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Home / Articles / Columnists / Sports Feature /  NFL Championship Droughts? South Florida’s Not The Worst
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Thursday, February 8,2018

NFL Championship Droughts? South Florida’s Not The Worst

By Mark Tudino  

One of the tricks to writing a monthly column is to try and make the topic not only interesting (we hope), but also timely, such that whatever is written has at least a passing relevance to the day’s headlines. And the winter columns can be challenging, what with the lack of championship contenders in basketball and hockey we’ve had lately. But early February also means the end of the NFL season, and since TV dictated the game be moved to assist with ratings that means the Super Bowl now sits smack in the middle of winter.

Not to worry for local football fans, since it’s been a long time since the local team has been in the Super Bowl (1984), let along winning it (1973). Which got me thinking about droughts, specifically, how long have NFL communities had to wait to celebrate a title? Some towns can be easily eliminated. For instance, if you live in New England, Pittsburgh, Dallas or Green Bay, you don’t have to call upon town historians to find out the last time your team hoisted the Lombardi trophy (in some cases the wait is so long, there was no Lombardi trophy). But for other communities, who take great pride in being known for something more than abandoned factories, or the home of mass murderers, it’s a big deal. So, who’s waited the longest to hold that championship parade?

Well, to be fair, the list includes expansion teams who haven’t been around as long as others. That means Carolina, Jacksonville, Houston, and relocated teams like Tennessee and Cleveland get a pass for now (for the record, the old Browns last won in 1964 and the old Oilers won an AFL title in 1961). While Miami’s drought is impressive (if you think ineptitude is impressive), other towns easily clear that hurdle. Look no further than your own division, for instance, and see fans of the Jets and Bills have had NO titles since Lyndon Johnson was president. That’s 1968 and 1965, respectively. Some older franchises, who were expansion teams a long time ago, have yet to taste the champagne. Which means Cincinnati and Atlanta (sorry, Falcon fans) are winless. Some teams get close, but can’t close the deal. Kansas City has been a fixture in the playoffs lately, but it’s been since 1969 since they won. Minnesota is the host site for the Super Bowl this year, and may actually be the “home” team, but they haven’t won a NFL title since 1969 (and promptly were soundly beaten by the aforementioned Chiefs). The Chargers recently moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, but have been titleless since 1963. Same is true for two old line NFL teams, the Eagles (1960) and the Lions (1957); for perspective, when Detroit last won a title, we only had 48 states!

But the all-time winner (or loser) for futility belongs to the Cardinals, who’ve displayed a special type of ineptness. The present Arizona Cardinals used to be in St. Louis. Before that, they were in Chicago. Didn’t matter. For the last seventy (70!) years, no fan of the Cardinals has ever experienced the joy of victory. Ever. It was 1947 when they last won it. Truman was president. China was not yet a Communist nation. There was no Berlin Wall, space program and Babe Ruth was still alive.

So, Dol-Fans, next time you complain about no championships, keep in mind this fact: at least most of you folks were alive when they did win.


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