Is Washington, DC now the most cursed sports city in America?

AB in DC

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[Not sure if this is the right forum, mods feel free to move.]

Until last year Cleveland was the undisputed worst city for sports. I think everyone pretty much knows the Indians/Browns/Cavs legacy of failure lasting for decades. But that run ended with the Cavs championship last year.

At the time, Barnwell made the case for San Diego. Since then they've actually lost their football team altogether, so maybe that makes their situation even worse. But they only have a team in one of the four major leagues now, so as a sports city it's now on the same level of places like Jacksonville or Columbus or Oklahoma City -- yeah, they have no championships, but who cares?

Now it's starting to look like Washington really deserves the title. Per the Washington Post:
D.C., Cincinnati, Columbus and Winnipeg are the only North American cities with a team in at least one of the four major professional sports leagues that has failed to produce a conference-championship appearance since 1998
Now consider that Cincinnati only has two major teams, and Columbus and Winnipeg only have one. Washington has four.

D.C.’s four major pro sports have been within one round of the conference finals 15 times since the Capitals’ 1998 run and fallen short every time. During that stretch, D.C. teams have also lost 12 consecutive games with a chance to clinch a spot in the conference finals. D.C.’s teams have gone a combined total of 68 seasons without reaching the “final four.”
I can't think a more pathetic string of failures than that.
 

loshjott

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I've lived here (DC or burbs) long enough to have walked through Georgetown watching the locals celebrate their last Super Bowl win in 1993.

By the numbers, the pathetic string of failure is certainly #1, esp now that the Nats have been around for 10 years and have quickly added their own string of playoff gagging to the mix.

However, other than the football team, my sense is that the community at large doesn't live and die by the local sports teams. The Caps repeated choke jobs are crushing to a small group of die hard fans but it doesn't permeate conversations so much as it would in other places.
 

Kliq

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It is the heartbreak vs futility factor. Although they haven't achieved much playoff success, as of right now Washington's four major teams are all playoff teams and two of them (Nats and Caps) are legit title contenders. How many other cities can claim that?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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It is the heartbreak vs futility factor. Although they haven't achieved much playoff success, as of right now Washington's four major teams are all playoff teams and two of them (Nats and Caps) are legit title contenders. How many other cities can claim that?
Probably Cleveland, as the Indians are still up there. Milwaukee/Green Bay, with the Brewers, who are better than they have been. Both cities have two title contenders, although not 4 playoff teams.
 

B H Kim

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I've lived here (DC or burbs) long enough to have walked through Georgetown watching the locals celebrate their last Super Bowl win in 1993.
It was 1992, and I'm still annoyed at the people who honked their horns all night driving past my apartment.

On the broader issue, I don't know if it's like this in other cities, but the range of allegiances to the local teams varies very widely here in DC. Long-time residents remain mostly loyal to the Redskins. Newer residents and most kids have soured on the team. In Montgomery County, MD, I see far more kids with Ravens jerseys than Redskins jerseys. The Capitals have a relatively small but loyal following, and, except during brief periods of success, virtually no one cares about the Bullets/Wizards. The Nationals are building a decent block of support, but it remains a relatively fair-weather fan base. Which is all to say that, yes, the sports franchises here have badly underperformed, but it doesn't seem like that many people care. After each of the 2003 ALCS and Super Bowl 42 losses, I was devastated. I don't know anyone who was close to that upset about the Capitals and Wizards losses this year.
 

SumnerH

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I've lived here (DC or burbs) long enough to have walked through Georgetown watching the locals celebrate their last Super Bowl win in 1993.

By the numbers, the pathetic string of failure is certainly #1, esp now that the Nats have been around for 10 years and have quickly added their own string of playoff gagging to the mix.

However, other than the football team, my sense is that the community at large doesn't live and die by the local sports teams. The Caps repeated choke jobs are crushing to a small group of die hard fans but it doesn't permeate conversations so much as it would in other places.
Yep, the NFL is the only team here that approaches the level of interest Boston (post Brady/Belichick) has for all 4 major league team sports.

Georgetown and Maryland suck up as much of the basketball oxygen as the Wizards do, the Nats fandom is diluted by being in a non-baseball town that has decades of Orioles fans and a team too young to have kids who grew up with them, and the Caps are ignored even more than you'd expect of a NHL team outside of the Northeast/Detroit/Canada (though they do have a cohort of die-hards, as noted).
 

BigPapiLumber Co.

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The Caps are just reaching ridiculous levels now. Personally, if they had lost in Game 5, I'd have called them "pathetic," and moved on to baseball season. But taking it to Game 7 and blowing it with that weak-ass showing hurt so much more.

As for other sports, I think I'm pretty representative of a good number of transplants. I like a couple of the local teams, but not passionately, and I dislike (pretty passionately) the other local team.

I like the Nats, they're my 2nd favorite team, I'll root hard for them. Until they play the Sox in the World Series, and then I'll treat them like the Mets or whatever other team. (Cute story: About a month ago, my 4 y.o. daughter comes up to me very seriously, takes my face in her hands and looks straight into my eyes, and says "Dada, I like the Nats more than the Red Sox. But don't worry, Dada, I still like the Red Sox." Then later proceeded to hit where it really hurts, saying, "Dada, if I played for the Yankees, you'd be a Yankees fan, wouldn't you?")

I grew up a Celtics fan, but don't follow basketball too closely. Rooted for the Wizards last night based only on the teams' comparative recent level of success. Will now root for the Celtics.

Football: I'm a Giants fan, so there's no way I could ever have rooted for the Redskins. But their ownership and their name make that decision much easier.
 

B H Kim

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I will say that, as someone who's lived in DC for 30 years, having a baseball team that is at least competitive in the regular season but struggles in the post-season is infinitely preferable to having no team at all.
 

Seels

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How's this even a contest. Atlanta.
NBA:Consistently just good enough to lose in the first round of the playoffs
Baseball: Have they done anything since Maddux retired? Their run in the nineties is basically synonymous with playoff choking.
Hockey: I can't be the only one that didn't even know the Thrashers are now the Jets. Were the Thrashers ever a thing?
Football: 28-3.
 

Blue Monkey

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Gotta give a shout out to Minneapolis. Longest championship drought for a city with all 4 major sports leagues (Twins 1991). Seriously, when was the last time a team from MN was even close to winning anything? Vikings in the late 90's? Ouch.

Edit: forgot about the 2009 Vikings in the NFC Championship... still horrible though.
 

54thMA

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My vote still goes to Buffalo.
Seconded.

Buffalo is a professional sports wasteland; no baseball team, their basketball team left town, their hockey team has been to the Stanley Cup finals twice in their forty seven year history, losing both times, their football team lost four strait Super Bowls and currently wears the crown of longest playoff drought of any professional team. They are the only NFL team not to have made the playoffs this century, last making it in 1999.

Just awful.