The Longest Running Title Droughts in Sports
Raising the Stanley Cup last night the Chicago Blackhawks put an end to the longest running title drought in the NHL—49 years.
But many other teams have been waiting for a very long time for a title...some even longer than that.
So who's holding the current longest dry spells in the big leagues?
New England Revolution (14 years, 0-4 in MLS Cup)
Three of the original nine MLS teams that are still around (the tenth, Tampa Bay Mutiny, folded in 2001) have failed to win the MLS Cup, but all have at least appeared.
Red Bull New York made the most recent appearance with a loss to the Columbus Crew in 2008.
The Colorado Rapids have even appeared once.
But with appearances that are more recent than the Rapids, the New England Revolution has come to be known as a hallmark of futility in Major League Soccer.
Sometimes compared to the Buffalo Bills, the Revolution have lost in the MLS Cup in all four of their appearances including three consecutive losses. They lost in 2005 to the Los Angeles Galaxy and in 2006 and again in 2007 to the Houston Dynamo.
Toronto Maple Leafs (43 years)
While the Chicago Blackhawks finally put an end to their streak of 49 seasons without a title this year, at least they've had 5 Stanley Cup Finals appearances in the interim.
The Leafs, however, haven't even appeared in the Finals since they last won in 1967.
They take over the NHL drought crown given up by the Blackhawks last night.
Detroit Lions (53 years)
The Lions haven't won the NFL title since the advent of the AFL. Their last title was in 1957.
Since then, they've only seen the NFC title game once—in 1991—when they were blown out by the eventual Super Bowl XXVI champion Washington Redskins.
Not even the great Barry Sanders could get them to the promised land. While hopes currently rest on Matthew Stafford, many analysts don't see them challenging for the Vince Lombardi Trophy any time soon.
Both the Lions and Browns have to win in order to push the futility record into the AFL era.
For the record the most futile AFL team is the Tennessee Titans. As the Houston Oilers their last title was in 1961.
And although famous for their four consecutive Super Bowl losses, the Buffalo Bills did garner AFL titles in 1964 and 1965.
Sacramento Kings (59 years)
In 1951 a team called the Rochester Royals won the fifth-ever NBA championship in their third NBA season (they also existed in another league for 3 seasons before that).
That team would wander to Cincinnati, then shuttle between Omaha and Kansas City before settling in Sacramento in 1985. They haven't even made the NBA Finals since then.
Although they had their best chance since the first one in the late-90s and early-2000s, their window opened and closed with little fanfare. Today, they are back in the cellar.
Chicago Cubs (101 years)
The last time the Cubs won the World Series was 1908.
The last time the Cubs won the NL pennant was 1945.
In the interim they've had Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Lee Smith, Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano, Geovany Soto and a host of other greats that would take a full article to list.
They have also had the Billy Goat and Steve Bartman.
Since Game 4 of the 2003 NLCS, where they took an ultimately futile 3-1 series lead over the Florida Marlins, they're in the middle of a 9-game postseason losing streak, including Division Series sweeps in 2007 (to the Diamondbacks) and in 2008 (to the Dodgers).
Maybe there is something to that whole curse thing after all...