Which teams have the longest championship droughts? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Winning a championship, regardless of league, is no easy feat.
For these teams, it’s practically impossible.
There are long-suffering franchises and fan bases across American sports. A handful of teams have finally gotten over the hump in recent years and ended decade-long – and, in a few cases, century-long – curses. Others, meanwhile, are annually telling themselves “Maybe next year” just to repeat the cycle.
Here are the teams with the longest-running droughts in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and WNBA:
Which NFL team has the longest Super Bowl drought?
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Twelve NFL teams have never won a Super Bowl, but no team has gone longer without a championship than the Arizona Cardinals.
The organization’s last title came in 1947, when there were only 10 teams in the NFL and the Cardinals were playing in Chicago. They lost the championship the following season and did not reach the championship game for 60 years before falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl LIII.
The Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills are the other franchises that were in existence before the Super Bowl era that have yet to take home the Lombardi Trophy.
Which NBA team has the longest championship drought?
The Sacramento Kings have a historic playoff drought to go along with their historic championship drought.
The organization’s last championship came in 1951, when the team was the Rochester Royals. Since then, the team has used four different names and reached just two conference finals, losing both.
After the Kings, the Atlanta Hawks hold the next-longest championship drought, which extends back to 1958. Among teams that have never won a title, the Phoenix Suns have the longest drought at 54 seasons.
To make matters worse in Sacramento, the Kings set an NBA record for the longest playoff drought in league history. By ending the 2021-22 season with a 30-52 record, the Kings have failed to reach the postseason for 16 consecutive seasons.
Which MLB team has the longest World Series drought?
Cleveland has not won a title since 1948, but it has come close to winning one several times. The team lost the World Series four times over the last 73 seasons, most recently in 2016 when the Cubs snapped their unprecedented 108-year skid.
Three more MLB teams have World Series droughts that extend 50-plus years: the Texas Rangers (61), Milwaukee Brewers (53) and San Diego Padres (53).
Which NHL team has the longest Stanley Cup drought?
One of the NHL’s Original Six organizations has gone over five decades without lifting the Cup.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have played 54 seasons since winning their last championship in the 1966-67 season. It’s been just as long since the team even reached the Stanley Cup Final, losing in five conference finals over that stretch.
With a first-round exit in the 2022 playoffs, the Maple Leafs tied the record for longest Stanley Cup drought in NHL history, matching the New York Rangers’ mark from 1940 to 1994.
After the Maple Leafs, the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks share the second-longest Cup drought at 51 years. Neither team has been crowned the NHL’s champions since entering the league in 1970.
Which WNBA team has the longest championship drought?
The New York Liberty are the only original WNBA team with its original name that has never won a title, giving them a drought of 25 seasons.
The team came close to winning the inaugural WNBA championship in 1997 but fell to the Houston Comets. New York then lost in the Finals three times from 1999 to 2002.
The Las Vegas Aces organization also has never won an WNBA title in its 25-year history. The team was an original WNBA team as the Utah Starzz starting in 1997 before turning into the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2003 and the Aces in 2018. The team has two WNBA Finals appearances in its history: 2008 and 2020.