had a positive edge.
Fort Wayne was rated fourth in the country for having the hottest guys.
The conclusion comes from an outfit called Hot or Not, a sort of online game. People can sign up for Hot or Not and, using Facebook, look at photos of other people who have also signed up for Hot or Not.
As people browse through the mug shots of fellow Hot or Not players – 10 million people have signed up for this – they can declare whether someone is hot or not hot.
So where are the hottest guys?
You'd think it would be Hollywood or New York or places where the glamorous people gravitate.
No, Nashville, Tennessee, is the hottest place, followed by Boise, Idaho, and Lincoln, Nebraska.
In fourth place, though, is Fort Wayne.
I'm not sure I believe it. I consider myself a reasonably discerning guy, but Fort Wayne has never struck me as a hotbed of hot guys.
But then, I think most guys tend to look at each other the way bears and elephants and other beasts look at each other. They size each other up and ponder whether they can take over the pack, not whether they are hot or not.
But we're not in the wilderness. We're in the computer age. People are spending a sizeable part of their lives on the Internet, collecting strangers called friends and occasionally rating these strangers as hot or not hot.
If you get a lot of "hots," it makes you feel good. It soothes your ego.
It's noteworthy, I think, that Stockton, California, is fifth in the country for hot guys and that it's first in the nation for hot women.
Stockton, by the way, is a bankrupt city in California with an unemployment rate of around 11 percent. People there have plenty of time to sit around rating people.
Maybe that has something to do with it. We've got too much time on our hands in Fort Wayne.
But now some positive news has come along, and I'm taking shots at it.
Maybe we should just celebrate that a whole lot of hot guys have popped up in Fort Wayne.