Hardest Cities to be a Sports Fan
Two of the longest sport draughts recently ended in Cleveland and Chicago respectfully when the NBA Cavaliers won their first ever title and the Cubs gained the MLB crown after suffering without one since 1908. Many cities can argue of the difficulties to remain a loyal fan due to the ineptitude of their team performance; however, one can sympathize even more so with those fans supporting teams in Minneapolis / Saint Paul, Atlanta and Phoenix. Since the year 2000, combining these three cities which totals 11 franchises has earned only four championships, and two of the four came from baseball’s Minnesota Twins.
Minneapolis / Saint Paul house the Twins, Wolves, Vikings and Wild. The most successful team in the city, the MLB Twins have won five divisional titles since 2000 but have not won a World Series title in 25 years. Though the team has shown stability with only three managers in 30 years, successful seasons have not been the norm. The NBA’s Timberwolves joined the league during the 1989-90 season and have made the playoffs just 8 of their 27 seasons, this includes a 39 percent regular season winning percentage in the tenures of 12 different head coaches. The NFL Vikings have been in the league for 55 seasons. They participated in Super Bowl IX and XI but were soundly defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders. The franchise has earned a playoff berth in only six seasons since 2000. The NHL’s Wild rejoined the league in 2000 after losing the franchise to Dallas. They have successfully participated in the playoffs on seven of their 15 seasons but never advanced further than the Conference Finals in 2002 when they were swept by the Anaheim Ducks.
Atlanta’s three sports franchises the Braves, Falcons, and Hawks have attained one championship, a MLB title by the Braves in 1995 against the Cleveland Indians. The past sixteen years have been a challenge for the Braves as they have not advanced further than the National League Division Series. Things have not gotten any better in the last three seasons as the Braves have a 44 percent winning percentage. The NFL Falcons have long suffered since their entry into the league in 1966 including going through 16 head coaches. Of the 50 seasons the franchise has gained a playoff berth in only 12 of the seasons that included a loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII. The NBA Hawks have gone through ups and downs but have never won a NBA title. Upon moving to Atlanta in 1968-69 season, the Hawks were successful in making the playoffs on 32 occasions but have never advanced further than the Conference Semifinals since the 1970-71 season. The Hawks have been a middle of the road team as evidenced by their 49 percent regular season winning percentage the past 46 years.
In Phoenix, their claim to fame came in 2001 as they outlasted the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the World Series. Yet since their inclusion to Major League Baseball in 1998, they have successfully earned a playoff spot on only five instances that includes a run of the mill 49 percent regular season winning percentage. The NFL Cardinals have enjoyed some recent success, of the note, narrowly losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII yet have missed out on the playoffs on 11 of the past 15 seasons. Upon returning to the Phoenix area, the Cardinals have won 184 games while losing 264. The NHL Coyotes have rarely been successful since entering the league in 1996 as evidenced by missing the playoffs on 11 of the 19 years and earning just one divisional title. The Coyotes have never earned a spot in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.