American Sports Franchises Thirsty for a Title

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A billy goat. A dash of bad luck. A sprinkle of a die hard fan. Leon Durham. Add those together and you have the beginnings of the recipe for the curse that has haunted the Chicago Cubs for over 70 years.

In winning the 2016 World Series, the Cubs collected their first World Series title since 1908. Their seven-game victory effectively ended the longest title drought among the four major professional sports leagues in the United States.

Now that the talk of a goat and Bartman can be put to rest, it is now the Cleveland Indians sitting on the longest drought in the Major League baseball. The Indians will be discussed here, as will the other longest droughts in the three other major American sports leagues.

MLB-Cleveland Indians

The Indians moved through the American League this postseason with ease. First, they swept the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. Then, they took care of the Toronto Blue Jays in five games.

Yes, the Indians lost in the World Series after leading three games to one. The Cubs winning means the Indians have taken over the mantle for baseball team with the longest drought, last winning the World Series in 1948.

The last time the Indians were in the World Series, contrary to belief, was not in the film Major League. It was in 1997, where they lost there for the second time in three seasons, falling to the Florida ne Miami Marlins.

Eight franchises have never won the World Series, with the Texas Rangers franchise toiling the longest at 55 seasons.

NFL-Arizona Cardinals (Including NFL/AFL Championships)

It took a last second, Santonio Holmes miracle catch to extend the Cardinals titleless misery back in 2008. It was a Super Bowl run worth remembering, as Kurt Warner led the Cardinals from the sixth-seed in the NFC playoffs to being seconds away from glory.

The team has seen varying degrees of success since, making the playoffs three times, going as far as the NFC Championship during the 2015-16 season. Things unraveled there, where they lost to the Carolina Panthers 49-15.

Many pundits had the Cardinals taking home the Lombardi Trophy this season and getting themselves off this list. A 3-3-1 start, though, hasn’t done much to back up those predictions.

The Cardinals last won a title back when the franchise was in Chicago. In 1947.

Dating back to the pre-merger years, five teams have never won a championship--Super Bowl or otherwise. The next in line for longest without the hardware is the Detroit Lions.

NBA-Sacramento Kings

The promised land was last visited by the Kings back in 1951, where they were still the Rochester Royals. The regular season opens this week for the 2016 season and the Kings have not been back to the NBA Finals since.

They enjoyed a nice run for a bit, making the playoffs from every season from 1998-2006 (the Chris Webber years), reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2002 and losing to the Lakers in seven games.

The last ten seasons haven’t been kind as the Kings haven’t made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season. And a new venue probably isn’t going to change their fortune, at least in the near future, but at this point anything is worth a shot.

Seven franchises have never appeared in the NBA Finals, with longest of those belonging to the Los Angeles Clippers at 46 seasons.

NHL- St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs

The St. Louis Blues were losers in the Stanley Cup Finals their first three years of existence. They have not been back since.

This is despite the fact, since they came aboard in 1967, the Blues have only missed the playoffs eight times (plus once more in 2004, when the NHL season was cancelled.)

The Toronto Maple Leafs are next in line, with their last Stanley Cup coming in the 1966-67 season. I’m sure there are some Maple Leafs fans may tie their bad luck to the fate of the Blues entering the league. I mean, Toronto hasn’t made it back to the Finals since the Blues joined the league.

One little problem, though. The Maple Leafs have 13 Stanley Cup victories to their name. So while any fan born after 1960 may feel left out, the franchise as a whole at least has some hardware to display.


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