We often spend so much time praising the sports franchises that “get it” and run a successful business year after year, we often don’t shine a light on the ones that make their fans go crazy year after year.
Sports On Drugs takes time out to highlight the top 5 franchises that are completely inept at putting a winner on the field/court.
5. Los Angeles Clippers
It doesn’t help the Clippers that they are in the second largest media market in the country, and share an arena with the Lakers. The fact is, no one in Hollywood cares about them, no matter what free agents they overpay.
Their luck may hopefully turn around with the selection of Blake Griffin (we presume) with the first pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, but odds are they will still be lottery bound next year too.
The Clippers are the oldest NBA franchise to never appear in the NBA Finals, and one of only four(Bobcats, Thunder, Grizzlies) to never win a title. The other three teams are probably closer than L.A is.
Sad Franchise Fact - 0 NBA Titles, 0 Conference Titles, 0 Division Titles
4. Kansas City Royals
The Royals have gone almost 25 seasons since they tasted postseason success, and in today’s big market free agent era, that streak may not end anytime soon. Since the days of George Brett, KC has had it’s share of young stars, such as Tom “Flash” Gordon, Bo Jackson, David Cone, and Jermaine Dye.
Most of their talented young stars left KC and ended up becoming All-Stars. While the Royals often boast one of the smallest payrolls of any team in the big leagues, they haven’t had shared the same success that another team has had in that same philosophy (Tampa Bay Rays).
Sad Franchise Fact
The Royals had an opportunity to get away from the Yankees, Red Sox and rest of the American League in 1997, when the expansion of MLB occured. KC declined to switch to the National League, opting to take on more 100 loss seasons at the hands of the Goliaths for another decade.
In a city desperate for some flair of hope and inspiration, the people of Detroit haven’t found it from the Lions in a long time. The Lions have a storied history as a franchise, if you are old enough to remember their last NFL Championship in 1957.
It’s been a decade since Detroit has appeared in the playoffs, and 16 years since the Lions won a division title. The selection of Matt Stafford is the latest in moves made by Lions management to resurrect the franchise. For the sake of Detroit, I hope this one works out.
Sad Franchise Fact - The 2008 Lions completed the first 0-16 season in NFL History, which is a feat we may (thankfully) never see again in our lifetimes.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
The last time the Pirates won a World Series, I was five months away from entering the World. For fans in Pittsburgh, they luckily have two very well run franchises in the Steelers and Penguins.
Pittsburgh has become the premier farm system/minor league-major league team in baseball, as they have carved a niche for developing young talent, letting them blossom, and then trading them away for next to nothing. Ever since the seven game losses in the 1991 and 1992 NLCS, Pittsburgh hasn’t been the same.
After that year, the franchise decided winning with established talent would not be their forte’, and the youth movement(and losing) began.
Sad Franchise Fact - Last World Series Title - 1979
If Donald Sterling is the worst owner in the NBA, Al Davis has become the worst owner in all of professional sports. Unlike the other four teams on this list, the Raiders have experienced mild success in this decade.
Their appearance in SuperBowl XXVII was the highlight of the 2000’s thus far, and their 48-21 beat down at the hands of the Buccaneers began the roll of bad luck to fall on the franchise. Whether it was the lopsided trade that sent Randy Moss to New England for a fourth round pick, or the head coaching fiasco's over the past five years, or even the questionable NFL draft selections, Oakland is a team with no identity.
Friends of mine tell me there is only one team that matters in California these days, and they play on Saturday (USC Trojans).
Sad Franchise Fact - The once proud Raiders franchise now ranks among the lowest valued NFL franchises, according to Forbes Magazine.
Originally posted on SportsOnDrugs.com - The new Online Sports Magazine