Jun. 29, 2020
Where does Liverpool's title-breaking drought rank among recent broken title droughts?
Liverpool has finally won the Premier League. It has been years of suffering and seasons of close finishes but ultimately resulting in failure. The drought is now over and the Liverpool faithful can rejoice. The new decade has already started with a team getting over the hump and eliminating what seemed to be a curse of some kind. Where does Liverpool rank among the other teams that have overcame their choking demons in recent years? Many teams have recently erased years of anguish and we see the same joy and exhilaration from many of them. Let's look at the title droughts that have ended in the past 20 years and evaluate them in comparison to Liverpool.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2003)
A former laughing stock of the NFL. In the late 1990's the Bucs started to form one of the best defenses in the NFL and in by January of 2003 they beat the Raiders to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history. While being a great championship to erase years of suffering, it's not comparable to Liverpool's drought for one primary reason. The NFL experiences turnover while the Premier League has a monopoly for the great teams. Liverpool is in the upper tier of the league and always have been, they couldn't win with many teams that were worthy of doing so.
Conclusion: Liverpool>Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The curse of the Bambino was finally lifted in 2004 after 86 years of suffering and choking. Like Liverpool, they were close in many seasons and should have won the World Series but would get unlucky of way or another. What made this title drought more impressive is that they had to beat the team that had bullied them for years in the American League Championship Series (the New York Yankees) and did so despite trailing 3-0 in the series. Liverpool didn't have as many years of suffering and didn't beat anyone in particular as part of their return to glory.
Chicago White Sox (2005)
The unknown title drought that was broken. The curse of the Bambino overshadows the fact that the White Sox didn't win a World Series from 1917-2005. The White Sox weren't a great before and haven't been a great team since, this is the Leicester City of titles for the team regarded as the second best baseball team in Chicago. The White Sox breaking their curse is great but unknown and didn't carry that same significance as Liverpool winning the Premier League.
Conclusion: Liverpool>Chicago White Sox
New Orleans Saints (2010)
This meant more than just a lot for the people of New Orleans. The initial greatness of the Saints winning was that they like the Buccaneers erased a legacy of being a laughing stock. What made this Super Bowl victory all the more meaningful was it followed hurricane Katrina that devastated the area a few years ago, the victory was a great lift for the city. While the Saints winning was a great story, like the Buccaneers, the NFL has much more turnover than the Premier League (A stat to remind you of this, since 1993 seven clubs have won the Premier League, 15 NFL teams have won a Super Bowl).
Conclusion: Liverpool>New Orleans Saints
San Francisco Giants (2010)
It's easy to forget that the Giants who are one of the more historic franchises in baseball, didn't win a World Series from 1954 until 2010. After ending the drought in 2010, the Giants went on to win in 2012 and 2014, becoming the dynasty of the decade. Liverpool hadn't won in a while like the Giants and are starting the new decade with a title. Could they be the new dynasty? I find both these championships to be oddly similar.
Chicago Blackhawks (2010)
What was the longest drought in hockey also became a dynasty soon after. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 1961 and didn't win again until 2010, afterwards Chicago won the cup again in 2013 and again in 2015. Like the Giants, this drought has all the similarities and like Liverpool both were historic franchises that for years couldn't win.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2016)
This wasn't just a title for a basketball franchise that never won one. This was a title for a city that wasn't won a championship since 1964. The city had suffered through the worst possible defeats and heartbreaks, including their favorite team and favorite player leaving. That same favorite player came back and brought back a title to Cleveland and came back from a 3-1 series deficit in the finals. This championship meant more to more people, what was the worst sports city finally saw hope.
Conclusion: Cleveland Cavaliers>Liverpool
Chicago Cubs (2016)
This is the curse of all curses. The Cubs won the World Series in 1908 and it took them 108 years to finally win again (also overcame a 3-1 deficit in the World Series in the process). Many thought the Cubs would never win and would never be alive to see them do so. The Cubs made the world take notice as everyone realized the significance of the Cubs winning the World Series.
Philadelphia Eagles (2018)
One of the most snake-bitten franchises that came close many times before but were never able to win the Super Bowl. Unlike the Saints and Bucs, the Eagles weren't a laughing stock of the league rather a team that always choked in the big games. The 2017 season was a special one that saw the Eagles beat the team of the decade (New England Patriots) with a backup quarterback. I would say that the level of turnover in the NFL plays into this drought-ending victory but this was still a victory that meant more for the city and the franchise.
Washington Capitals (2018)
The Washington D.C. area had been one that seemed doomed for failure with all four of their sports teams not winning a championship since the football team did in 1992. The Capitals had been particularly a legacy of failure, constantly losing in the second round or third round to teams like the Canadians, Rangers or Penguins. The Capitals finally overcame their demons in 2018 and one of the best players in NHL history finally won a Stanley Cup. I'd put this right there with Liverpool but the Capitals aren't a historic franchise the way Liverpool is as they were an expansion franchise in the 1970's (still a great victory for the team and city).
St. Louis Blues (2019)
Like the Capitals, the Blues were a legacy of failure, constantly in the playoffs but never able to get over the top. The Blues were in last place midway through the season, a coaching change and a goaltender change and the Blues became the hottest team in the NHL. This felt similar to the Capitals and while I'm more intrigued to put this drought end ahead of Liverpool's, the significance of the franchise comes into play once again, also Liverpool had constantly been a team in the top tier of the league.
Washington Nationals (2019)
Like the Capitals, the Nationals were a legacy of failure in a city that was a failure. Their World Series run was one for the ages, as a wild card team they came back in the wild card game and then in the deciding game of the National League Divisional Series and then won all the road games of the World Series. This was an impressive victory that erased the legacy of failure. This one is close to the Liverpool title but doesn't have the same significance (the Capitals winning the year before also took some air out of this championship).
Kansas City Chiefs (2020)
This had two categories of significance and ended two droughts. The first was for one of the NFL's most historic franchises, the founder of the AFL (which became the AFC) founded the Kansas City Chiefs and saw them win the 4th Super Bowl (the story goes that he crowned the term Super Bowl when seeing his daughter playing with a Super Ball). It took the franchise 50 years to be in the big game again and this past season they finally won the Super Bowl in the NFL's 100th season. What makes this championship greater was that it erased the legacy of failure that was attached to it's head coach Andy Reid as well. Andy Reid has been one of the best coaches in the NFL and has been innovating the game more than any other head coach in recent years. Reid always seemed to choke in the playoffs and the losses always seemed to be pinned on him and his clock management. This past season, Reid was able to finally win the Super Bowl and bring the Super Bowl back to Kansas City.
Conclusion: Chiefs>Liverpool (both red go figure)
*Houston Astros (2017)
I'm not considering this a drought ending championship. If you disagree, you can take out your frustration by banging a baseball bat on a garbage can for a few minutes.