If you look across this grand country of ours, there are cities that are smarting. Oh yes there are cities like Baltimore, Detroit and others that are ravaged in poverty and crime. But I’m not going to give a lesson on urban economics, or criminal justice; this is about those cities that have had a championship drought for several years, or have never experienced a world championship.
I will only focus on the “big” four of sports; NFL, NHL, NBA & MLB. Those are the REAL championships. CFL, AFL, USFL, WFL, ABA, WHA, etc etc etc don’t count. So let me examine some of the more fortunate cities that have won titles.
New York has the most championships of any U.S. city. New York has a total of 51 World Championships. The Yankees have 27, Mets 2, Islanders 4, Rangers 4, Giants 8, Jets 1, Devils 3, and Knicks 2. Now granted before the Devils and Nets moved to Trenton, NJ, The greater New York area had nine major sports to root for. Other fortunate cites include Boston, (33 total/7 last 11 years), Pittsburgh, (14 total), and ever Baltimore. Let’s face it, we have been fortunate. The Colts won two NFL Championships, a Super Bowl, the Orioles won three World Series, and of course the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV. Baltimore has seven.
Let’s talk about the cities with a giant L on their foreheads. Let’s start with Marty’s list of the top three most miserable sports cities in America.
Cleveland, Ohio: Six Total World Championship Victories
• Browns: Cleveland last celebrated a world championship in 1964. That’s right folks 47 years ago. The last Cleveland team to win a ring were the 1964 Cleveland Browns. They beat the Baltimore colts 27-0 on December 27, 1964. Since then, the Browns lost the NFL championship in 1965, 1968 & 1969. They lost AFC Title Games to the Denver Broncos in 1986 in the “drive” game, 1987 in the Ernest Byner fumble game, and then in 1989 also to Denver. The Browns have won four NFL Titles.
• Indians: Cleveland hasn’t celebrated a World Series victory since 1948, and 1920 before that. That means baseball fans in Cleveland have been waiting 63 years for a baseball championship.
• Cavaliers: 0-1 in championship series. Oh yea, did I mention, they lost Lebron James? Cleveland is not a happy place!!!
San Diego, California: Zero World Championships in Three Tries
The problem with San Diego is not only that they don’t have a world championship, is that they never showed up in the three series they were in.
• The Padres have made it to the World Series twice. In 1984 they lost four games to one to the Detroit tigers. They lost to the New York Yankees 0-4 in 1998. The Padres are 1-8 in World Series games. They have only won one World Series game in 42 seasons. Not too good.
• The Chargers have been a major disappointment to the football faithful of San Diego. They have been to the NFL playoffs 12 times. Of those twelve times, they have been in four AFC championship games winning only one. The Chargers appeared in there lone Super Bowl. That was Super Bowl XXIX. They didn’t even show up that day in Miami, they lost 49-26.
• The NBA San Diego Clippers didn’t do much to warm the hearts of sport fans in San Diego. The Clippers arrived in San Diego in 1978 and left for Los Angeles in 1984. They skipped town with a 186-306 record.
In my estimation, the next city is the most miserable sports city in America. Buffalo, New York has two sports teams. They have the NFL Buffalo Bills, and the NHL’s Sabers. All combined, Buffalo sports teams are zero for six in world championship attempts.
• The Buffalo Sabers have been to the Stanley Cup Finals twice. They lost both in 1975, and again in 1999. In 1975 the Sabers lost to the Philadelphia Flyers four games to two. They lost again to the Dallas Star also four games to two. They lost in game six on a disputed overtime goal.
• There has been no sports franchise that has tortured their fan base more than the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have been in the NFL since 1970. They have been to the NFL post season 13 times. They have been to the AFC Title Game five times, and Super Bowl four times. Oh boy the Super Bowls, the four straight Super Bowls. The Bills were in Super Bowls XXV, XXVI, XXVII, & XXXVIII. They lost 20-19 to the Giants, 37-24 to the Redskins, 52-17 to the Dallas Cowboys, and then again 30-13 to the Cowboys. They were outscored 139-73 in four Super Bowls. The most disappointing loss was in Tampa Bay in 1991 when Lee Norwood missed a 43 yard field goal by 2 ½ feet. They never came close again.
So let’s sum it up. The city of Cleveland has three major sports franchises. The city has gone 151 sports seasons without a major championship. That’s depressing. San Diego has gone 89 sports seasons without a major sports championship. And finally the city of Buffalo has gone 82 sports years without a championship. Now it’s really hard to rank these cities 1, 2, and 3. They are all miserable sports towns in regards to losing. I guess it’s all a matter of opinion to which would be the worst to live in as a sports fan.