Another Super Bowl passes without the Browns, the first sports championship of 2013. Playoffs don’t look too promising for the Cavs. Unless Terry Francona works wonders, Cleveland will go into 2014 without a championship.
Fifty years without a championship. Half a century.
As I sat with a few Dortmunders watching the Cavs on Friday night, I thought about that 50 years. So I went through and looked at the history. And the numbers.
From 1965 to 2012, thirty-three cities have seen championship teams in the major four sports. These cities stretch across twenty-two states and D.C., from sea to shining sea. Even Ohio is represented. Some of the cities are no-brainers, others you might not expect. Raleigh, North Carolina, for example, or Uniondale, New York. California leads the states with four champion cities, Texas is right behind with three.
Of the cities, Boston, New York, and LA have the most championships (18, 17, and 16 respectively). Boston and LA rely heavily on their basketball teams. Take away the Celtics and Lakers and those two drop to 8 (Boston) and 5 (LA). The Bay Area is particularly spoiled, San Francisco and Oakland each with 7 championships. The rest of the top ten are Pittsburgh (11), Detroit (9), Chicago (9), Dallas and Green Bay (7 each). Eight cities have only one championship.
Look at championships over the past ten years, and the list is cut to nineteen cities. Among those, Boston leads again with 6 championships. They have also won a championship in each of the four sports in that time. No other city has won in more than two sports.
On the other end, there are eleven cities with teams in the major four that have not seen victory parades since 1964. But of those eleven, only two cities were represented in 1964, and with one team each. San Diego (the Chargers) and Buffalo (the Bills). Most of the other cities are minor markets, often with only one pro team.
So what does all this mean? It means I need to find better things to do on Friday nights. It also means that yes, Cleveland is the longest suffering city in sports.
We’re in a period of change for all three teams. There are lots of questions, and fifty years is a long time. With a little luck, and a well managed team, one of the three will create some magic and relieve the suffering. What I want to see? Being competitive in all three.