Drought (sport): Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In sports, a drought refers to instances in which a team has gone a lengthy period of time without accomplishing some goal (e.g. making the playoffs or winning a championship). Droughts occur for a variety of reasons, from chronic mismanagement to bad luck. Some fans believe that their team's drought is the result of a curse. The Curse of the Bambino, which some fans of the Boston Red Sox believed was responsible for their 86-year World Series drought, is a well-known example. The Curse of the Black Sox was believed to be the cause of the Chicago White Sox' 88-year drought. Some Chicago Cubs fans believe a Curse of Fred Merkle is responsible for the current 100-year championship drought of their team. The Chicago Cubs also are notorious for not having even appeared in a World Series since 1945, which is the longest drought in North American professional sports, which has believed to be caused by the Curse of the Billy Goat.


North America


Droughts by sport

  • In MLB the Chicago Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908, and have not even appeared in the Fall Classic since 1945. As mentioned above, this is the longest drought in North American sports. Some cite the Curse of the Billy Goat as a reason for the drought. They recently were in the MLB Playoffs (2008) and were swept out of the post season in three games by the Los Angeles Dodgers. That increased the drought to a full 100 years. Note that even if the Cubs had won the 1945 World Series, they would still hold the longest drought in baseball, as the next closest team to them is the Cleveland Indians, who last won the World Series in 1948.
  • In the NHL, the longest current title drought belongs to the Chicago Blackhawks, who have failed to win the Stanley Cup since 1961. Following closely behind are the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have not won the Cup (or even appeared in the Cup Finals) since 1967.
  • In the NFL, there are five teams who have never appeared in a Super Bowl (Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans) and ten others who have never won that game. The longest active title drought is that of the Arizona Cardinals franchise, which last won an NFL championship in the 1947 season. The Cardinals have played home games in four different cities in three market areas since the team last won a title—Chicago, St. Louis, and the Phoenix suburbs of Tempe and Glendale.
  • There are several NBA teams who have never won a championship. The longest drought in the NBA belongs to the Sacramento Kings, who have not been to the NBA Finals since 1951, when they were known as the Rochester Royals. Sacramento is the fourth different city to host the team since it last won a title (Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Omaha are the others).

Drought prone cities

There are a few US cities which are believed to have championship droughts:

Cleveland has waited longer than any other city with three major sports franchises to win a title. The last time a Cleveland professional sports team won a championship was in 1964 when the Cleveland Browns won the NFL Championship (pre-Super Bowl era). The Cleveland Indians last won the World Series in 1948 (the second-longest drought in MLB, after the Cubs) and the Cleveland Cavaliers have also never won an NBA championship. The city even had a short-lived NHL hockey team called The Barons, which never won a championship either. In 2007, the Cavaliers advanced to the NBA Finals in the city's first championship game since the 1997 World Series, but were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. In 2004, ESPN named Cleveland the most tortured sports city in America.[1]

Seattle has not won a major sports championship in any sport other than basketball and hockey. The Seattle Metropolitans won the Stanley Cup in 1917 (the first American team to do so), the Seattle SuperSonics (NBA) won a title in 1979, and the Seattle Storm (WNBA) won in 2003. The city's MLS team, Seattle Sounders FC, lost in the MLS playoffs in its inaugural season of 2009, but won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in the same season. Neither the Seahawks nor the Mariners have ever won a championship (the Mariners have never even been in the World Series). Seattle nearly won a championship when the Seahawks represented the city in Super Bowl XL in 2006, but fell by a score of 21-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Adding to the angst for Seattle sports fans, the Sonics controversially relocated to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season, becoming the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Those who believe in the Buffalo Curse[2] cite as examples the four consecutive Super Bowl losses by the Buffalo Bills from 1990-1993 (and their failure to even reach the conference playoffs in subsequent years), as well as the failure of the Buffalo Sabres to ever win the Stanley Cup. Wide Right, No Goal, and The Music City Miracle also contribute to the belief in the Buffalo Curse. Hearts were broken once again in 2006, when the Sabres lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, four of their top six defensemen were lost to injury along with Tim Connolly, the leading scorer of the playoffs at the time of his injury. Even though the Sabres made it back to the conference finals the next year, they lost again, this time to the division rival Ottawa Senators. It is notable that the Buffalo Bills won the AFL championship in 1964 and 1965.

San Diego's two professional sports teams, the San Diego Padres and the San Diego Chargers, have never won a World Series or Super Bowl, which are believed to stem from the San Diego Sports Curse. The Padres have the most World Series appearances (two) of the eight teams without a World Series championship. The Chargers won the 1963 AFL championship and have only appeared in one Super Bowl (Super Bowl XXIX, which they lost to the San Francisco 49ers, 49-26).

A couple four-team cities have some shorter yet notable droughts. Washington, D. C. has not had a championship since the Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI in early 1992 (although it should be noted that they were a three-team city until 2005, when the Expos moved from Montreal and became the Washington Nationals). And Minneapolis, with its teams representing the state of Minnesota as a whole (as all of their teams are named Minnesota, not Minneapolis), have not even been to a championship game since the Twins won the 1991 World Series (Minnesota was a three-team state between 1993 and 2000, when St. Paul was given an NHL team, the Minnesota Wild).

Philadelphia was previously considered a drought prone city, having gone 25 years between championships (1983 and the 76ers to 2008 and the Phillies).

Outside North America

Association Football

Australian Rules Football

In the AFL, the longest drought between premierships was that of the South Melbourne/Sydney Swans, for whom 72 seasons elapsed between their third premiership in 1933 and the fourth premiership in 2005. In that time, there was also a 51 season drought between their Grand Final losses in 1945 and 1996.

The second-longest drought was that of the St Kilda Football Club, who did not win its first, and to date only, senior premiership until 1966, after 68 seasons in the VFL, an additional 13 seasons in the VFA prior to the VFL's inception, and 93 years after the club's foundation in 1873.

Melbourne has not won a premiership since 1964. The Western Bulldogs have a longer current drought, not having won a premiership since 1954 and not having even made the grand final since 1961.

Rugby league

The North Sydney Bears hold the longest premiership drought in the NSWRL/NRL, winning their final premiership in 1922 for an eighty-year drought, up until the end of their short-lived merge with Manly-Warringah.

Rugby union

In France, ASM Clermont Auvergne has a championship history arguably as tortured as the most "cursed" teams in North America or Australia. They have never won a French national title since their formation in 1911, despite making the championship final 10 times. Six of their 10 title-game losses were by a converted try or less.


Queensland did not win the Sheffield Shield until its 63rd season of competition. Such a long drought was particularly astounding given that, over those 63 years, an average of only five teams competed for the shield.

See also


  1. ^ Darcy, Kieran (2004-07-13). "Mistakes by the lake". ESPN. http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=tortured/cleveland.  
  2. ^ The Buffalo Curse
  3. ^ Edinburgh’s real disgrace? Hibs have not won the cup since Buffalo Bill was in town, Scotland On Sunday, 20 May 2001.
  4. ^ Liverpool can end title drought, says Rush, The Independent, 28 April 2009.
  5. ^ Fairs Cup winners to be re-united, Daily Mail, 6 October 2008.
  6. ^ Dalglish believes 'strongest ever' England can end 40 years of hurt, The Scotsman, 24 May 2006.


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