A Parramatta Eels fan cries after her side is beaten in the 2009 NRL Grand Final. The Eels have now gone 30 years since their last premiership.
A Parramatta Eels fan cries after her side is beaten in the 2009 NRL Grand Final. The Eels have now gone 30 years since their last premiership. TRACEY NEARMY

Who has the longest active title droughts in sport now?

OKAY, so we all know the Chicago Cubs have joined the list of drought-breakers in 2016 with their amazing come-from-behind World Series victory.

The Cubs, of course, join Leicester City (EPL), the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), the Western Bulldogs (AFL), the Cronulla Sharks (NRL) and the Hurricanes (Super Rugby) to have finally brought joy to long-suffering fans.

When it rains it pours, hey.

But, while they bask in their own glory, spare a thought for the teams which now have the spotlight turned on to them at the elite club level.

 

 

Cleveland Indians fans watch as their team is beaten in game seven of this year's World Series.
Cleveland Indians fans watch as their team is beaten in game seven of this year's World Series. David Dermer

CLEVELAND INDIANS (Baseball)

It was nothing compared to their opponents', but the Indians were just one win away from breaking a World Series drought of their own - 68 years - when the American League champions went 3-1 up against the National League title-holders the Chicago Cubs.

The Indians had also lost their three previous World Series, to the New York Giants in 1954, the Atlanta Braves in 1995, and the Florida Marlins in 1997.

The Indians and Cubs went into this year's series with a combined 176 years without a championship, smashing the previous record of 131 years in 2005 between the Chicago White Sox (88) and the Houston Astros (43).

The Texas Rangers (56 years) and Houston Rockets (55) are next on the list of longest championship win droughts - in their case, from their debut season, since they have never won a World Series.

 

 

Then a star player, Jarryd Hayne  after the Eels lost the 2009 grand final to the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium
Then a star player, Jarryd Hayne after the Eels lost the 2009 grand final to the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium PAUL MILLER

PARRAMATTA EELS (Rugby League)

Not only did Cronulla's NRL grand final win over the Melbourne Storm end the Sharks' 50-premiership year drought, it elevated the Eels to now hold the unwanted crown of having the longest title drought in the competition.

It is now 30 years since Ray Price and Mick Cronin held aloft the Winfield Cup after beating Canterbury 6-4 in the decider to claim the last of the Eels' four titles. They lost the 2009 grand final to the Melbourne Storm, and while the Storm was stripped of its title, it wasn't passed on to Parramatta.

The Eels aren't strangers to premiership droughts, however. After entering the NSWRL in 1947, fans of the Blue and Gold had to wait 34 years for the first grand final win in 1981.

The Gold Coast, in their various incarnations as the Tweed Heads Giants, Seagulls, Chargers and now Titans, have not won a premiership in their 28-year existence, joining the New Zealand Warriors as the only two sides still searching for their first title.

 

 

Melbourne players show their disappointment after their loss in the 2000 AFL Grand Final to Essendon.
Melbourne players show their disappointment after their loss in the 2000 AFL Grand Final to Essendon. Hamish Blair

MELBOURNE DEMONS (Australian Rules)

The Demons were the powerhouse of the then VFL in the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, winning 10 flags in a 25-year period - 1939-1940, 1941, 1948, 1955-57, 1959-60 and 1964.

But then things really dried up, that grand final win over Collingwood in '64 their last. They were runners-up in 1988 and 2000, but never really got close to opponents Hawthorn and Essendon, respectively, in those deciders.

St Kilda isn't too far behind, their one and only premiership coming in 1966. The Saints also hold the unwanted record for the longest wait for a club's first major title in Australian sport - 69 years.

Fremantle fans will be hoping they won't have to wait as long.

 

 

Sharks players after the quarter-final loss to the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium in July.
Sharks players after the quarter-final loss to the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium in July. ROSS SETFORD

SHARKS (Rugby Union)

While the Hurricanes completed the full set for New Zealand teams in the Super Rugby competition, joining the Crusaders, Blues, Chiefs and Highlanders as champions, South African franchises haven't had anywhere near as much success.

The Durban-based Sharks were part of the competition when it formed as Super 12 in 1996 and has since finished runners-up four times - in 1996, 2001, 2007 and, 2012 - and lost four semi-finals - 1997, 1998, 2008, 2014.

The Cape Town-based Stormers and Lions from Johannesburg have also missed out, losing one final each - the latter against the Hurricanes this year - leaving the Pretoria-based Bulls as the only championship-winning side (2007, 2009 and 2010) from Springbok land.

 

 

The Sacramento Kings have not contested the NBA finals since 1951.
The Sacramento Kings have not contested the NBA finals since 1951. Alan Diaz

SACREMENTO KINGS (Basketball)

Like the Cubs, the Cavaliers were forced to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win their championship - their first and Cleveland's first in major professional sports since baseball's Browns in 1964.

The result leaves 12 NBA teams without a championship, including the Phoenix Suns (formed in 1968 - two years before the Cavs) and the LA Clippers (1970).

But, none have yet had to wait to taste the ultimate glory as long as the Sacramento Kings, who have not won the title or even been to the NBA finals since way, way back in 1951 - 65 years ago.

Back then they went by the name the Rochester Royals. Having moved there in 1985, Sacramento is the fifth city to host the franchise since that one and only title - the others being Rochester, Cincinnati, Kansas City, and Omaha.

 

 

Dejected  Stoke City players after an EPL defeat to Tottenham in  2013.
Dejected Stoke City players after an EPL defeat to Tottenham in 2013. Laurence Griffiths

STOKE CITY (Football)

Leicester City had to wait 132 years to claim its first ever top-flight title when it achieved the fairy tale win in the English Premier League, holding off heavyweights such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Stoke City, however, is still searching for its first ever championship in the top-tier of English football after 153 long years.

Founded as the Stoke Ramblers in 1863, it is the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County (1862), and is one of the founding members of the original Football League in 1888.

The club has spent 60 seasons in the top-flight of the English football league system, known as the EPL since 1992, with a best finish of fifth in 1973-74 and 1974-75. But at least the club has enjoyed the feeling of winning titles at lower grades.

 

 

The Arizona Cardinals, including quarterback Kurt Warner, on their way to losing the 2009 Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa, Florida.
The Arizona Cardinals, including quarterback Kurt Warner, on their way to losing the 2009 Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa, Florida. Winslow Townson

ARIZONA CARDINALS (Gridiron)

THE Arizona Cardinals hold the record for the longest active title drought in the NFL. They last won an NFL championship in the 1947 season - still some 20 years prior to the first Super Bowl - and when going by the name the Chicago Cardinals.

The oldest continuously run professional football team in the US, the Cardinals shifted to St Louis in 1960, then to Phoenix in 1988, before settling on the Arizona brand in 1994 and being based in Tempe and playing home games in Glendale - all without further success.

The Cardinals are among 13 teams that have never held aloft the Lombardi Trophy - which goes to the winner of the Super Bowl, the playoff game created following the merger of the NFL and AFL in 1967.

The others are the Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, and Tennessee Titans.

 

 

Somerset players walk forlornly from the field after a defeat to Middlesex earlier this year.
Somerset players walk forlornly from the field after a defeat to Middlesex earlier this year. Harry Trump

SOMERSET (Cricket)

For good measure, one for the cricket fans. Somerset has been a part of the English County Championship since 1882 and became an official first-class team in 1895 - you know, back when Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane was the club's president - and yet is still chasing its first ever title.

It's not through lack of trying however - they did finish runner-up recently in 2001, 2010, 2012 and 2016.

The side has at times included some of the greats - namely Ian Botham, Viv Richards and Martin Crowe - and more recently have been captained by internationals Jamie Cox, Graeme Smith, Justin Langer, Cameron White and Chris Rogers - and still not got the job done.

For all these teams, there's always next year.



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