Minny Is Skinny on Rings

When the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, they broke a string of 25 years without a champion for the brotherly city of Philadelphia, the longest in North American sports. During that span, the Phils, Eagles, 76ers and Flyers combined for exactly 100 failed titles, stretching back to 1983, when the Sixers won the NBA championship.

With Philly free at last, the new champion of title droughts is Minnesota….or more precisely, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota….which just barely edged out Washington, our nation’s capital, for this rather dubious honor.

In October of 1991, the Twins behind Jack Morris beat the Atlanta Braves, 1-0, in 10 innings on Gene Larkin’s single to win the World Series. For Minnesotans, it doesn’t get any better than that. And it hasn’t, not in more than 17 years.

Since then, the Twins have never even made it back to the World Series. And between them, the area’s three other sports denizens, the Vikings, Timberwolves and Wild, have never won a championship.

 Washington No Shining Light
Minnesota just did nudge out Washington, D.C., for the honor of being the losingest city in America. Just three months after the Twins won the World Series, the Washington Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills, 37-24, to win Super Bowl XXVI in January of 1992 behind MVP Mark Rypien. That was the high water mark for Capital city sports.

The Bullets (now the Wizards) last won the NBA championship in 1978; the Senators, who ironically moved to Minnesota in 1961 and became the Twins, won Washington’s only World Series way back in 1924; the Capitals have never won the Stanley Cup.

All told, Minnesota’s title drought stretches to 59 championships, Washington’s drought to 54.

The San Francisco Bay area takes the booby prize for third place, having last celebrated a title in 1995 when the 49ers beat San Diego, 49-26, in Super Bowl XXIX. Despite the fact the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose triangle has a total of six teams, none of them has won since the 49ers.

A total of 13 US cities/metro areas field teams in all four major sports — baseball, football, basketball and hockey. They’re listed below in order, worst being first, along with the last champion for each city.

Minnesota Twins, 1991
Washington Redskins, 1992
San Francisco 49ers, 1995
Atlanta Braves, 1995
Dallas Stars, 1999
Colorado Avalanche, 2001
Arizona Diamondbacks, 2001
Chicago White Sox, 2005
Miami Heat, 2006
New York Giants, 2008
Detroit Red Wings, 2008
Boston Celtics, 2008
Philadelphia Phillies, 2008


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