Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Civic Title Droughts

With all due respect to Toronto FC and the 2017 MLS Cup, it had been an awfully long time since Toronto won a major sports title.  Among the “big four” (NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL) sports, the Raptors’ championship drought ended at 26 years, leaving me wondering which cities/areas with current Big Four teams are currently in the biggest cold streaks.

Some of the geography is a mild but not altogether incorrect stretch, like when I count the Patriots for “Boston” even though they technically cover all of New England, or when “New York’s” last title was won by a team that actually plays in New Jersey.  And since we’re focused specifically on the locations themselves here, a team obviously can’t claim a championship won in a previous city — the OKC Thunder can’t boast about winning the NBA title in 1979.

Man, it’s great to see Toronto at the top of this list!

* Toronto, 2019 (Raptors NBA)
* St. Louis, 2019 (Blues NHL)
* Boston, 2019 (Patriots NFL)
* Oakland, 2018 (Warriors NBA)
* Washington D.C., 2018 (Capitals NHL)
* Philadelphia, 2018 (Eagles NFL)
* Houston, 2017 (Astros MLB)
* Pittsburgh, 2017 (Penguins NHL)
* Chicago, 2016 (Cubs MLB)
* Cleveland, 2016 (Cavaliers NBA)
* Denver, 2016 (Broncos NFL)
* Kansas City, 2015 (Royals MLB)
* San Francisco, 2014 (Giants MLB)(some SF fans will try to claim the Warriors’ as representing the entire Bay Area, but let’s cut Oakland some slack since the team is leaving anyway.  Besides, it’s not like 2014 was a long time ago)
* San Antonio, 2014 (Spurs NBA)
* Los Angeles, 2014 (Kings NHL)
* Seattle, 2014 (Seahawks NFL)
* Miami, 2013 (Heat NBA)
* Baltimore, 2013 (Ravens NFL)
* New York, 2012 (Giants NFL)(if you’re wondering, yes, seven years between titles is indeed the longest in NYC’s history since the 1920’s)
* Dallas, 2011 (Mavericks NBA)
* Green Bay/Milwaukee, 2011 (Packers NFL)(since the Pack are very much Wisconsin’s team, I’ll cut Milwaukee some slack here, since otherwise their title drought extends back to the Bucks’ lone NBA title in 1971)
* New Orleans, 2010 (Saints NFL)
* Detroit, 2008 (Red Wings NHL)
* Anaheim, 2007 (Ducks NHL)
* Indianapolis, 2007 (Colts NFL)
* Carolina/Charlotte 2006 (Hurricanes NHL)(ok, so Raleigh is almost three hours east of Charlotte, but if any Charlotte natives want to complain, just take the championship. It’s not like the Panthers or Hornets have ever won anything)
* Tampa Bay, 2004 (Lightning NHL)
* New Jersey/East Rutherford, 2003 (Devils NHL)
* Arizona/Phoenix, 2001 (Diamondbacks MLB)
* Atlanta, 1995 (Braves MLB)
* Montreal, 1993 (Canadiens NHL)
* Minnesota/Minneapolis/St. Paul, 1991 (Twins MLB)
* Cincinnati, 1990 (Reds MLB)
* Edmonton, 1990 (Oilers NHL)
* Calgary, 1989 (Flames NHL)
* Portland, 1977 (Trail Blazers NBA)
* Brooklyn, 1955 (Dodgers MLB)(I kind of hate parsing New York boroughs since otherwise I’d then have to get into acknowledging the Yankees as a Bronx team, the Islanders as a Long Island team, etc. But in this case, the Nets today and the Dodgers back in the day were specifically “Brooklyn” teams.)
* Ottawa, 1927 (Senators began play in 1992, and those jokers have NEVER won a Stanley Cup.  But the original Senators used to dominate the league, and a Canadian like me is happy to recognize those early Cup results.)
* Las Vegas, never (Golden Knights began play in 2017)
* Oklahoma City, never (Thunder began play in 2008)
* Memphis, never (Grizzlies began play in 2001)
* Columbus, never (Blue Jackets began play in 2000)
* Nashville/Tennessee, never (Titans and Predators began play in 1998)
* Jacksonville, never (Jaguars began play in 1995)
* San Jose, never (Sharks began play in 1991)
* Orlando, never (Magic began play in 1989)
* Sacramento, never (Kings began play in 1985)
* Winnipeg, never (the current Jets re-emerged in 2011, and the previous team existed in the NHL from 1979 to 1996. No, I’m not counting the Avco Cups from the WHA)
* Utah, never (Jazz began play in 1979)
* Vancouver, never (Canucks began play in 1970)
* Buffalo, never (Sabres began play in 1970, Bills joined the NFL in 1970 and were founding members of the AFL in 1960. No, I’m not counting the Bills’ two AFL titles.)
* San Diego, never (Padres began play in 1969, Chargers were in town from 1961-2016, those first nine years in the AFL.  Again, their 1963 AFL title means nothing to me.)

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