- Sports and Recreation
Professional Sports Teams Whose Fans Have Suffered The Most
Professional Sports Teams Who's Fans Have Suffered the Most
10. Kansas City Royals – The Royals have won one World Series in 46 years, which came in 1985. Other than that year, the Royals have largely been known as the disgrace of Major League Baseball. During the 17 year stretch from 1995 through 2012, the Royals had an abysmal record of just 1230 – 1664. They have finished in first place in their division just seven times in their 46 seasons.
In 2014, the Royals made it back to the World Series for the first time since 1985. They finished on the losing end that year, but as of the time of this article, they are back in the World Series in 2015. Royals fans can finally be excited.
9. Cleveland Indians – The Indians have won the World Series twice, with the most recent one coming in 1948. Fictionalized as a hapless, almost laughable team in the movies Major League and Major League 2, the Indians have a sad reputation. One reason for this reputation is their habit of being stingy with the checkbook. In the sport of baseball, there is no salary cap. This means that there is truly only one way to build and sustain a good team. That way is to shell out the dollars. When the Indians were loaded with young talent in the mid-1990s, they had a short period of intense success. They even set a then MLB record for consecutive sold out games of 455. It was evident just how hungry the fans were for a World Series victory. Then, as predictable as death and taxes, the team became dismantled. Stars right fielder Manny Ramirez, first baseman Jim Thome, DH Albert Belle, and CF Kenny Loften were all soon playing for new teams. 20 years later, the Indians are still struggling to put a consistent winner on the field.
8. Milwaukee Brewers – The Brewers have never won the World Series. In fact, the Brewers have only made the playoffs 4 times since 1970. When they made the World Series in 1982, they lost to their current day division rivals the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite their past, the Brewers have the highest per capita attendance in Major League Baseball according to Jay Sorgi of WISsports.com. Brewers fans are loyal to a small market team who is in a fight every year to compete with the New York Yankee type teams of the world.
7. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings have never won the Superbowl. Their last championship was the final year of the NFL Championship in 1969. The Vikings lost the Superbowl four times prior to the 1977 season. Even worse, they have gone 0-6 in conference championship games since 1977. In 1998, the Vikings were on the brink of making it back to the Superbowl. Their kicker, Gary Anderson, was on to kick a field goal to go up by 10 points, and put the game out of reach. Vikings fans felt assured at this point, since Anderson had made all 35 of his field goals and all 59 of his extra points during that season. What happened next? You guessed it, Anderson pulled the field goal wide left. The Falcons came back and won the game. Vikings fans still hadn't recovered from that tragedy when in 2009, in a season where they had acquired all time great quarterback Brett Favre and had gone 12-4 in the regular season, were once again in the NFC Championship. After having arguably the best season of his career, Favre threw a devastating interception that cost the Vikings a chance to go to the Superbowl. Since then, the team has gone back into relative obscurity.
6. Los Angeles Clippers – The Clippers have never won an NBA title. In fact, the Clippers only made the playoffs six times in their previous 42 years before star point guard Chris Paul arrived in 2012. The Clippers have enjoyed relative success in the past 4 years, reaching the playoffs every year. However, despite being one of the favorites to win the NBA Finals for the past two years, they have failed to make it past the divisional round of the playoffs.
In 2014, Clippers owner Donald Sterling became embroiled in a scandal when he was recorded making racial remarks about black people. Sterling was eventually ousted from the NBA but this scandal left a black mark that will effect the Clippers for quite some time.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers – The Cleveland Cavaliers have never won an NBA title. The Cavs have had a winning record for all of 20 total seasons and made the playoffs 19 times since their inception in 1970. The single biggest heartbreak the Cavs ever experienced was a play known as “The Shot.” It was during the 1989 – 1990 NBA playoffs when the Cavaliers were playing the Chicago Bulls in the first round. Having had the second best record in the eastern conference and beating the Bulls all 6 times they played them in the regular season, the Cavs were clear favorites to win this series. Then Michael Jordan happened. Jordan hit a game winning and series winning jump shot over Cavs guard Craig Ehlo to win the game 101 – 100 in front of a devastated Cleveland crowd. What should have been a year where the Cavs had a chance to win it all instead became one of the lasting images of Michael Jordan's legendary career.
In 2003, the Cavaliers had the first overall pick in the draft. They chose Akron St. Vincent St. Mary's LeBron James. A virtual hometown kid, things started to look like the Cavs were in for a story book run with LeBron James at the helm. And for a handful of years, they did make the playoffs. When they made the NBA Finals in 2007, with Cavs fans thirsty for their first NBA title, they got swept by Tim Duncan's San Antonio Spurs.
Following the 2010 season, LeBron James shocked the world and left Cleveland in free agency to join Dwyane Wade in sunny Miami. To rub salt in the wound of the suffering Cavs fans, James won two NBA titles in Miami.
When LeBron became a free agent again in 2014, he decided to try to right his wrong and come back to Cleveland. He promised to put everything he had into getting the fans of Cleveland an NBA Championship. That season, the Cavs were one of the best NBA teams on their way to the NBA finals. The Cavs looked like world-beaters at times during the season. They had 3 all-star caliber players, one of whom was the best player on the planet. Just as Cleveland Cavalier luck would have it, two out of their three all-stars, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, got injured and missed the NBA Finals. The Cavs were devastated again as the Golden State Warriors took advantage and took the NBA title. Today, Cavs fans are still waiting for the day they can hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy.
4. Buffalo Bills – The Bills have never won the Superbowl. During the early 1990s, the Bills had a great team with Pro Bowl quarterback Jim Kelly running the show. In fact, the Bills made 4 straight Superbowls. They also lost four straight Superbowls. One of the biggest heartbreaking moments for Bills fans during this stretch was when they had the Giants beat in the Superbowl in January of 1991. The Bills sent their kicker out to win the game with a 47 yard field goal attempt. With their eyes closed and their teeth clenched, Bills fans heard the words that would be seared into their open wounds for years to come: “Wide Right!”
In 1999, the Bills were playing the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Up by one point and ready to celebrate, the Bills kicked off after what should have been their game winning field goal. What happened next was one of the craziest plays in NFL history. Dubbed the “Music City Miracle,” on the play Titans tight end Frank Wycheck fielded the kickoff and ran towards the right sideline. Suddenly, he turned and threw the football across the field to a wide open Kevin Dyson. Dyson jetted 75 yards down the sideline for the game winning touchdown. After a brief meeting between the officials to decide whether Wycheck's throw was a forward throw or a lateral throw, the touchdown remained good. Bills fans, and in fact all NFL fans, couldn't believe their eyes. Bills fans dreams were crushed again. As of today, that was the last time the Bills have ever made the playoffs.
Buffalo has now gone 16 straight seasons without making the playoffs, which is good enough for the longest in the NFL. Just to add a little more salt in their already gaping wounds during those 16 years Buffalo fans had to watch their own biggest rival, the New England Patriots, reach the Superbowl six times and win the Superbowl four times.
3. Detroit Lions – The Lions have never won the Superbowl. They hold the infamous distinction of being the only NFL team to lose every game and finish 0 – 16, which happened in 2008. The team has existed for nearly 90 years and never put together two consecutive 10 win seasons.
Arguably the most beloved Lion in franchise history, running back Barry Sanders, broke Lions fans hearts when he retired in 1999 at just 31 years old. Also arguably the most exciting player to ever play the game, Sanders left Detroit with broken hearts.
In 2014, the Lions lost in the playoffs in large part because they ended up on the wrong side of a bad call by the officials. On an incomplete pass, Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens was originally flagged for pass interference. It was clear that his actions fit the description. He made substantial contact with the receiver before the pass arrived and he most certainly never turned and looked to make a play on the football. One problem though, the officials picked up the flag. The angered and disheartened Lions had to punt the football away, and of course, it was a terrible punt. The next thing you know, Dallas scores the game winning touchdown. Just more heartbreak for Detroit.
As a bonus, during a game in 2002 that went into overtime against the division rival Chicago Bears, Lions head coach Marty Mornhinweg made the absurd decision to give the Bears the ball first in overtime. He did so because he wanted to be playing with the wind. The wind would never matter, as the Bears walked down the field and won the game with a field goal on their first drive. Not only was Detroit heartbroken, they were humiliated. One of the lasting images of Lions fans is when they wear paper bags over their heads to protect their identity. One can understand why.
2. Cleveland Browns – The Browns have never won the Superbowl. They can lay claim to winning eight NFL Championships prior to the AFL/NFL merger and the inception of the Superbowl in 1970, but that means very little to today's fans. It's been 51 years since they won their last NFL Championship anyway.
When the Browns were actually a good team in the 1950s and 1960s, they had a player that many people consider to be the greatest NFL player of all-time in Jim Brown. Brown was responsible for a lot of Cleveland's success in winning NFL Championships. However, much like Barry Sanders did in 1999, Jim Brown retired young at just 30 years old in 1965. The Browns haven't sniffed a championship since.
The Browns have more heartbreaking events in their past than any other team in major professional sports. The life expectancy of their fans is probably significantly shorter than all other teams. First, there was “Red Right 88.” During the divisional round of the 1980 playoffs, the Browns were in position to kick a field goal and beat the Raiders 15 – 14. In one of the most puzzling play calls in NFL history, head coach Sam Rutigliano called a pass play. On a day that was blisteringly cold, quarterback Brian Sipe dropped back and threw the game losing interception. Browns fans went home heartbroken, and the Raiders went on to win the Superbowl that year.
Next comes the event known as “The Drive.” In the AFC Championship game of 1986, the Browns led the Broncos by a touchdown with five and a half minutes left. They had the Broncos buried on their own two yard line. Things were looking real good for the Browns until John Elway came on the field and drove the Broncos 98 yards to tie the game with under a minute left. With the momentum strongly on the side of Denver, the Broncos went into overtime and won via field goal. Again, Browns fans went home with broken hearts.
The very next year, Cleveland had a chance at retribution when they again faced Denver in the AFC Championship. This year, it was the Browns who were carrying all of the momentum towards the end of the game. The Browns were deep in Denver territory with very little time left in the game. It looked like this year the Browns would be the heroes. Then coach Rutigliano called a run play to Ernest Byner. Byner took the ball and was hit and fumbled at the 3 yard line only for Denver to recover. The NFL world could not believe their eyes. Denver went on to win the game. For a third time, Browns fans went home with their hearts shattered.
As bad as these three catastrophes were for the fans of the Cleveland Browns, nothing compared to what happened to them after the 1995 season. Money hungry and unsatisfied with Cleveland's Municipal Stadium, owner Art Modell up and moved the Browns to Baltimore and renamed them the Baltimore Ravens. Modell wanted to make more money than old Municipal Stadium was able to make. Browns fans were destroyed. To Browns fans, this was equivalent to music fans losing Elvis Presley or loyal Americans losing JFK. Art Modell is still hated in Cleveland to this day, and a large chunk of fans made distasteful remarks even the day he died. Fittingly, the Ravens have since won two Superbowls.
Fortunately, the NFL agreed to give the city of Cleveland their team back. After 3 years of being lost, the fans saw the Browns return in 1999. They were a bad team for their first few years back, but under coach Butch Davis made the playoffs after the 2002 season. The Browns had hope again and the city was flying high. They ended up playing their hated divisional rival Pittsburgh Steelers in a first round wild card match-up. The Browns came out like world-beaters that day, and were up 24-7 at halftime. If you've been paying attention, you can guess what happened next. Pittsburgh came back and won the game 36-33. That was the last time the Browns made the NFL playoffs right up to current day.
And then there are the current day woes. The Browns track record in the NFL draft is virtually laughable. Every first round quarterback they have selected, including Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, and Brandon Weeden have been colossal busts. Their most recent first round quarterback, Johnny Manziel, has yet to prove anything. The only thing he's known for around Cleveland is being a partier and having spent time in rehab. They have also selected busts at other positions in the first round. Among those players are defense end Courtney Brown, defense tackle Gerard Warren, wide receiver Braylon Edwards, tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., and running back Trent Richardson. None of these players lasted any more than just a few years with the team.
The past has been nothing but disappointment after monumental disappointment for Browns fans, and as of today the future doesn't look any better.
1. Chicago Cubs – The Cubs haven't won the World Series since 1908. They're so well known for their misfortune that just about every other fan in sports has pity for them. No, they don't laugh at the organization like they do to the Browns or Lions of the NFL. They take pity on them. The Cubs have been a sad story.
What makes the Cubs suffering so special is the fact that they had a curse put on them in 1945. Billy Sianis, the owner of a goat, was forced to leave his goat outside of Wrigley Field tied to a stake because it had such a bad odor. Sianas was outraged. What happened next became arguably the most famous curse in professional sports. Sianis exclaimed, “them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more.” His statement would become known as “The curse of the Billy goat.” That year, 1945, was the last year the Cubs ever made the World Series.
Make no mistake, this is not a cute story that people pretend is true like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. The people of Chicago believe in it. They seen the effect for 70 years now. Fans have even made legitimate attempts to break the curse, attempting to do so in 1984, 1989, 1998, and 2003. For what it's worth, the Cubs made the playoffs all four of those years. There is a famous list of 42 different ex-Chicago Cubs who have gone on to win the World Series for other teams.
In 2001, just a couple of innings away from making the World Series, the city of Chicago experienced the curse in its full effect. As the Cubs were about to win game 6 of the NLCS and advance to the World Series, a pop foul went flying down the left field line. Left fielder Moises Alou ran over to the wall and attempted to make a catch, but was interfered with by one of the Cubs own fans. The inning continued, with all momentum now firmly on the side of the opposing Florida Marlins. The Marlins won game six and also went on to win game seven, eventually beating the Yankees to win the World Series. The city of Chicago was so outraged, and all of their frustration was taken out on the man who interfered with Alou. The man, named Steve Bartman, became the biggest villain in Cubs history. Fourteen years later, he is still in hiding and has never been seen in public. Nobody even knows where he lives.
Then there is the “Murphy” curse. The name Murphy has been associated with the Cubs curse, beginning in 1908, the last time they won the World Series. Their owner was named Charles Murphy. The name of the famed goat that caused the curse? Murphy. In 1969, the Cubs were looking like the best team in baseball until they experienced one of the greatest collapses in the history of Major League Baseball. That year, their GM was named Johnny Murphy and their announcer was named Bob Murphy. In 1984, the year the Cubs won 96 games, they were playing the San Diego Padres in the National League Championship Series. The Cubs committed two huge errors that gave the Padres the 6-3 lead and eventually gave the Padres the series victory. The final game of the series was played in San Diego, and I'm sure you can guess where this is going. The name of the stadium? Jack Murphy Stadium.
Since then, the Cubs have been a perpetually bad team. One of their divisional rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, has been one of the best teams in Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won two World Series titles in that time period, while Cubs fans had to stand by and watch.
Today, the Cubs are on the verge of breaking the curse. They have a bevy of young pitching, and two of the games brightest young hitters in Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant. This past season, they were two games from the world series. Unfortunately, the opposing Mets played better while they had the first player to ever hit a home run in six straight playoff games. That player, the Mets second baseman, has already become a folk here for the city of New York. His Name? You guessed it. Daniel Murphy.
One can see with all this experience that the Cubs fans have definitely not had a fun ride during the past 107 years. Their fans still sell out Wrigley Field on a regular basis, because there's just nothing like loving the Cubs.