Winning a championship in major professional sports is hard to do, and when teams accomplish that feat, their fans join them in celebration. The title-winning city is flooded with championship merchandise, parties, a parade, and jam-packed sports bars. While many cities have gotten the chance to raise a banner and display a highly sought-after trophy, others have waited a long time since their last taste of greatness, and some have never experienced it at all.
The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians are two of those teams looking to end long title droughts, and one of these franchises will take its name off the infamous list next week. With that in mind, here's a look at some of the longest title droughts in major professional sports.
Major League Baseball:
It's well documented by now that the longest stretch without a World Series championship belongs to the Cubs. They last won the fall classic in 1908, and have not been back to the series since 1945, where they lost to the Tigers in seven games. Even if Chicago had won that series, the franchise would still hold the longest stretch without a championship in baseball. The next team on the list? The Indians, who last won baseball's biggest prize back in 1948. Two franchises have never played in the World Series: the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals and the Seattle Mariners. Seattle also holds the longest postseason drought in the league at 15 years.
Four teams have never played in the Super Bowl: The Browns, Lions, Jaguars, and Texans. The longest drought between championships belongs to the Arizona Cardinals, who last won the NFL Championship in 1947 as the Chicago Cardinals, before the Super Bowl was a thing. The Buffalo Bills, who went to four straight Super Bowls and lost them all in the early 1990's, have not been to the postseason in 16 years, the longest drought in the NFL.
The Sacramento Kings top the infamous list in the world's greatest basketball league, having not won the NBA Championship since 1951. My father was one year old when this happened, and the Kings did it as the Rochester Royals. On top of that, the franchise has bounced around since its glory days, as Sacramento is the fifth city the team has called home since its last title victory. 12 teams in the NBA have never won a championship, and the Minnesota Timberwolves 12-year absence is the longest active streak.
This one finds us heading north of the border. The Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the NHL's most storied franchises, has not won the Stanley Cup since 1967. They're tied with the St. Louis Blues, who joined the NHL as an expansion team the following year. Our neighbors to the north also house the franchise with the longest current postseason drought, the Edmonton Oilers, who have not seen the playoffs in ten years (this one doesn't sound so bad).
Of course, then there's always the cursed cities, locations that have gone without a major pro sports title for long periods of time. Washington certainly makes the list with a 24 year wait and counting since its last title. The Redskins won the Super Bowl in 1992 over the Bills. However, that's nothing compared to San Diego, which hasn't seen a major title in 53 years. The AFL championship in 1963 was the last time the southern California city has tasted a crown. In all, 15 cities with major professional teams have waited longer for their current streak to end than the nation's capital, but as far as teams with all four major sports represented, only Minneapolis-St. Paul tops D.C. The Twin Cities have been waiting 25 years, just one year longer than Washington, as the 1991 Twins gave the area its last championship.
Are you waiting for your team to let you experience postseason bliss? Feel free to weigh in on my Facebook or Twitter page.