In light of last night’s Capitals loss, I thought to myself that DC sports fans may have it worse than any other major market city. So, I decided to look at cities across the country to determine which cities are in the worst shape and have no hope with their teams. This list will include cities with at least three major professional franchises.
Chicago: Bulls, White Sox, Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks
Last Championship: Blackhawks 2010
Chicago shouldn’t have too much to complain about right? I mean they are less than a year removed from the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, the Bulls are on the way back up with the youngest MVP ever in Derrick Rose, and the Bears made it to the NFC Championship game. Heck, even the White Sox won the World Series in the last decade. However, the pain and suffering of Cubs fans alone is enough to at least get them honorable mention status.
Phoenix: Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Coyotes, Suns
Last Championship: Diamondbacks 2001
The Cardinals fans came agonizingly close against the Steelers a couple years back and other than that, it’s been pretty tough for the Cardinal fans. However, the team that really disappoints for Phoenix is the Suns. One of the worst feelings as a sports fan is seeing a team constantly get close, but fail to get over that hump. The Suns during the Nash, Marion, Stoudemire days were a great team that just wasn’t built for the playoffs. So, while the Cardinals consistent losing is tough, the heartache of the Suns coming up short is much worse.
Buffalo: Bills and Sabres
Last Title: Never won Super Bowl or Stanley Cup
Buffalo does not qualify for the top five because it only has two professional franchises. But make no mistake, when it comes to suffering, Buffalo fans are at the top of the list. In a hockey town like Buffalo, the Sabres are 0-2 in their Stanley Cup Finals appearances. However, nothing comes close to losing four Super Bowls. In a row. I cannot even imagine how painful that is. Buffalo fans deserve a title, but the possibility of the Bills having to move increases every year, meaning Buffalo may never get to see their Bills win a Super Bowl.
5. Toronto: Raptors, Maple Leafs, Blue Jays
Last Championship: Blue Jays 1993
Yes I am including Canadian cities in this list. The Blue Jays haven’t been relevant since Joe Carter hit his walk off World Series homer. The Raptors have literally no hope. What NBA superstar wants to flock to Toronto? But it is Canada, so at least they’ve got their hockey team right? Well, the last time the Maple Leafs won or even played in a Stanley Cup is 1967. Can you imagine being a hockey fan in Canada and having to go that long since an appearance in the Stanley Cup?
4. Minneapolis: Timberwolves, Vikings, Wild, Twins
Last Championship: Twins 1991
The Twins are a constantly over-achieving team that finds its way in the playoffs every now and then, only to lose to the big payroll teams. Minnesota Vikings fans have had to suffer through agonizing NFC Championship games with Brett Favre’s untimely interception against the Saints last year and the memories of that Gary Anderson missed field goal back in ’98. The T-Wolves are known for their string of first round playoff losses during the Kevin Garnett era. They haven’t been the same since he left. (seeing him come through with Boston had to sting). And it must be torture for hockey crazed fans in Minnesota to see teams like Carolina and Tampa, which are hardly hockey hot beds, have success, while the Wild struggle.
3. Dallas: Cowboys, Stars, Mavericks
Last Chamionship: Stars 1999
As I’ve already discussed, there’s two types of pain as a sports fan. The pain of having no hope and the pain of coming agonizingly close. Dallas fans fall into the second category. All three franchises seem to have consistent success. With two of the highest profile owners in sports in Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban, they have the men willing to spend the money to win. The Mavericks, much like the Phoenix Suns, have been a great regular season team that couldn’t get over the hump in the playoffs. (at current time the Mavericks are playing well in this year’s playoff though). But in Dallas, football is the name of the game. The Cowboys look great on paper every year. Unfortunately for Jerry Jones, games aren’t played on paper. The frustration amongst Dallas fans continues to build every year the Cowboys fail to win in the playoffs.
2. Washington DC: Wizards, Nationals, Capitals, Redskins
Last Championship: Redskins 1992
Okay, so Washington does not come in at number one. Unlike Dallas, DC sports fans qualify under the category of having no hope. After another early exit from the playoffs, and in embarrassing fashion nonetheless, the Washington Capitals look like they need major changes. The team does not seem to be built for playoff hockey. Which is too bad, because the Caps have been the cities best hope. The Nationals are still a young franchise and have some great young prospects in Harper and Strasburg, but they are still light years away. The Wizards are garbage. And last but not least, the Redskins. Washington is still a football town. And as long as Dan Snyder is still owner, there is literally no hope. Running a franchise like a fantasy football team is no way to win Super Bowls. The only owner as insane as Snyder is Al Davis. And Davis’ shortcomings can be attributed to his age. Bad news for Skins fans: Dan Snyder is young and healthy, so look forward to decades of misery to come.
1. Cleveland: Indians, Browns, Cavaliers
Last Championship: Indians 1948
Washington DC fans have nothing on Cleveland when it comes to pain. Let’s start with the good. It’s only been 63 years since the Indians won the World Series. So, they are the most successful team in the city. And the Browns….well they were playing real well in that game against the Broncos back in the ’88 AFC championship game until Ernest Byner fumbled. At least they had that great game back in the ’86 AFC chamionship game against the Broncos…..until Elway drove 98 yards down the field for the game tying TD pass. The Browns lost that game in OT. Since those two heartbreaks, the Browns have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL….at losing. But there was hope. Lebron James. The local Ohio product. He was the one who would save Cleveland sports fans. And well, I don’t have to tell you how that turned out. So, when you think your teams are cursed, just be thankful for not having been born in Cleveland. (though I hear it’s a beautiful city).