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Least Successful North American Pro Sports Teams

Posted on: August 6, 2009 3:27 am
Edited on: August 9, 2009 7:57 pm
 
Least Successful North American Pro Sports Teams

NFL -  Saints    (42 seasons) .411 winning%, 6 playoff years, 0 titles
NBA - Clippers  (39 seasons) .362 winning% 7 playoff years, 0 titles
NHL - Coyotes -Jets (29 seasons) .467 win% 16 playoff years, 0 division, conference or league titles
MLB - Nationals -Expos (41 years) .476 win% 1 playoff year, 0 pennants
MLB - Rangers -Senators (49 yrs.) .469 win% 3 playoff years, 0 pennants, 0 LCS appearences

When you look at it from here that .362 winning percentage sticks out like a sore thumb. I would have to say at this time the L.A. Clippers are the worst team of all time. They do have 6 more playoff appearences than the Expos/Nationals, but it is much harder to get into the post season in baseball, especially 20-40 years ago.


NFL Runners Up:
Texans       (7 seasons) .357 winning%, 0 playoffs
Buccaneers (33 seasons) .398 winning%, 10 playoff years, 1 championship
Falcons      (43 seasons) .411 winning%, 9 playoff years, 1 conference championship

The only reason I included a team with a ring is because of that low winning percentage, was surprised to see it is still so low. I also assumed we would cut the Texans a break since they are so young, but they deserved to be noted here.

NBA Runner Up:
Grizzlies (14 seasons) .326 winning%, 3 playoff years, 0 titles

NHL Runners Up:
Kings (41 years) .472 winning%, 23 playoff years, 1 conference and division title
Thrashers (9 years) .436 winning%, 1 playoff year, 1 division title

The thing about the NHL playoff seasons is that the NHL for years sent more than half of its teams to the playoffs. These days it is about the same % as the NBA, but in the early 80's for instance (when the Kings and Jets were playing) 16 of 21 teams went to the playoffs.

MLB Runner Up:
Brewers -Pilots (41 seasons) .474 winning%, 3 playoff years, 1 World Series loss


Here are some answers to the comments below.

Yep the Lions had a good run in the 50's and they had a decent run in the 90's. They went to the playoffs six times in the 90's, the Saints have only been there 6 times in their entire history. 

 I did consider the Lions but as far as "ALL Time" they arent the worst, the Cardinals were closer to the list.

Lions (79 seasons) .462 win%, 14 playoff years, 4 championships
Cardinals (89 years) .413 win%, 7 playoff years, 2 championships + 1 conference champ

The Cubs haven't won a World Series in a hundred years but they do have a .514 winning percentage all time and have been to the playoffs 6 times in the last 25 years, that is much better than the Rangers/Senators and Expos/Nationals.


The confusion about the Senators is because there were two different Washington Senator organizations, the first one became the Twins in 1960, the second one became the Rangers in 1972.




Category: NFL
Comments

Since: Apr 2, 2009
Posted on: August 9, 2009 11:48 am
 

Least Successful North American Pro Sports Teams

The Clippers are just so bad.  They draft worse than any franchise in the NBA, and can't catch a break when they make a good pick.  Don't see Blake Griffin pulling them out of the cellar any time soon. A .362 winning percentage over nearly 40 years is quite the accomplishment.
The Texas Rangers surprised me a bit.  I didn't think they had such a decent win%.  They have never even won a playoff series.  In a division with only 4 other franchises you have got to get it done somehow. 
Best thing about this list for me was not seeing the Detroit Lions.  As a fan I didn't want to see my team under a title like this one. 
Nice work putting all the numbers together.



Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: August 8, 2009 9:21 am
 

Least Successful North American Pro Sports Teams

central-

your right about the Senators becoming the Twins.






Since: Apr 6, 2009
Posted on: August 7, 2009 1:54 am
 

Least Successful North American Pro Sports Teams

Great post a lot of hard work,just wondering where the Cubs fit in know they have been in the playoffs...last championship was a long time ago.



Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: August 6, 2009 7:18 pm
 

Least Successful North American Pro Sports Teams

This is a VERY interesting story.  Nice work on those stats too!  You answered a question I've thought about SEVERAL times over the years -- Thanks!

I too, am surprised about the Lions.  I suspected they would've been right up there.  Thanks for the clarification.  The Rangers - Senators was interesting too.  Think back to the original team that left DC, moved to become the Twins, and then got World Series good in just a couple of years (1965-?).  The re-incarnated Senators were just plain bad.  I remember thinking they were like a AAAA-level org, back when the majors only had 20 teams. 

Geez - now I am doubting the Twins - DC connection.  Anyone want to confirm or refute this for me?

Regardless:   Another good one GoSteelers!



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: August 6, 2009 5:44 pm
 

Least Successful North American Pro Sports Teams

Yeah, that's understandable.  I don't know much about the Lions before the merger - that would explain it.




Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: August 6, 2009 2:52 pm
 

Least Successful North American Pro Sports Teams

The Lions have obviously been one of the worst since the merger but they had a few decent years in the 90's and before the merger were a pretty good franchise with four championships in their first thirty years or so.

 Teams obviously go through ups and downs, this list is for franchises who have been mostly bad since they came into existance. Obviously if this list were just for the last 17 years the Pittsburgh Pirates would be on there but their history before that was good.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: August 6, 2009 2:46 pm
 

Least Successful North American Pro Sports Teams

Thanks. I posted this on a thread on the NFL board and I figured it came out well enough to post it here. I did consider the Lions but as far as "ALL Time" they arent the worst, the Cardinals were closer to the list.

Lions (79 seasons) .462 win%, 14 playoff years, 4 championships
Cardinals (89 years) .413 win%, 7 playoff years, 2 championships + 1 conference champ



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: August 6, 2009 11:36 am
 

Least Successful North American Pro Sports Teams

Nice!  Probably quite a bit of research involved - impressive! But why are the Lions not on the NFL list?  Do you know their stats?


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