Top 10 suffering sports cities


Bench Warmer
Applies to all sports so I stuck it here ;)

San Antonio has grown accustomed to winning NBA titles. Its citizens are used to attending championship parades.

Elsewhere in the United States, though, long-suffering fans are clamoring for a world championship. Callers to sports talk radio shows and Internet message board posters express their angst daily.

"I've been a Buffalo sports fan all my life and except for the 64-65 AFL championships, well, you know the rest of the story," a poster identified as "Bilzfancy' wrote on after the Sabres fell in the NHL's Eastern Conference finals. "I will not give up and will be a diehard but the curse of the Buffalo sports teams live on. I'm 54, how much longer do I have to wait??? This was our big shot at the Cup. Again, I will never give up but it really gets disheartening."

While Cleveland will get all the attention this week as the Cavs head to the NBA Finals intent on ending the city's four-decade long championship drought, it's Buffalo's faithful that can claim the title of America's longest-suffering fans. Here is how they stack up against the rest of the Top 10 Most Frustrated Sports Cities:

1. Buffalo

Sufferin' Scott Norwood! Buffalo fans will never forget this missed field goal in the 1991 Super Bowl. (Rick Stewart / Getty Images)

Winters in upstate New York are harsh. Folks turn to their Bills and Sabres for inspiration. What they get instead are exasperating near misses.

The Marv Levy-led Bills reached four consecutive Super Bowls, but lost each time. The Sabres reached the Stanley Cup Finals in two different eras but lost each time. The NBA's Buffalo Braves came and went without winning it all. And, oh yeah, it just keeps snowing and snowing.

RECURRING NIGHTMARES: The infamous bat-killing in the '75 Cup finals; Braves buyer John Y. Brown; Scott Norwood missing wide right in Super Bowl XXV; the Bills' "Music City Miracle" loss to Tennessee; Brett Hull beating the Sabres, illegally, with his Cup-clinching goal from the crease.

DEPARTURES: Daryle Lamonica, Braves, Bob McAdoo, Pat Lafontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Dominik Hasek, the Braves.

2. Cleveland
What do most Northern Ohio sports fans know about world championships? What their parents or grandparents told them.

The Browns won the 1964 NFL title with the peerless Jim Brown bulldozing opponents. Since then, there have been many chances to win NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball crowns . . . but, ultimately, no team went the distance. The Indians haven't won a World Series since 1948 – owing, some say, to the Curse of Rocky Colavito – and the Cavaliers have never won it all.

RECURRING NIGHTMARES: The Fumble by Earnest Byner; The Drive by John Elway; trade-happy "Cadavers" owner Ted Stepien; Brian Sipe's interception in 1980; Edgar Renteria's World Series-clinching rip up the middle; poor Craig Ehlo guarding Michael Jordan; traitorous Browns owner Art Modell.

DEPARTURES: Rams, Barons, Browns, Colavito, Len Dawson, Paul Brown, Bill Belichick, Lenny Wilkens, Jim Thome, Bartolo Colon, Carlos Boozer.

3. Seattle
Back in 1994, the Sonics seemed prepared to win Seattle's first title since their great 1979 run. They earned the NBA's top playoff seed with a 63-19 record. Michael Jordan was "retired" that year.

But they somehow lost their first-round, best-of-five series against the eighth-seeded Nuggets – despite winning the first two games! This astonishing choke cast a pall over the sports community; Seattle is still looking for its first world title in nearly 30 years.

RECURRING NIGHTMARES: Falling ceiling tiles at the Kingdome; the '01 Mariners winning 116 regular season games, then losing to the Yankees in the ALCS; the M's tragic Heathcliff Slocumb trade; referees hosing the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.

DEPARTURES: Pilots, Lenny Wilkens, Jack Sikma, Chuck Knox, Dave Krieg, Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Lou Piniella, Joey Galloway, Gary Payton, Jamie Moyer.

4. Philadelphia

Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams was Philly's goat in the 1993 World Series. (MLB Photos / Getty Images)

This once-mighty sports city hasn't celebrated a world championship since 1983, when the 76ers won the NBA title. So the locals wonder if the city is haunted by the Curse of William Penn.

Historically, no downtown building was taller than City Hall, and the William Penn statue atop it. Finally, the city allowed skyscrapers to sprout – starting with One Liberty Place in 1987. No Philly team has won it all since.

RECURRING NIGHTMARES: Bobby Gross' back-door cuts in the '77 NBA Finals; goaltender Pelle Lindbergh's fatal car wreck; the Flyers' '88 playoff collapse; reliever Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams; Eagles fans booing Donovan McNabb on his draft day; castoff Terrell Owens doing sit-ups in his driveway.

DEPARTURES: The American League's Athletics, Wilt Chamberlain, Billy Cunningham, Dick Vermeil, Dave "The Hammer" Schultz, Mike Keenan, Charles Barkley, the "Legion of Doom" line; Randall Cunningham, Scott Rolen, Ricky Watters, Larry Brown, Allen Iverson, Peter Forsberg.

5. Milwaukee
In a beer city battle, the Brewers led the Cardinals three games to two in the 1982 World Series before dropping Games 6 and 7 in St. Louis. This come-from-ahead loss was the last time the Brewers reached the postseason.

The Bucks have been appreciably better, but their one championship came back in 1971 – before Kareem Abdul-Jabbar demanded a trade to the West Coast, for cultural reasons. The big fella never took to bowling and bratwurst.

RECURRING NIGHTMARES: Former Brewer Darrell Porter emerging as the MVP of '82 World Series; numbing NBA playoff losses to the Celtics and Sixers during the 1980s; the Bucks' chemistry-killing acquisition of Anthony Mason; Randall Simon's Sausage Race Assault, Bob Uecker's stalker.

DEPARTURES: Hank Aaron and the Braves, the half-share of the Packers, Abdul-Jabbar, Gorman Thomas, Paul Molitor, Don Nelson, Ray Allen.

6. Minneapolis/St. Paul
The Vikings have gone 0-for-4 in the Super Bowl, losing big each time. The Timberwolves have never won the NBA title. The Wild, following the lead of the departed North Stars, haven't won the Stanley Cup.

And the Twins, despite their recent upturn, haven't won a World Series since the fabulous 1991 showdown with Atlanta. Stuck in the outdated Metrodome, the team was the subject of sale, moving and contraction rumors for 15 years until the new stadium initiative finally succeeded.

RECURRING NIGHTMARES: Bill Masterton's fatal injury as a North Star; Drew Pearson's push-off in the '75 NFC playoffs; Fran Tarkenton's Super Bowl stage fright; Jon Casey whiffing against Mario Lemieux in the Stanley Cup Finals; the ill-fated Herschel Walker trade; the training camp death of Vikings lineman Korey Stringer.

DEPARTURES: Lakers, North Stars, Billy Martin, Rod Carew, Bobby Smith, three first-round and three-second round Vikings draft picks (in the Walker deal), Randy Moss, Robert Smith

7. Cincinnati
These days, the Bengals are best known for their staggering team arrest totals. But from 1981-90, they were known as one of the better teams NOT to win it all. They made four playoff trips, reached the Super Bowl twice -- and lost twice to Joe Montana and the 49ers.

Since then, the Bengals have only been to the postseason once. And Cincinnati hasn't won a world championship since 1990, when the Reds won their first title since 1976 and swept the A's.

RECURRING NIGHTMARES: Montana calmly driving the 49ers down the field in Super Bowl XXIII; Reds owner Marge Schott walking Schottzie on the field, Stanley Wilson's cocaine binge; Carson Palmer's knee injury.

DEPARTURES: The NBA's Royals, Jerry Lucas, Oscar Robertson, Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan, Sparky Anderson, Eric Davis, Sam Wyche, Boomer Esiason, Pete Rose, Lou Piniella, "The Nasty Boys," Tony Perez.

8. San Diego

Drafting Ryan Leaf wasn't a winning move for the Chargers. ( Doug Pensinger / Getty Images)

This city has enjoyed enough sports glory to offset its most ignominious event, Roseanne Barr's butchering of the National Anthem before a 1990 Padres game. But the Padres have never gone all the way, the Chargers haven't won the Big One since the 1963 AFL title game and the Clippers left town as losers.

RECURRING NIGHTMARES: Inept Padres owner Ray Kroc apologizing for his team's play over the PA system; Steve Young's six TD passes in Super Bowl XXIV; Mark Langston serving a meatball to Tino Martinez for his '98 World Series grand slam; Bill Walton's battered feet; Clippers buyer Donald Sterling; inept Padres owner Tom Werner; the Chargers' unfortunate Ryan Leaf era.

DEPARTURES: Clippers, Don Coryell, Dave Winfield, Ozzie Smith, Benito Santiago, Gary Sheffield, Fred McGriff, Ken Caminiti, Drew Brees, Marty Schottenheimer.

9. Kansas City
With an assist from umpire Don Denkinger, the Royals rallied to upset Cardinals in the 1985 World Series. But that was the last gasp from the great George Brett Era; the Royals haven't been back to the playoffs since.

The Chiefs haven't won the big prize since the 1969 season, the Scouts were just a blip on the NHL radar screen and the Kings left town just before the NBA went big. Now the city has a sparkling new downtown arena awaiting new tenants.

RECURRING NIGHTMARES: Jan Stenerud's playoff disaster against the Dolphins; Elvis Grbac getting the playoff call over Rich Gannon; the Kemper Arena roof collapse; the Royals' cocaine era; Dick Howser's fatal illness, Bo Jackson's hip injury; Derrick Thomas' fatal car wreck.

DEPARTURES: Athletics, Scouts, Kings, Otis Birdsong, Hank Stram, Bret Saberhagen, Rich Gannon, Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye, Carlos Beltran, Marty Schottenheimer, Dick Vermeil.

10. New Orleans
Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and the Saints marched to the NFL playoffs last season and rallied the community. This was one of the feel-good stories in sports last year, since Hurricane Katrina had devastated the region and forced the Hornets and Saints to relocate for a season.

But will these long-suffering fans finally get a title?

RECURRING NIGHTMARES: Archie Manning running for his life; the "Aints" era, with fans wearing paper bags over their heads; Saints owner Tom Benson threatening to move the team again and again; the Ricky Williams draft fiasco.

DEPARTURES: Jazz, Saints (temporarily), Hornets (temporarily), Truck Robinson, Hank Stram, George Rogers, Bobby Hebert, Jim Mora, Sam Mills, Mike Ditka, Morten Andersen, Ricky Williams, Baron Davis, Jim Haslett, Joe Horn.
At least Philly has come close. Eagles have been in the SB and the 76ers have been to the Finals.

The Browns haven't won anything since before christ.

The Cavs made the Finals for the first time EVER.

The Indians....... BAHAHAHAHA......... lost to the Marlins.

Besides at least people admit to being Philly fans.

Who the hell admits to being a Browns fan?

And before LeAHole James :bitter: who would admit to being a Cavs fan?