So we've all heard the mantra of City of Champions, they come and go. For a while, Boston held that name. Now most recently it's arguably Pittsburgh with winning the Super Bowl and Stanley Cup the same year.
But there are many cities who have at least one major league sports team, and most cities can only dream of ever being called Champions.
Here is a list of the top...err, bottom-10 sports cities in North America.
The capital of Canada is nothing like Washington down in the States. Part of the reason is because it's been recently reported, although I'm not sure of the resources, as the most boring city in all of Canada and apparently also with the most intimacy lacking citizens.....oh that's got to sting.
It's this mantra of nobody cares that rubs off on the city's sports life, it has none.
If you know anything about the Canadian Football League, you know it's a family environment. Most of the teams have been part of the league for many, many years, and there's never talk of relocation, because that's just not how the CFL works.
But when it comes to Ottawa, it's just an embarrassment. The Ottawa Roughriders used to be the football team of the city. Founded way back in 1876, they won the Grey Cup (established in 1909) nine times, the last time being in 1976.
That's right, in a league of 8-9 teams the Ottawa football team won a Championship in 1976 and then never again until 1996, when the team folded.
But wait, the CFL tried hard to get a team back to the Nation's capital and did. In 2002, four seasons later, that team folded as well. Their best win total in a season was seven; in a league where 18 games are played, they finished 7-11 twice.
Although the CFL has set a return date of 2010 to get a team back I frankly don't see the point.
Then we get to the city's NHL team, the Ottawa Senators, the team was founded as part of expansion in 1992.
From 1996, the franchise managed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs for 11 consecutive seasons. Despite this the team declared bankruptcy in 2003 and was bought and luckily for Ottawa, kept in the city.
The team managed to reach their first and only Stanley Cup Final in 2007 where they lost in five games.
So those are the major teams, what about the minor leagues?
The Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa 67's have won two National Championships in their 42 year history.
While the most successful Ottawa sports team has been the Carleton Ravens University Mens Basketball Team, which has won six of the last seven National Championships.
So if you were to go by National Basketball Championships, Ottawa would be number one, but let's face it, University/College Championships in one sport doesn't make a city a sports town, Ottawa is a horrible sports city.
Now please read my assessment before you attempt to discredit me okay Chicago sports fanatics?
It's true, the '85 Bears are arguably the greatest team in NFL history, but 1985, as much as I like that year and what it brought with music and movies, is almost 25 years old.
Since the 1985 Bears, only the Chicago Bulls of the '90s have brought hope to the city, yes, with Jordan you accomplished TWO, not one, but TWO Threepeats.
And still, your last NBA Championship was 1998.
As great as that run was, you also have to acknowledge your losers franchises that bring down your city's sports appeal.
The Chicago Cubs are the single biggest losing team in major sports in North America. They haven't won a League Title in over a bloody century; you take a big hit on that.
Secondly, you have the Chicago Blackhawks, the team with the longest current Stanley Cup drought in the NHL, haven't won since 1961.
The Blackhawks did make the Stanley Cup Final in 1991 but haven't been back since, and the Cubbies last made a World Series appearance back in the 1940s.
So while you can dream about possibly the greatest single season team in NFL history and one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, you also have to live with carrying two teams that hold the longest League Championship drought in the MLB and NHL.
Not to mention your other MLB team, the Chicago White Sox took 87 years to win a World Series, which they got in 2005, and hadn't made the Final since 1959 until 2005, those are large gaps.
In fact since 1919, when the team threw the World Series, the franchise made the playoffs only six times.
And the Chicago Bulls haven't been to the Conference Final since 1998, while the Bears made the Super Bowl in 07 but have missed the playoffs the past 2 seasons.
So currently you have two long time drought teams, and two teams in the
White Sox and Bears who have won in recent times but lack consistency, and then the Bulls who have still not comeback to top form.
Do you have any contenders? No.
The Houston Rockets back to back NBA Championships in '94 and '95, when Jordan left the league for a bit, is the only highlight in sports for Houston.
Aside from that, the Rockets have struggled in the playoffs and the other two major league sports teams haven't done much better.
Although with Roger Clemens at the helm the Houston Astros made two strong playoff runs losing the ALCS in seven games to the Cardinals in '04 and the World Series in a sweep to the White Sox in '05, the team is not regarded as perennial contenders.
Then there's football, anyone remember the Oilers? Regardless of that horrible call against the WR in the endzone that could have seen the Oil make the Super Bowl in the late 70s, the Oilers from 1981 until 1996 when they were relocated to Tennessee had eight losing seasons and nine of not making the playoffs. When the team did make the playoffs, seven times in that span from 81-96, they won only three games, all by close margins.
Then the expansion Houtson Texans came to town in 2002, in seven seasons the team has yet to make the playoffs but has put up back to back 8-8 seasons as of late.
Bottom line? Since the Houston Rockets only the Houston Astros have made a League Championship Final, and looking back further into history Houston sports teams don't have a good run at titles, with the Oilers never winning after the AFL-NFL merger and the Rockets and Astros also not faring better, aside from three seasons.
Yes, we all know the four straight Super Bowl losses, but let's ace facts, for a city with only two major sports teams, four Conference Championships is quite good, and that's on the NFL side. The NHL's Buffalo Sabres have also made the Stanley Cup Finals twice, losing both times.
Now if being 0-6 in League Championships doesn't hurt, the city's Buffalo Bills currently hold the NFL's longest playoff drought, at a wholesome decade.
I won't rub any more salt.
Although the state of Minnesota does contain teams in all four major sports league in North America, the NHL's Minnesota Wild are technically located in St. Paul, and the Wild fans are one of the best around, so tough luck Minneapolis, you don't get credit for that. In fact, the Minnesota North Stars, which were relocated to Dallas, also played outside of Minneapolis in Bloomington.
On to the three major sports franchises located in Minneapolis.
First, the Minnesota Vikings, the 1998 team was one of the greatest of all time, and even though the Atlanta Falcons of that season got lucky, the Vikings really could have put them away early and won the Super Bowl. They didn't, so there ends the conversation on recent glory for the Vikings.
Aside from that the Vikings lost four Super Bowls in the late '60s and '70s.
Since then the Vikings have won 10 playoff games, and lost 16.
We move on to the Minnesota Timberwolves, possibly the worst playoff team in the NBA in recent memory, yes, worse than the Grizzlies (who have yet to win a playoff game going 0-12 ).
The Timberwolves have made the playoffs eight times in their 20 year history, those eight times coming consecutively.
Now you'd think making the playoffs eight seasons in a row would be a great feat, and it was, but in only one of those playoff seasons did the Timberwolves get past the first round.
Yes, that's right, of the eight playoff appearances the Wolves have made, they only got past the first round once, winning a total of two series and losing eight.
In total their playoff losing record of 17-30 should turn heads.
Since their last playoff appearance in 2004, the Timberwolves traded away several players including their star Kevin Garnett.
They have failed to break 25 wins the last two seasons (yes, that is horrible).
We now move on to the only bright spot in major sports in Minneapolis, the MLB Minnesota Twins, who were crowned World Series Champions in 1987 and 1991, and have been part of Minnesota since 1961.
Their owner in recent history has been known as a cheap crapper, even still the team has made the playoffs four times the past seven seasons, winning one series back in '02.
In conclusion, Minneapolis has held three major sports teams for over two decades, and has one World Series title in that span to show for it. Clap, clap.
Were it not for the 2008 Cardinals, the city of Phoenix would be higher on this list.
The horrible truth is, the city hasn't had a Champion aside from the Diamondbacks of the MLB in 2001, in the last 60 years.
Their NHL team, the Phoenix Cayotes looks to soon be heading out. The Cayotes by the way have not made the playoffs the last six seasons and in their five playoff appearances never won a series, although they lost in seven games in '97 and '99.
So how about the Phoenix Suns?
They've consistently been making the playoffs in their 40 year history, a total of 28 times. However they have yet to win a League title, losing in the '76 and '93 NBA Finals, both in six games. The team has made the Final Four eight times, which makes it look even worse for still never winning a title.
Then we get to the Arizona Cardinals, before their "magical" 2008 season (although I thought they had a great team coming in), the Cardinals had won one playoff game since 1947.
So to go back to the Arizona Diamondbacks, they are somewhat steady, in their 11 completed seasons the team had seven winning seasons, with four playoff appearances and having made the NLCS twice and winning the World Series in 2001, that doesn't erase all the losing from the NHL and NFL clubs and the Suns have not won a title despite making eight final four appearances.
Oh Atlanta, where would you be without the Braves? Much higher on this list, that's where.
Aside from the perennial, well until recently perennial division winning Braves, who only won one World Series in recent memory, the city of Atlanta is home to loser franchises, take your pick, they have one in every major league.
The Atlanta Falcons, arguably the luckiest Super Bowl participant of all time, and they got destroyed by the Broncos.
Then there's the Atlanta Hawks, next.
Atlanta Thrashers? Why does Atlanta need a hockey team? Didn't they have a team called the Flames for eight years in the '70s? Yes they did, and they also had a hard time winning.
It's okay though, the Georgia Force of the Arena Football League have pride. Sfter being founded in 2002, the team made the Arena Bowl in 2005, and lost, by three points but lost nonetheless.
But Atlanta still has the Braves, which even with their strong playoff showing, have amounted to little in the post-season. Since moving to Atlanta in 1966, the team has won 16 division titles and won a World Series in 1995, but has also lost four World Series, so even when Atlanta hears the term " win " they know there are a lot of losses behind it.
To recap, the Braves are 1-4 in the World Series, the Falcons lost their only Super Bow Appearance and the Atlanta Hawks have yet to make a Conference Final, while the Atlanta Thrashers will no doubt relocate within the decade.
Yes, losing an NBA franchise that was in the city for over 40 years puts it higher on this list.
But there are other factors, aside from the Supersonics, who did win an NBA title in 1979, the Seahawks took 29 years to get to a Super Bowl, and lost, albeit were frankly robbed by horribly officiating.
And then there's the Mariners, in their 32 seasons, they did have a somewhat successful stretch, from 1995 to 2001, the Mariners made the MLB playoffs on four occasions, making it to the ALCS three times.
The fact remains they have not made a World Series, and even with some solid stars in the past were not able to make a run they were geared for. An example would be in the 2001 season when the team tied the regular season wins record of 116, and in 95 when the team had young guns Ken Griffey, Alex Rodriguez, with Jay Buhner at his highpoint and Edgar Martinez, with Randy Johnson pitching. How could you NOT win?
Forty-five years, that's how long it's been since the city of Cleveland has saw a major league Champion throw a parade.
And Philadelphians were complaining about their 25 year drought. Oh sure, Philadelphia holds four major league teams to Cleveland's three, but that's not an excuse to whine.
The Browns of the NFL haven't made the Super Bowl since the term was invented.
If that doesn't sound bad consider the Cleveland Cavaliers, I give the city credit for keeping the team afloat since 1970.
The fact however is in 39 seasons, the team has made the playoffs 17 times, losing in the first round 10 of those times.
Of the other seven times the team has won one series four times while losing in the next round.
Finally making the NBA Final in 2007 the team was swept.
So how have the Cleveland Indians been doing?
Since their founding in 1901 as the Cleveland Blues, the franchise has had 54 winning seasons, and two World Series titles...last one coming in 1948.
Since then the Indians have lost three times in the World Series, a strong resurgence in the 1990s saw the team win five divisions titles in a row and lose the World Series to the Braves in six games in 1995 and in seven games to the Marlins in 1997.
Still, must I remind you of the 45 Championship-less years?
I'll try to make this short. How many times have you heard the phrase "San Diego *blank* are World Champions"?
I'll tell you, when people thought cancer was a fancy word for flesh eating bacteria.
Let's start with the San Diego Padres of the MLB, 48 seasons with two World Series losses to show for it.
Oh and a winning record of .460.
How bout the Chargers?
The 1963 AFL Champions.....they made a Super Bowl after the NFL-AFL merger, and got hanged by Steve Young and his six-TD performance.
The city did have two NBA teams, the present day Houston Rockets from 67-71 and the present day Los Angeles Clippers from 78-84.
Congrats, and that is how lacking the city of San Diego comes to winning.
Hey, every city has sports fanatics you will hate, whether they are winners or losers.
And there were plenty of cities that just missed the list, like Toronto. Since the Blue Jays winning has been hard, the Jays haven't been back to the MLB playoffs since. Granted their division, the Raptors cannot stay in contention for more than a couple of seasons and the Leafs are....the Leafs.
Thank goodness they have the Argos.
Vancouver also passed my mind, with the Grizzlies fizzling there and the Canucks having no luck at the Cup.
I was also considering Miami for a bit as well, the Dolphins haven't won a Super Bowl since 1973, and have been bottom feeders until last season, and the Heat look to be a one hit wonder, then there's the Florida Panthers......and the Marlins have only made the playoffs twice, but have won the World Series both times so I couldn't ignore that.
Also, Denver with the tnree Super Bowl losses in the 80s, Rockies also lost, and the Avalanche seem to be going way down, but the Avalanche did win two Cups and have only been around since 96, while the Broncos back to back Super Bowls came just 10 years ago.
I can't ignore Philadelphia either, but the Phillies did just win the World Series, and even though the droughts of the 76ers, Eagles and Flyers are all noteworthy, fact is all those teams won, and are contenders quite often.