Following the success of last week's article on the cities with the luckiest fans, this week we look at the opposite, counting down ten cities who have done nothing but hurt their fans over recent history.
The same criteria remains, with cities needing to host at least three major sports teams, to qualify for the list.
10. Dallas, Texas
While they are home to one of the most famous sporting franchises in the world, the Cowboys last Super Bowl victory came back in 1995. Over the past ten yeas, they have advanced out of the first round of the playoffs just once, and have only qualified four times.
The Rangers have missed the playoffs for each of the past ten years, and have yet to win the World Series in their 38-year history. This year could be an improvement, however, as the team currently leads the AL West.
The Mavericks have also yet to win a championship title in their 30-year history, though have had more regular season success of late than the two predecessors in this article. They have made the playoffs for each of the past ten years, including an appearance in the NBA Finals in 2006. That said, their lack of playoff success has turned some fans sour.
The team from the Big D to most recently win a title is the Stars, who claimed the Stanley Cup back in 1999. The year following, the team also made it to the finals but fell short. Of late, the Stars have been mediocre, to put it nicely. The past two seasons have seen the team miss the playoffs completely, and the future looks uncertain for this team, which has led the charge of success in Dallas.
9. State of Tennessee (Nashville and Memphis)
The Volunteer State has not had the greatest sports run of late, though a large part of that could be that all of their franchises are rather young.
The first team, and most successful, are the Titans. In 1999, they had their best run since the team moved to Nashville, making it to the big dance. Yet, this game will be tragically remembered by Tennessee sports fans for the final play, in which Kevin Dyson came a yard short from continuing the game, and thereby the teams chances of winning.
Nashville's other squad are the NHL's Predators. In their 12-year history, they have qualified for the playoffs just five times. Though that ratio is not necessarily awful, the team has yet to ever make it out of the first round.
Lastly comes the Memphis Grizzlies, perhaps the worst of the state. After moving from Vancouver, where the franchise was just awful, basketball fans in Memphis felt excitement about the city getting a major sports team. That excitement has quickly died out, however. Since beginning play at the beginning of the 2001-02 season, the Grizz have made the playoffs just three times, all first round losses. Those three years were also the only ones in which the team has been above .500.
8. Phoenix, Arizona
Although the Cardinals shocked everybody by making it to the Super Bowl in 2008, that was their first appearance in ten years. Last year, they continued riding the wave, making to the divisional playoffs where they lost to the eventual champion Saints. Since moving to Phoenix in 1988, the team has only qualified for the playoffs those three times, and has yet to win a Super Bowl.
The Suns have had no problem at all making it to the playoffs, but haven't been able to do much in the post-season. They have never captured an NBA Championship in franchise history. Though they have missed the playoffs just three times in the past ten years, they have never made it to the NBA Finals.
The D'Backs have been the only franchise in the city to capture a national championship, winning the World Series in 2001. Since then, however, the team has only made the playoffs twice, struggling in the toughly contested NL West.
Lastly are the Coyotes, who did indeed make it to the NHL playoffs last season, but disappeared quickly losing out in the first round. Last year also marked their first playoff appearance since 01-02, ending an six-year drought. Since moving in 96, they have qualified for the post-season six times, but have yet to advance out of the first round since the move. Don't forget all of the off-the-ice issues, as well, stemming around alleged Gretzky scandals to the team being in jeopardy of moving for the past couple of years.
7. Houston, Texas
The second city in the Lone Star State on this list haven't seen a championship since 1995, when the Rockets captured the NBA Championship. Since 1998, however, the team has only advanced out of the first round in the playoffs once, in 2008-09, when they got knocked by the Lakers. They have also failed to make the playoffs in half of the seasons since '98.
On the diamond, the Astros have yet to capture a championship in their 38-year history. The playoffs have been elusive of late, as well, as the team has failed to qualify for the past four years, and are in danger of missing again this season. Despite a flirt with success in 2005 when they made it but were swept in the World Series, the team has made the playoffs just three times over the past ten years.
Lastly in the list from H-Town are the newly founded Texans, who have failed to not only win the Super Bowl since joining the league 2002, but have not even had a taste of the playoffs yet.
6. Oakland, California
This Pacific city hasn't seen a championship in twenty-one years. That team was the MLB's Athletics, who captured the World Series in 1989. Since 1992, they have made the playoffs just five times, and have missed them for the past three years, and will likely miss them this current season.
This city is also known for their crazed Raider Nation. Even still, the Silver & Black haven't won a Super Bowl since way back in 1983. Even worse, since losing to the Bucs back in 2002, the Raiders have yet to not only make the playoffs, but to even post a winning record.
The Warriors haven't won an NBA Championship in 35 years, and have been one of the worst teams in the NBA of late. Since 1994, the team has made it to the playoffs just once. Just once! Much like the Raiders, with the exception of that single playoff year, the team has not even posted a winning record.
4. Atlanta, Georgia
Despite being a consistently good team in the NL East, the Braves haven't won the World Series since 1995. Their regular season success in the ten years following was strong, but they are currently riding a four year streak of missing the playoffs, and have advanced out of the first round just once in the past ten years. This year could be different, however, as they currently have a 5 game lead in the NL East.
The Falcons last made the Super Bowl in 1998, but have not been terrific since. In the years since that appearance, they have made the playoffs just three times, and haven't had a post-season win since 2004. They were also home to Michael Vick during his dog-fighting days, which gave the franchise a bad image.
The Hawks haven't captured a title in their 42-year history, but have been turning things around of late. Despite making the playoffs just three times since 2000, all three of those seasons have been the past three. They have yet to make it out of the second round of the playoffs in their entire history, as well, adding to their bid at unluckiest sports fans.
The Thrashers are the city's newest franchise. Since coming to the city in 1999-2000, they have made the playoffs just once. That season saw the team get swept in the first round, so as you can figure out, they have never won a championship.
3. Toronto, Ontario
Ahh, the good ole Maple Leafs. Supposedly one of hockey's greatest franchises...but not of late. They have not won a Stanley Cup since 1967, or even made it back to that final round since then. They have now missed the playoffs for five straight years, disappointing the Buds strong faithful.
The Blue Jays have captured the city's most recent championships, claiming back-to-back World Series in 92 & 93. Since then, however, they have not been back to the post-season. Looking towards the future, as the team continues to rebuild and the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays continue to improve, it could be a while longer still until the team does make it back to the playoffs.
The Raptors first came to the city for the 95-96 season, and have seen no success since then. They have made the playoffs just five times in their franchise history, making it out of the first round just once. That one year when they did make it out of the opening round, they were easily taken care of in the second round. The past two years have seen the beginning of a post-season drought, that could carry on for years to come.
2. Washington, D.C.
The one thing I can say about this city is that they could be getting themselves off of this list in the years to come, unlike some others (see Toronto). The most recent team to bring a celebration parade to the city were the Redskins who claimed a Super Bowl back in 1991. Since then, they've seen the playoffs just four times. The past decade has been especially rough, as the team has only made the playoffs twice.
Washington's basketball franchises (Bullets/Wizards) have been without a championship since 1978. Since changing the team's name to the Wizards that the beginning of the 97-98 season, the team has made the playoffs just four times, and only advanced to the second round one of those times. The years before and the two years after have been pitiful, however.
The Capitals have not won a championship yet in their 35-year history, and have only made it to the Stanley Cup Finals one of those years. In the past ten years, they've made the playoffs five times, but have only advanced out of the first round once. Despite all of the hype surrounding the team and their stars (Ovechkin), as well as their regular season success, they have not proven themselves in the post-season, which is what matters most to fans.
Lastly are the newly formed Nationals. Since moving to the city from Montreal in 2005, the team has yet to make the playoffs or have a winning record. In their defence, however, they do now have Strasburg.
1. Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is by far and above, the city that houses the sports teams most difficult to root for.
Let's start with the obvious. LeBron left, and did so in a public and humiliating way. In the Cavs 40 years, they have not ever won a championship. Much in thanks to LeBron, the team has made the playoffs for the past five years, yet as noted, no championship. Also, the 5-year streak of capturing a playoff berth comes on the heels of a seven-year drought.
The Browns captured their last NFL Championship way back in 1964, and have not been that impressive in recent years. Since coming back in the league in 1999, the Browns have made the playoffs just once, where they made an early exit in the Wild Card round.
Lastly, comes the Indians. They have not won a World Series in over 60 years. Since then, the team has not been all that impressive. Over the past ten years, the Tribe have qualified for the playoffs just twice. Neither of those teams were able to make it to the Fall Classic, either. And though it doesn't qualify in the time frame of this article, just to show how frustrating it must be to be an Indians fan, the team had a streak of missing the post-season from 1954 to 1995. Wow.
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