What Sports Metro Is the Unluckiest?

Some cities seem to have all the luck. This year alone, Tampa Bay sports fans have seen their beloved Lightning win the Stanley Cup Finals, the Rays advance to the World Series, and the Buccaneers sign Tom Brady and trade for Rob Gronkowski as they make a serious run at a Super Bowl title.

Meanwhile, across the country in Los Angeles, the Lakers and Dodgers are fresh off titles, while the Rams are just a year removed from a Super Bowl appearance.

Other cities such as San Francisco, Boston, and Kansas City have also had great recent runs of success with their teams.

On the flip side, there are some sports cities that have nothing going for them. You might even say some are cursed.

In order to qualify for our list of the unluckiest sports metro areas, the area must be home to at least two teams. The more teams and less recent success, the higher placement on the list. Let’s take a look at which cities’ fans are suffering the most.

10. San Diego

Okay, we just defined the technicalities and we’re already disqualifying everything. San Diego is home to only the Padres, and we said a city had to have two or more teams. However, the recent loss of the Chargers, coupled with no championships appearances since 1995, and no titles ever, clearly makes this southern California city a must-include on the list. Can we at least give San Diegans a little recognition for their sports misery?

9. Denver

The Broncos are just a few years removed from back-to-back Super Bowl appearances—a victory over the Panthers, and a loss to the Seahawks. So Coloradan sports fans aren’t suffering that badly. The rest of their teams have provided little relief in the interim, however. The Rockies, Avalanche and Nuggets have combined to win just one championship in the 2000s.

8. Milwaukee

The Brewers haven’t made it to a Fall Classic since 1982, while the Bucks crashed and burned in the 2019-20 playoffs despite being the #1 seed in the East. No, Milwaukee fans haven’t had it easy for a very long time, but if you consider the Packers part of the same fan base, that all changes. The Packers have been perennial contenders thanks to their elite QB play from Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers over the past thirty-ish seasons.

7. New York

It is hard to believe New York would be on this list, but think about it… aside from the Yankees, their teams all kinda suck of late. The nation’s biggest city has two pro teams in each of the four main sports, yet none of them have brought home a championship since the Giants in 2011. The Knicks have become the laughingstock of the NBA, while the Jets may just go 0-16. Even the Yankees have won just one title over the past eighteen seasons.

Things haven’t been great in the Big Apple for a surprisingly long time.

6. Charlotte

It’s been 14 years since the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup Finals. Since then, the Panthers have lost a Super Bowl and the Bobcats/Hornets have been a total non-factor. North Carolina, of course, is home to some damn good collegiate basketball teams, but when it comes to the pros, it’s been a long wait for something to celebrate.

5. Buffalo

Buffalo may be higher on this list except for its lack of more teams. The Sabres and Bills have never hoisted a championship banner in their histories. While the Bills look like real contenders this year, it’s only a matter of time before they break everyone’s hearts again. While they don’t have an NBA team, let’s not forget that the most local team, the Toronto Raptors, are just a short drive north and won a title just a year ago.

4. Cincinnati

Much like Buffalo, it seems like eons since either of Cincy’s two teams have won anything. While the Reds were the crown jewels of baseball in the 70s with the Big Red Machine, there has been nothing to write home about since 1990. The Bengals need no mention; we all know how miserable of a time that franchise has had since their last Super Bowl appearance in 1989.

3. Phoenix

Since the Diamondbacks shocked the world in 2001, there have been no new champions in the desert. The Cardinals came so damn close to a Super Bowl against the Steelers in 2009. The Suns and Coyotes haven’t put up a serious fight, and the D’Backs haven’t come close to another title since. Perhaps Devin Booker and the Suns present Phoenix’s next best chance at glory?

2. Atlanta

28-3. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said. But then again, so much more can be said. The Braves had the Dodgers on the ropes, 3 games to 1, in the most recent NLCS. Meanwhile, the Thrashers left town and the Hawks have been mediocre at best for the past three decades. Atlanta has a lot of upside in the Braves, with an outstanding young core and new ballpark. It wouldn’t be surprising if this city celebrates a World Series in the next few years.

1. Minneapolis/St. Paul

Say what you want about Atlanta, but at least the Falcons have been in a couple of Super Bowls over the past few decades, heartbreaking as they may have been. The Vikings’ last Super Bowl appearance was in the 70s! The Timberwolves and Wild have never played in a championship series. And the Twins own the all-time world record for longest playoff losing streak of 18 consecutive games (and counting!)… which is mind-boggling, because in order to qualify for the playoffs you have to be pretty good. Good teams don’t lose 18 games in a row.

Despite having four teams, Minnesota hasn’t had a team so much as play in a championship game or series in almost 30 years. And after what happened in the MLS semifinals earlier this month, it is fair to question whether or not some Minnesota sports fan sold his soul to the devil in 1991. “Just let Jack Morris win this one game, and I swear to God I don’t care if we ever get another championship again as long as I live!”

The Twin Cities and Upper Midwest are longer overdue for a winner than anyone.

Honorable Mentions

Cleveland is pretty miserable, but the Cavs won a title very recently, and both the Browns and Indians are currently competitive. Dallas could be considered too, but the Stars just this year played in the Cup. Detroit no doubt deserves mention, but the Pistons and Red Wings each have titles over the past 15 seasons. Seattle could possibly be worthy of mention, given how horrible the Mariners have been, but the Seahawks are recent champions and the Kraken has just been released.

What say you, sports fans? Is your city super miserable and worthy of recognition?

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