Column: Bills, Indians, Maple Leafs and Kings oh my!

Cleveland Indians fans Levi Jones, left, and Kyle Zabarsky react during a watch party, after Game 7 of the baseball World Series between the Indians and the Chicago Cubs, outside Progressive Field, early Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Cleveland. The Cubs won 8-7 to win the series. (David Dermer/AP Photo)

After 108 years of waiting, the Chicago Cubs and the weather made their fans wait a little longer to see their team capture that elusive World Series. The Cubs had the longest championship drought in professional sports, but the curse of the Billy Goat and Steve Bartman is officially broken. The city of Chicago is a city of winners again, but now the question is which fan bases will have the longest wait time between championships in the four major sports.

Poor Cleveland. I will say it again: poor Cleveland. After the Cavs came back from a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, the Indians blew a 3-1 lead including the final two games at home to lose the World Series. With the Cubs’ victory, the Indians now have the longest World Series drought in Major League Baseball as they have not won a championship since 1948. The Indians have won four AL pennants since 1948 but have yet to capture the elusive title.

Although eight expansion teams have never won a World Series, and the Expos/Nationals and the Seattle Mariners have never won the pennant, Cleveland and their fans once again have the longest drought, as they were one win away from the greatest year in Cleveland sports history. With the Browns having not won a game yet this season and never winning a Super Bowl, many think the Cleveland Browns have the longest drought in the NFL, but with their 1964 NFL championship, they are not even in the top five for the NFL.

10 teams have never won the Super Bowl as the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals were created after the start of the game. The Arizona Cardinals, who were inches away from beating the Steelers in 2008, and have enjoyed a lot of success in the last couple years, have gone 68 seasons without a championship. In 1947, the Cardinals won the NFL championship as they hold the longest drought for the NFL.

The Cardinals, who have been in the playoffs the last couple years, in theory would have the most tormented fans but they have had success lately and have had winning seasons. For this reason they are not the most tormented as this distinction goes to the Buffalo Bills. The poor Bills have not made the playoffs in 16 years as they are also the only team in professional sports to lose four straight championship games. The Bills have gone 20 seasons without a playoff win and have lost four straight games as the Bills had a dynasty and could not cash out.

In the NHL, it might be easy to pick the St. Louis Blues as the most tortured fan base as they are one of the five original members and one of 12 teams never to win a Stanley Cup, but considering they have not come up short numerous times, they do not take the cake. The winner, or in this case, loser, is the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Maple Leafs has not won a series in 11 years, the fourth-longest current drought, and has not won the Stanley Cup in 48 years. The St. Louis Blues lost the championship in 2016 and the Maple Leafs have not been in the Stanley Cup since the 2001-2002 season. They have lost five Stanley Cup finals since 1967 and have the longest drought in NHL history.

The last of the major four sports to be looked at is the NBA. 12 teams have yet to win the NBA championship as the Minnesota Timberwolves have the longest drought, 12 years, since making the playoffs. The Milwaukee Bucks have the longest current losing streak in playoff series with 15 seasons since a win, and they have lost seven straight series. The Washington Wizards have gone 37 years without an NBA Division Championship and the Los Angeles Clippers have gone 46 years without a NBA Conference Finals appearance, but none of these teams take the cake.

The longest NBA championship title drought, and the most suffering fan base award, goes to the Sacramento Kings, who have gone 65 seasons since their last NBA title, as they have had to live in the shadow of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Kings, who were solid in the early 2000s with Chris Webber, came close many times to reaching the Finals, but the duo of Kobe and Shaq along with Tim Duncan and the Spurs thwarted them each step of the way. As Shaq once elegantly put it, “I’m not worried about facing the Sacramento Queens.” The Kings have as good of a shot of winning as Robb Stark does winning the Iron Throne. The North remembers and God still hates Cleveland.


Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering women’s basketball. He can be reached via email at matthew.kren@uconn.edu.