Special Report

25 Hardest Teams to Root For

Source: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

5. Sacramento Kings
> Championships: 1
> Playoff appearances: 29
> Last playoff appearance: 2006
> Win-loss pct.: 45.6%

No team in basketball has disappointed fans as much as the Sacramento Kings. Once a proud franchise that won a championship in 1951 as the Rochester Royals, the Kings have rarely made it to the playoffs since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976. The Royals moved to Cincinnati, then Kansas City, before settling in California as the Kings in 1985.

The Kings made the playoffs eight straight times starting in 1999, but they never got to the NBA Finals. Since that run, the Kings have missed the playoffs for 13 straight years. It can be tough to stay engaged with a team that struggles so much.

Source: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

4. Arizona Coyotes
> Stanley Cups: 0
> Playoff appearances: 19
> Last playoff appearance: 2012
> Point pct.: 47.9%

Arizona isn’t known for its cold weather nor for its hockey, so it may not be surprising that the Coyotes are a struggling NHL team. The Coyotes have never won a Stanley Cup or even appeared in the finals. Most of the Coyotes’ playoff appearances actually came when the franchise was known as the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets left Canada in 1996. Prior to this year, Arizona had not made the Stanley Cup playoffs since the 2011-12 season. However, thanks to the expansion of teams eligible for the playoffs due to the coronavirus-shortened seasons, the 11th-in-the-West Coyotes, featuring recently acquired star Taylor Hall, made it into the play-in round.

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3. San Diego Padres
> World Series: 0
> Playoff appearances: 5
> Last playoff appearance: 2006
> Win-loss pct.: 46.1%

No team in Major League Baseball loses more frequently than the San Diego Padres. The team’s all-time winning percentage of .461 is the lowest of any franchise. The Padres only have been making the playoffs about once a decade on average. Led by Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, San Diego managed to get to two World Series, but the team played poorly in both. The Padres lost in five games in the 1984 World Series and were swept in the 1998 Fall Classic.

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2. Miami Marlins
> World Series: 2
> Playoff appearances: 2
> Last playoff appearance: 2003
> Win-loss pct.: 46.3%

The Marlins ownership apparently cannot stand prosperity. The team has won the World Series twice — the first time in 1997, just four years after the franchise came into existence. However, then-owner Wayne Huizenga sold or traded many of the players who delivered the first World Series title. In 2003, the Marlins won the championship again, but failing to reach a deal with the city for a new stadium, then-owner Jeffrey Loria also sold off players after 2005 to cut payroll.

New ownership led by former Yankee Derek Jeter has continued the tradition of trading star players such as former National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton.

Source: Masterpress / Getty Images

1. Seattle Mariners
> World Series: 0
> Playoff appearances: 4
> Last playoff appearance: 2001
> Win-loss pct.: 47.0%

Despite having players such as Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, and Ichiro Suzuki in their primes, the Seattle Mariners have made the MLB playoffs just four times. Those four appearances came in a stretch of seven years and ended the year the team won 116 games — the most in any one season in baseball history. Still, the team lost in the American League Championship Series. They have not returned to the postseason in nearly two decades.

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