NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Tuesday or Wednesday night, either the Cleveland Indians or Chicago Cubs will end one of the longest title droughts in professional sports.
For the Indians, they last won a world title in 1948. Cubs fans, meanwhile, have been waiting since 1908.
The nine major pro sports in the New York/New Jersey area haven’t had it quite as bad as the Indians and Cubs, but they’ve all experienced varying degrees of their own droughts. Here is a look at the longest each franchise has seen.
DEVILS: 14 years and counting (2003-present)
Technically, it took the franchise 21 years to win its first title, but some of those years came when the team was known as the Kansas City Scouts and Colorado Rockies. (If you’re wondering about our math here, it’s because obviously the Devils cannot win a title again until 2017 at the earliest.)
YANKEES: 20 years (1903-23)
It took the Yankees — known as the New York Highlanders for their first 10 seasons — two decades to break through with their first World Series title. Since then, they haven’t gone any longer than 18 years between championships (1978-96).
GIANTS: 30 years (1956-1986)
The Giants lost the NFL championship game five out of six years from 1958-63 and then didn’t return to the postseason until Ray Perkins and Phil Simms led them there in 1981.
METS: 31 years and counting (1986-present)
The team has reached the NLCS five times and the World Series twice since their magical run in ’86. Paging the next Bill Buckner ….
ISLANDERS: 34 years and counting (1983-present)
Who would’ve dreamed that after the Islanders enjoyed such immense success in their first dozen years — including four consecutive Stanley Cups — they would be stuck in mediocrity for decades? At least the Isles finally snapped their 23-year streak of not winning a playoff series last season.
NETS: 41 years and counting (1976-present)
The franchise has changed leagues and cities twice since the then-New York Nets won the second of their two ABA titles — back in the Dr. J days. The New Jersey Nets reached the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003, but were overmatched by the Lakers and Spurs, respectively.
KNICKS: 44 years and counting (1973-present)
The last time the Knicks won a title, they had a 27-year-old power forward named Phil Jackson. He’s now the franchise’s 71-year-old president. Things have only gotten worse in recent years, as the Knicks have only advanced past the first round of the playoffs once this millennium.
JETS: 48 years and counting (1968-present)
This is the longest active dry spell in area sports. When a large chunk of your fan base’s fondest memories involve Mark Sanchez, that’s a problem.
RANGERS: 54 years (1940-1994)
What makes this drought especially embarrassing is that for half of it, there were only five other teams in the NHL. It’s no wonder Mark Messier is treated as a god around these parts.
The longest-ever wait for a title among New York and New Jersey teams, however, belongs to the Brooklyn Bridgegrooms/Grooms/Superbas/Robins/Dodgers, who tied for a World Series title in 1890 (yes, tied!) and didn’t win a championship again until 1955 — 65 years later.