With baseball being back, at least in Korea, let’s take a break from the archives, at least for one day.
A lot is made about the lack of a salary cap in MLB as opposed to the NFL and NBA. The popular opinion is that leads to only a handful of MLB teams dominating and the small market clubs fighting for crumbs.
It might surprise you to know that baseball has the most overall parity of the four major professional sports as far as championship winners is concerned. And winning a championship is really what a franchise, and more important, a fanbase, wants. It’s what it’s all about.
In other words, more fanbases have felt that joy in baseball, at one point, than in the other major sports, by far.
The NBA has 30 teams, 11 of which have never won a championship. That’s 37 percent of their teams which have never cut down the nets. It’s almost identical in football.
The NFL has 32 teams, 12 of which have never won a Super Bowl. The Detroit Lions and what used to be the Chicago Cardinals before the eventually ended up in Phoenix both won league championships way back when games were played in black and white. But, as far as winning the Super Bowl, which began in 1967, 38 percent of NFL teams have never given their cities a parade.
The NHL has 31 teams. Of those, 11 have never drank from the Stanley Cup, or 35 percent.
Then there is MLB, that salary-capless league dominated by the big market teams. Or not. Of the 30 major league teams, only six have not won it all. Just 20 percent. That’s a much more balanced league.
Of course, some teams have gone a long time without championships. But a lot of that is because their owners or front offices have decided against building championship-caliber teams. Take a look at the Cubs. They went 116 seasons without winning. That isn’t just bad luck. That’s bad baseballing.
The Buffalo Bills lead the way in overall futility, having never won a championship of any kind in their 60 years of existence.
But right behind Buffalo in ineptitude are the franchises of your Texas Rangers, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Minnesota Vikings.
These four franchises have had to try pretty hard not to be able to win it at least once in sixty seasons. So hats off to their ownership groups for leading the way in futility and not giving a darn. They know the number one secret about running a major league sports franchise:
Parades are expensive.
Here is a list of sports franchise futility.