Have you ever heard sports fans make the claim that they have seen the worst luck out of anybody? For some reason, it’s a contest of misery for some people and it has started a lot of arguments. While some Boston fans still think that they’re jinxed because the Red Sox went for so long without a title, it’s pretty clear that they have had some great luck over the past decade.
So now that Boston has erased themselves from the top of the bad luck list, who is left? Some cities in the United States (and Canada) have plenty of reason to be upset with their sports teams. Between bad ownership, a lack of results or teams bailing out on them, these cities can be downright depressing to live in since fans are chronically miserable.
There only needs to be one professional sports team in the four major sports (NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB) to make this list, and many different aspects were brought into consideration. So who makes the top 20? Here are the cities with fans that have the most right to be pissed at their sports team (or teams).
Detroit has seen a lot of success in recent years as the Pistons won the 2004 NBA Championship, the Tigers have made a couple of World Series appearances in the last decade and the Red Wings have consistently been good for the better part of the last 20 years. What gets Detroit on this list, though, is their favorite team; the Lions. The Lions have never even been to a Super Bowl, and the last time they reached the NFC Championship was in the 1991-92 season, when they lost by 31 to the Redskins. They have one playoff win since the NFL/AFL merger.
Despite boasting a team that has won 13 Stanley Cups, the city of Toronto’s most recent pro sports championship came in 1993 when the Blue Jays completed their back to back World Series victory stretch. Fans of the Maple Leafs have been tortured for nearly 50 years, with their last title coming in 1967. Not to mention the fact that the city’s basketball team, the Raptors, have only won three division titles in their 20 year history (though that isn’t saying much).
Despite only having one professional sports team in the city, the people of Sacramento have been a bit tortured by their basketball team, the Kings. The Kings have only been in Sacramento for 30 years, but the franchise doesn’t have a lot to brag about over that time. The Kings last won an NBA championship in 1951 back when they were the Rochester Royals, and have only won two division titles since making the movie to Sacramento. The Kings had an amazing core in the early 2000s, but couldn't quite get over the hump.
Some sports fans will say that the people of Phoenix deserve whatever bad things happen to their local teams since they don’t support them as much as other major cities. Still, it’s been a tough stretch to be a fan of Arizona teams lately (and we include the nearby Cardinals and Coyotes in this city). The Suns have never won a championship (and have only been to two), the Cardinals haven’t won a Super Bowl, the Coyotes have never sniffed a Stanley Cup and have almost moved several times to different cities. The only saving grace is the Diamondbacks, who won a World Series back in 2001.
Fans of Chicago sports teams have been a bit spoiled over the past 30 years, as the Blackhawks and Bulls have created dynasties in their respective sports while the White Sox even threw in a World Series championship, so why are they on the list? Not only have the Bears been less than stellar since their incredible 1985 Super Bowl run, but the Cubs have the longest championship drought in professional sports history. When one of your teams goes 107 years without a championship, that automatically puts your city on a list like this.
15 Los Angeles
Depending on who you root for in the city of Los Angeles, things may have been really bad for you, or really good. The Lakers have won more NBA championships than people can even count, the Angels won a World Series in 2002 and the Dodgers have six championships, albeit are in a 27-year drought, while the Kings have won two recent Stanley Cups. However, the Clippers have never been to an NBA Finals, and their owner had to sell the team after going on a racist rant, which must be awful to go through as a fan. Not to mention the team's huge collapse against the Rockets in this year's playoffs.
When people think of Denver sports, the first thing that they think about is football. The Broncos have been pretty good since their inception, but the other teams haven’t fared as well in recent years. Ever since winning the Stanley Cup in 2001, the Avalanche have done nothing of note, the Nuggets haven’t been to an NBA Finals in their history and the Rockies have been very forgettable over the past five years. Thankfully for them, football is everything, but 75 percent of your teams being bad is not a good percentage. While the Broncos have two Super Bowls, they have a bad history of coming up short in big games and their Super Bowl blowout loss to Seattle erased a historic season from Peyton Manning.
13 Tampa Bay
For a stretch there during the mid 2000s, Tampa was a hotbed for sports success. The Buccaneers won a Super Bowl, the Lightning won a Stanley Cup, and the Rays reached the World Series. Since then, it has been a mix of mild success and downright awfulness for the teams. The Lightning have kept up their success recently and the Rays have stuck around, but the beloved Buccaneers have been a trainwreck since Jon Gruden left town, leading the team to have the worst record in the NFL in 2014.
There are only two professional sports teams in Buffalo, but they have given their fans plenty to be upset about. The Sabres have never won a Stanley Cup, and the Bills have never won a Super Bowl. That’s not to say that either team has never come close, as the Sabres have lost in the Stanley Cup Finals twice while the Bills lost four Super Bowls in a row, with each one more embarrassing than the last. New ownership for both teams and vastly improved rosters have fans optimistic, but we’ll have to see how that all pans out first.
Just like Buffalo, there are only two sports teams in Nashville, with the Predators representing the NHL and the Titans representing the NFL. The Music City hasn’t had either team for 20 years yet, but they haven’t seen much excitement since then. There was a time when the Titans were solid, even making a Super Bowl, but it seems like a distant memory now. As for the Predators, they don’t have a Stanley Cup Finals appearance and have perpetually bowed out early in the playoffs year after year.
The Miami Heat have spoiled their fans lately, as they have won three NBA titles in the past 10 seasons, but the rest of the teams haven’t been so lucky. The Marlins have a pair of World Series titles, but basically extorted their fans into building a brand new stadium, the Dolphins haven’t been to a Super Bowl in more than 30 years and the Florida Panthers haven’t been relevant for about two decades now. At least the weather is better in Miami than most places in the United States.
9 New York City
The largest city in America has had its fair share of championships, but there have also been a lot of embarrassments to note. While those that grew up rooting for the Yankees, Giants and Rangers have had plenty of good times to remember, there is another group of fans that have suffered. The Mets, Jets and Knicks andhave been pretty big laughing stocks at one point, with poor management putting their fans on the brink of insanity...especially the Jets fans.
The two teams that call Milwaukee home have combined to win a whopping one championship, and that came all the way back in 1971 when the Milwaukee Bucks were only three years old. The Bucks and Brewers have been seriously lacking in success ever since then, as the Bucks haven’t come close to reaching the finals since 1974 and the Brewers are now more than three decades removed from their one World Series appearance. Just to make it worse, the Bucks have been rumored to move to a more glamorous city like Las Vegas.
7 San Diego
It’s a good thing for residents of San Diego that the weather is perfect nearly every day of the year. The Southern California city hasn’t been able to celebrate a Super Bowl or World Series win in the history of the Chargers or Padres. Between the two, they have combined to reach three championships, but couldn’t come away with one. Why San Diego fans should be really mad at the Chargers is because there have been a lot of talks about moving the team up Interstate 5 to Los Angeles.
Any Cincinnati sports fan that’s under the age of 25 only knows their sports teams as being laughing stocks pretty much their entire young lives. The Reds were once a powerhouse that rolled to a World Series title in 1990, but they have only made four playoff appearances since then, not getting back to the championship series. As for the Bengals, they were the worst team of the 1990s and have gone 0-2 in Super Bowl appearances. At least there have been playoff appearances in recent years for both, but still no titles to show for it.
5 Minneapolis, Minnesota
It’s hard to imagine that the last time a team from Minneapolis won a championship, it was the Twins in 1991. Since then, no team from the city has made a finals appearance. The Wild and Timberwolves have yet to reach a final, although the North Stars made it to two Stanley Cup Finals before their move to Dallas. The Vikings are 0-4 in Super Bowl appearances and had two of the most agonizing defeats of all time, first in the 1998 NFC Championship and in the 2009 season against the Saints.
The owners of these teams haven’t been the best, but at least the Vikings will be playing in a new stadium soon (that was half paid for by the fans).
Of the four teams in the City of Brotherly Love, the Phillies are the last one to reach the promised land and win a title (2008), only to now be one of the worst teams in baseball. As for the others, all of the teams have gone at least three decades without winning a championship. It’s hard to believe, but the 76ers actually have the second shortest drought in the city, and they are now in a massive rebuilding mode that has made them the worst team in the NBA. The Flyers have made it to a couple of Stanley Cup finals since their last title in 1975, but their everlasting need for a goaltender still plagues them. As for the Eagles, who are the favorites in the city, they have never won a Super Bowl.
It’s bad enough to lose one of your sports teams (like Atlanta did when the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg), but the teams that have stayed haven’t produced much. The Braves were a powerhouse for a decade, but they only won a single World Series despite winning the NL East every year for a long stretch. As for the other two franchises, the Falcons got blown out in their only Super Bowl appearance, and the Hawks haven’t reached the NBA Finals since making the move to Atlanta in 1968.
The Wizards, Nationals and Capitals are no longer considered laughing stocks in their respective sports, but none of them have won a championship in the past 37 years. The most recent title belongs to the city’s favorite team, the Redskins. Since winning Super Bowl XXVI, the Redskins have been one of the worst teams in the NFL, owned by Dan Snyder, who is considered to be the worst owner in all of sports. Morale is low for Redskins fans, and they don’t even have a championship to fall back on from one of their other teams.
The city that has the fans with the most right to be pissed at their teams is Cleveland, Ohio. It has been more than 50 years since the city has gotten to celebrate a title, and that came when the Browns won before the Super Bowl era. The Indians have the second longest championship drought in baseball at 67 years and the Cavaliers have never won a championship. Despite bringing back LeBron James and reaching the NBA Finals, they came up short this summer and people are starting to wonder if Cleveland will ever see another sports championship.