10 Most Miserable Cities in Sports

For fans from Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Tampa Bay, you have probably been very pleased with the performance of your teams in your city. If you live in one of the cities on this list and a fan of your hometown teams, then we apologize in advance. The factors for our rankings include the following: total championships for franchise, playoff appearances in last 15 years, overall win record, outlook for the future, notable moments (star player leaving, injuries, etc.) and other miscellaneous mishaps that led to these cities being on this list. 

Honorable Mentions:

  • Vancouver
  • Milwaukee
  • Miami

#10: Denver

Total Championships: 8

Playoff Appearances in Last 15 years: 

  • MLB: 07, 09, 17-18 
  • NFL: 05, 11-15 
  • NBA: 05-13, 19-20
  • NHL: 05, 06, 08, 10, 14, 18-20

Overall Win Record: 

  • Colorado Rockies: 2,059-2,314 
  • Denver Broncos: 488-434-10
  • Denver Nuggets: 2,174-2,144
  • Colorado Avalanche: 1,472-1,317-261-139

Outlook: Denver always has teams that make tons of noise but fail to reach that final step or take that next leap to greatness. However, some of the sports have been able to make some encouraging efforts and given Denver fans something to be excited about. The Denver Nuggets became the first team in NBA history to complete two straight 3-1 comebacks in the playoffs. Doing this, they definitely showed Denver fans that the future is bright for the Nuggets and they could possibly be seeing an NBA Finals appearance in the near future. Next is the Colorado Rockies whose last playoff appearance was in 2018 where they were swept in the NLDS series by the Milwaukee Brewers. This season they ended up in the bottom portion of their division just above the Diamondbacks. Despite  the covid circumstances with this season, it was not the season that Rockies fans wanted. The question is, can the Rockies get back their energy that they had in 2018 and make the playoffs once again or will they continue to have aging veterans. The Avalanche have consistently been mediocre since their Stanley Cup Victory in 01 and since Sakic’s retirement. The last team in Denver is the Broncos who unfortunately lost one of their key defenders, Von Miller, before the season officially started which put their defense in a bad place from the get go.The Broncos haven’t been the same since their Super Bowl Victory in Peyton Manning’s last season and this season looks no different as the Broncos are off to a poor showing and are continuing to struggle with injuries.

Notable moments: 

  • Denver Nuggets became the first team in NBA History to complete two 3-1 comebacks in a single NBA Playoff year. 
  • Broncos Super Bowl Champions

Consensus: Denver is the first city to make the top 10 which is largely due to the inconsistency surrounding their teams. The Broncos won a Super Bowl but were bad before then and bad since then, the Rockies haven’t been good and the Nuggets were good with Melo but bad for many years after until the last season or two. There is hope for the Nuggets in future but for Broncos and Rockies, things do not look promising for their future. 

#9: Washington

Total Championships: 6

Playoff Appearances in Last 15 years:

  • NFL: 07, 12, 15, 20
  • NBA: 05-08, 14-15, 17-18
  • NHL: 08-13, 15-20
  • MLB: 12, 14, 16-17, 19

Win Records: 

  • Washington Football Team: 610-612-28
  • Wizards: 2159-2631
  • Capitals: 1670-1455-303-161
  • Nationals: 4003-4183

Outlook: For most of Washington DC sports, we don’t know what the future will hold and if they can recover anytime in the foreseeable future. For the Nationals, they are riding high coming off a World Series victory in 2019, in a crazy turn of events in their first season without future Hall of Famer Bryce Harper. The Nationals didn’t carry that momentum in 2020 but nonetheless had a decent season which was overshadowed by the shortened season and the success of the Dodgers and Braves in the NL. The Wizards are on pace to lose franchise staple Beal in the next couple seasons as they are progressively slowing down and recently lost John Wall in a trade for Russell Westbrook. The Capitals won their first Stanley Cup in 2018 which was a monumental moment for their franchise but repeating in near future doesn’t seem likely. With the Washington Football Team, we don’t even know where to start with all their misery and woes in recent years. 

Notable Moments:

  • Washington Nationals World Series
  • Washington Capitals Stanley Cup
  • Bryce Harper leaves for Philadelphia
  • John Wall Traded to Houston for Russell Westbrook
  • Washington Redskins changes name to Washington Football Team with no true identity

Consensus: Without the Nationals and Capitals recent championships, Washington DC would be a lot higher on this list. Washington has struggled with many losing seasons from the Wizards, Football Team, and Nationals. Older Washington fans have more to be happy about with the rich history in Washington, but the outlook is not bright for Washington fans. 

#8: Cincinnati

Total Championships: 5 

Playoff Appearances in Last 15 years:  

  • MLB: 10, 12-13, 20
  • NFL: 05, 09, 11-15

Win records: 

  •   Reds: 10,630-10,422
  •   Bengals: 363-452-5 

Outlook: Cincinnati has recently been introduced into the MLS family with the birth of FC Cincinnati. Meanwhile, the other two pro teams in the Queen City have reinvented their rosters that many believe will bring success in the process. The Reds have put together a much improved rotation and they also added above average batters in Mike Moustakas and Shogo Akiyama. For their other pro sports team, the Bengals have finally brought new life into the club which many believe will make the Bengals an NFL postseason threat once again in the upcoming years. The main addition on everyone’s radar is #1 overall pick Joe Burrow. Joe Burrow was impressive in the time he played before going down with a season-ending injury. Another key addition is Tee Higgins, a top wide receiver prospect who has already connected rather well with Joe Burrow. Both of Cincinnati’s main teams have received needless makeovers that have finally given Cincinnati sports fans something to look forward to in the future. 

Notable moments: 

  • 2015 Wildcard loss to the Pittsburgh steelers after a 6-0 start to season`
  • 1st Postseason appearance in 7 years ended short in sweep to Braves

Consensus: Similar to Charlotte, Cincinnati only has 2 professional sports teams and both teams are not very good. The Reds have a lot of history and have World Series championships under their belt but since the 90s, neither team has been prevalent. Between the 2 teams, they have not won a playoff game since 1995 which is disappointing to many fans. Cincinnati does have more hope for their future than other teams on this list which puts them in the #8 position. 

#7: Charlotte

Total Championships: 0

Playoff Appearances in Last 15 Years:

  • NBA: 10, 14, 16
  • NFL: 08, 13-15, 17

Overall Win Records:

  • Hornets: 1062-1358
  • Panthers: 200-215-1


The future of the Charlotte Hornets and Carolina Panthers does not look promising. Both teams are in the process of rebuilding after losing their star players with Panthers moving on from Cam Newton and the Hornets parting ways with star Kemba Walker. Both players were staples to their respective franchises and both teams are taking their franchises in new directions. The Panthers have a better chance at rebuilding than the Hornets but both teams still have a losing record in their franchise history which is nothing either team should be proud about. The Panthers do have a Super Bowl appearance under their belt but they haven’t done anything noteworthy since which ultimately led to parting ways with Newton. 

Notable Moments: 

  • Carolina Panthers Shut Down in Super Bowl against Denver Broncos in 2015
  • Luke Kuechly surprise retirement

Consensus: Charlotte gets the 7th spot on this list as neither team has a winning record since becoming franchises. Both teams are on the younger side which works in their favor but not winning any championships in the over 20 years of existence for each and having poor records lands Charlotte in the 7th spot. 

#6: Detroit

Total Championships: 22

Playoff Appearances in Last 15 Years:

  • NFL: 11,14,16
  • MLB: 11-14
  • NHL: 06-17
  • NBA: 05-09, 16, 19

All Time Win Records:

  • NFL: 567-681-33
  • MLB: 9369-9226
  • NHL: 2973-2556-815-175
  • NBA: 2759-2945


Detroit has a lot of history with their sports franchises. The Red Wings were one of the best teams in the 2000s, the Pistons were dominant in the late 80s winning back to back championships and the Tigers had a couple world series appearances. The Lions on the other hand have historically been bad with an exception of a few notable players in franchise history such as Barry Sanders, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson who have managed to salvage some hope for the Lions. Stafford was traded away in the offseason losing one of the best players in franchise history. The Pistons were a dominant team for years but for all 4 of the Detroit teams, their dominance has faded away. Detroit is just awful across the board right now and the outlook for the future is grim. There is no hope for Detroit and I apologize to any fan of a Detroit team. 

Notable Moments:

  • Detroit Lions 1st team in NFL history to go 0-16
  • Matt Stafford traded to Los Angeles Rams

Consensus: Detroit has historically been great, but since 2012, Detroit sports has been completely irrelevant. They’ve managed a couple playoff appearances since then, but Detroit has been absolutely atrocious in all sports in recent years with no hope for the future. All teams are in long rebuilds which have not developed well. Detroit deserves the 6th spot on this list but if it weren’t for the Red Wings, Tigers and Pistons success in the 2000s, we’d have them much higher. 

#5: Phoenix

Total Championships: 1 

Playoff Appearances in Last 15 years: 

  • MLB: 07, 11, 17 
  • NFL: 08-09, 14-15 
  • NBA: 05-08, 10 
  • NHL: 10-12

Overall Win Records:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks: 1,788-1,836 
  • Arizona Cardinals: 561-771-41
  • Phoenix Suns: 2,234-1,996
  • Arizona Coyotes: 1,278-1,413-266-151

Outlook: Phoenix sports does not have many championships or success to its name. However, recently Phoenix sports teams have been adding youth to their teams that many people believe will help Phoenix become a notable sports city to be reckoned with. The Phoenix Suns have one of the most dynamic shooters in the NBA today in Devin Booker and a young versatile big man that many believe has the potential to become an all-star in the future with Deandre Ayton. They’ve also added some key free agents recently that have helped them become more of a united team including Kelly Oubre Jr. and Ricky Rubio. Their young all-stars and free-agent signings appear to be working well together which if they can continue to build on that momentum over the off-season, and into the regular season, they are in a prime position to be a playoff team next season. Next is the Arizona Cardinals whose last notable win was in the 2015-16 playoffs when they had a thrilling OT win over the Packers, and then to be later crushed by the eventual Super Bowl runner-up, Carolina Panthers. With recent changes, they are building their franchise with young talent and are seeking a playoff return. One notable pickup was former number one overall draft pick, Kyler Murray who has been electrifying and connecting well with Pro-Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins who they acquired from the Houston Texans. With the young weapons they’ve added such as Christian Kirk and Deandre Hopkins, they definitely have the potential to build off of the momentum off of this current season and hopefully one day become a real threat as Kyler Murray is growing into a star right under our eyes. Over in the NHL, the Coyotes have been a disappointment for years with one of the lowest attendance teams in the league. 

Notable moments: 

  • Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl Defeat against the Steelers

Consensus: Phoenix quietly is in the number 5 position on this list. Silence fits Arizona athletics in general as not a lot is ever going on. Only 1 championship in their professional sports teams history and for years, the 4 pro teams in Phoenix have not been good by any means. Phoenix has quietly been bad and they quietly deserve to be here. 

#4: Cleveland

Total Championships: 13 

Playoff Appearances in Last 15 years: 

  • MLB: 07, 13, 16-18, 20
  • NFL: 20
  • NBA: 06-10, 15-18 

All Time Win Records: 

  • Indians: 9,568-9,117
  • Browns: 533-509-14 
  • Cavaliers: 1,877-2,183

Outlook: For the city of Cleveland, some sports are bringing positive energy to their fans, others remain a disappointment. In terms of disappointment, you have the Cleveland Cavaliers, a program that had been to the NBA finals for four straight years. Unfortunately, the Cavs have suffered once Lebron James jumped ship. Since Lebron left for LA, the Cavs have been irrelevant, not even a chance of making the playoffs. However, many people used to say the same thing about the Nets and the Magic, but both of those teams have developed some talented players who have made their programs relevant again and even pushed them back into the playoff picture. Now in terms of encouragement and hope, you have the Cleveland Browns have finally made their first playoff appearance in the new millennium. The Browns finished with a winning record and have signs of hope for the foreseeable future. The final team of “The Land” is the Cleveland Indians, who have still done very well since their World Series appearance in 2016. The Indians have made the playoffs every year since then except for 2019. Even during this Covid shortened season they managed an impressive record of 35-25, 8-2 for their last ten games. Even though they were swept by the Yankees in the Wild Card round, one can speculate that the Indians will keep the momentum of their regular season success going and most likely make another postseason appearance in near future.

Notable moments: 

  • Lebron James departure (twice)
  • Cleveland Browns winless season
  • Cleveland Browns Playoff Appearance
  • Cleveland Indians World Series Choke

Consensus: Cleveland would be higher on this list if it were not for Lebron leading the Cavs to an NBA Championship in 2016. If you take that season out of the equation, Cleveland sports have been disappointing over the years. The Browns are one of the few teams to never appear in a Super Bowl and the Indians haven’t won the World Series in over 70 years. 

#3: Buffalo

Total Championships: 0

Playoff Appearances in Last 15 years:

  • NHL: 06-07, 10-11
  • NFL: 17, 19

Win Records: 

  • Sabres: 1794-1534-409-162
  • Bills: 438-486-8

Outlook: For the majority of the 21st century, both the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres have been atrocious. The Sabres are continuing to be one of the worst teams in not only their division but the NHL as a whole and they are only getting worse. However, the Bills have made the playoffs 3 times in the last 4 years and the New England Patriots in their first season without Tom Brady made way for the Bills to be the new leader in the AFC East for years to come. Josh Allen led the Bills to their first division championship since 1995 and will seek to repeat this for the Bills with a potential for a MVP season in the near future.

Notable Moments:

  • 4 Straight Super Bowl Losses
  • 2017 Playoff Appearance (First appearance since 1999)

Consensus: The city of Buffalo earns the #3 position on this list with years of being bottom dwellers and mediocrity. The Buffalo Bills have a lot of hope for the future but fans have suffered through years of being one of the worst teams in the AFC East and the NFL. Buffalo has not been relevant in sports since the 90s.

#2: Atlanta

Total Championships: 4

Playoff Appearances in Last 15 years:

  • NFL: 08,10-12, 16-17
  • MLB: 05, 10, 2012-13, 18-20
  • NBA: 08-17

All-Time Win Records:

  • NFL: 369-473-6
  • MLB: 10732-10684
  • NBA: 2777-2865

Outlook: The lone bright spot in Atlanta sports is the Atlanta Braves. The Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Hawks don’t have much to show for themselves. The Falcons choked in the Super Bowl and ever since then, it’s been all downhill for the Falcons. For the Atlanta Hawks, they’ve made it past the East Semis once in the last 15 years. The Atlanta Braves have made the playoffs in the last few seasons and have built a young core around Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman who are the future and face of Atlanta sports. Atlanta has stars in Julio Jones and Matt Ryan but their playing days are coming to an end soon and the Atlanta Hawks have Trae Young but NBA players are traded far more often than other sports so who knows how long Young will remain a Hawk. The Braves have potential for a World Series run and a potential MVP in Ronald Acuna JR. if he can continue to improve, but until we can see other players develop more, we don’t know the odds of that happening.

Consensus: Atlanta earns the 2nd position for being notorious for being choke artists and blowing leads. The Falcons, Braves, and Hawks all can’t seem to maintain their presence in the playoffs and fall short under pressure. Atlanta also has lost not one, but two hockey teams as they had poor attendance (which we don’t blame fans for not showing up to watch their teams lose). 

#1: Minneapolis

Total Championships: 3

Playoff Appearances in last 15 years: 

  • MLB: 06, 09-10, 17, 19-20
  • NFL: 08-09, 12, 15, 17, 19
  • NBA: 18
  • NHL: 07-08, 13-18, 20

Overall Win Records:

  • Minnesota Twins: 8,939-9,627 
  • Minnesota Vikings: 495-412-11
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: 986-1,514
  • Minnesota Wild: 730-5883-55-149

Outlook: Minnesota sports always has high expectations and sometimes has made achievements but most seasons end in disappointment. This always seems to be the Minnesota Twins who have won the AL Central division title for two straight years, yet swept in the division series both years. The Vikings are not that much different, during their last two playoff appearances, they have won their first game in thrilling fashion with the last second score by Stegon Diggs known as “The Minneapolis Miracle”. However, during both postseasons, their next game ended in a blowout. They have acquired a phenomenal RB in Dalvin Cook, who has been superb this past season and one of the best players in the NFL, but the reoccurring weak spot of the team is their QB situation. While Cousins is a talented QB, he still struggles in prime-time situations and is prone to interceptions. The main reason they have yet to move on is the ridiculous contract they agreed to when they first signed Cousins. If Cousins continues to disappoint they either need to invest a draft pick in a unique QB prospect or look to see if anyone in free agency could bring something to fill the position. Finally, there is the Timberwolves, a team who made their first ever playoff appearance in 2018. Once a team who had two number one draft picks and a multi-time all-star but between locker room drama and general miscommunication on the court, the franchise had no choice but to start over by making some trades and letting some players go. However, it seems like after these changes, it seems like the team the fans wanted could be upon them. They just recently acquired D’Angelo Russel, a former top-5 NBA draft pick and friend of KAT who has become one of the main faces of the program. 

Notable moments: 

  • Minneapolis Miracle
  • Minnesota Timberwolves first playoff appearance in years

Consensus: Minneapolis earns the top spot on this list as they hold the longest active streak for a city with 4 professional sports teams to not win the championship or even have an appearance in their respective championship matchup. The last time a team from Minneapolis made a championship game was the Minnesota Twins World Series victory in 1991. It’s been nearly 30 years of high expectations for their sports teams only to be let down by the end of the season.

1 comment on “10 Most Miserable Cities in Sports

  1. I agree for the most part but would put Detroit higher on this list. The tigers were once good back years ago along with the pistons but nothing since then. Detroit is doomed for years to come!


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