Butt Monkey / Sports

For a particularly frustrating/heartbreaking form of this, see Every Year They Fizzle Out.

    open/close all folders 

    Cities in General 
If it gets bad enough, sports cities can become this trope, often called "cursed cities".

  • In two team markets such as New York City and Los Angeles, the younger, less established teams usually end up as the Butt Monkey, living in the shadow of the older, more established, and thus more favored team.
    • In New York City, the Jets to the Giants, the Mets to the Yankees, the Nets to the Knicks, and the Islanders to the Rangers. Time will tell if NYCFC becomes this to the Red Bulls.
    • In Los Angeles, the Chargers to the Rams, the Angels to the Dodgers (despite the fact that the Angels are the most recent of the two to win a World Series), the Clippers to the Lakers, the Ducks to the Kings, and the now-defunct Chivas USA to the Galaxy.
    • In Chicago, while the Cubs are older and somewhat better known than the White Sox, both teams are roughly on equal footing as Butt Monkeys. Both franchises had decades long droughts between World Series wins, with the White Sox ending an 88 year drought when they won it in 2005, and the Cubs breaking their century long drought more recently in 2016. This was actually inverted in football when the older Chicago Cardinals had to move to St. Louis then Arizona due to the popularity of the younger Bears franchise.
    • In the Bay Area, any Oakland team (Raiders and Athletics) to any San Francisco team (49ers and Giants). You can also say this about the sports teams of SF State, San Jose State, and Santa Clara U, which are relatively weak compared to the big athletic programs of Cal (UC Berkeley) and Stanford.
      • If you extend your scope to the entire Northern California region, you can say the same about Sacramento-based teams. The Sacramento Kings, with their terrible draft picks and stupid ownership decisions, are utter crap compared to the star-studded Golden State Warriors. If Sacramento Republic FC does join the MLS, they will be overshadowed by the San Jose Earthquakes.
    • In-state rivalries (intraprovincial rivalries in Canada) also have a side that is considered "weaker" than the other. This is well-pronounced in states with only a few teams.
      • In Florida, the Jaguars to the Dolphins and Buccaneers, the Magic to the Heat, the Rays to the Marlins, UCF compared to Miami and Florida, and the Panthers to the Lightning.
      • In Ohio, the Browns to the Bengals.
      • In Oregon, Oregon State to Oregon.
    • The phenomenon isn't really limited to the US and Canada:
      • England: In Manchester, Manchester City was usually this to Manchester United, but this all changed in 2008 thanks to some rich Arabs; nowadays, this distinction is usually "granted" to Bolton Wanderers or Wigan Athletic. In Merseyside, Everton to Liverpool. In Birmingham, Birmingham City to Aston Villa (though Villa's arguably a Butt Monkey right now). In North London, Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal. In East London, Leyton Orient to West Ham. In West London, any team compared to Chelsea. In Nottingham, Notts County to Nottingham Forest. In Stoke-on-Trent, Port Vale to Stoke City.
      • Scotland: In Glasgow, Rangers have become this compared to Celtic. In Edinburgh, Hibernian is currently this compared to Hearts
      • Spain: In Barcelona, Espanyol to FC Barcelona. In Madrid, any team that is not Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid. In Valencia, Levante to Valencia. In Sevilla, Real Betis to Sevilla.
      • Brazil: In Sao Paulo, Santos is (surprisingly) this compared to Corinthians, Palmeiras, and Sao Paulo FC note . In Rio, Botafogo is this compared to Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, and Fluminense.
      • France: In Paris, any team not named Paris St. Germain.
      • Germany: In Munich, 1860 Munchen to Bayern Munchen. In Post-reunification Berlin, any team not named Hertha BSC (Used to be any team not named Dynamo Berlin during the DDR-Oberliga (East German) years). In Frankfurt, FSV to Eintracht Frankfurt. In Hamburg, St. Pauli to Hamburger SV.
      • Italy: In Turin, Torino aren't that bad, but they're still no Juventus. In Rome, Lazio's slightly less successful than Roma.
      • The Netherlands: In Rotterdam, Sparta Rotterdam to Feyenoord. In Amsterdam, any team that's not Ajax.
      • Portugal: In Lisbon, Sporting (despite the multiple greats they have produced, such as Cristiano Ronaldo) are this to Benfica. In Porto, Boavista to FC Porto.
      • Turkey: In Istanbul, Besikitas lags behind Fenerbahce and Galatasaray.
      • Japan: In Tokyo, the Yakult Swallows to the Yomiuri Giants, and FC Tokyo to Urawa Red Diamonds. In Osaka, the Hanshin Tigers to the Orix Buffaloes, and Cerezo Osaka to Gamba Osaka. In Yokohama, Yokohama FC to Yokohama F. Marinos.
      • China: In Shanghai, Shanghai SIPG to Shanghai Shenhua. In Guangzhou, Guangzhou R&F to Guangzhou Evergrande, and the Long-Lions to the Southern Tigers. In Tianjin, Tianjin Quanjian to Tianjin Teda. In Beijing, Beijing Renhe to Beijing Gouan, and the Beikong Fly Dragons to the Beijing Ducks. In Zhejiang, any basketball team that is not the Bayi Rockets.
      • Mexico: In Mexico City, Cruz Azul (more on them later) is this compared to historical juggernauts America and UNAM (Pumas). In Guadalajara, Atlas is not as strong as Chivas, but the "honor" of being the city's Butt-Monkey is shared between Universidad de Guadalajara (also known as Leones Negros), CD Oro, and Tecos.
      • Russia: In Moscow, Torpedo Moscow have not attained the successes of the capital city's "Big 4": Spartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow, and Dynamo Moscow. Ironically, Lokomotiv were once this until they Took a Level in Badass after the USSR's dissolution.
      • Argentina: In Buenos Aires, all clubs that are not named Boca Juniors or River Plate (Some examples include Velez Sarsfield and San Lorenzo).
      • Australia: In Perth, the Fremantle Dockers to the West Coast Eagles and the Port Adelaide Power to the Adelaide Crows. The Gold Coast Suns (see below) and Greater Western Sydney Giants have not yet been in the competition long enough to compare to the Brisbane Lions and Sydney Swans.
  • Atlanta. Historically, most Southerners have supported college teams better than professional teams, since major league sports is still relatively new for much of the Deep Southnote . However, because of the city's notorious traffic issues, the transient status of many of the metro area's residents, and long stretches of futility by its professional teams (with only one championship in seven triesnote  in nearly 150 seasons of play in the NFL, MLB and NBA), many sportswriters, usually those based up North, often brand Atlanta as "the worst pro sports town in America". Many Atlantans often attempt to refute this claim by stating that the poor ownership of its professional teams is the reason for the city's reputation as a bad sports town.
    • The Falcons have been, for most of their existence, a mediocre team at best to a bad team at worst. It took the team over 4 decades to attain their first consecutive winning seasons. However, under Arthur Blank's ownership, the Falcons' fortunes started to improve. From 2008 to 2012, under general manager Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan, the Falcons were one of the NFL's more solid teams; however, they suffered from a bad case of Every Year They Fizzle Out, going 1-4 in the playoffs in that period. Since their 2012 NFC Championship loss, the Falcons have seemingly entered another Dork Age. 2014 was an off year for the entire NFC South with all four teams finishing the season with a losing record and many sportwriters labeled the 2014 NFC South as "the worst division in pro football", but the Falcons followed up with an inexplicably bad 2015, going 8-8 for the year after starting 5-0. In 2016, quarterback Matt Ryan was named the league's MVP and the Falcons made their first Super Bowl appearance in nearly two decades; however, they end up blowing a 25 point lead to put the Super Bowl in overtime for the first time, where they ultimately fell to the New England Patriots.
    • The Braves have fluctuated between very good and very bad teams throughout their long history. In their first 25 seasons in Atlanta, the Braves suffered through several losing seasons with only a few glimpses of success. Ted Turner bought the team during their post-Hank Aaron Dork Age in order to keep the team in Atlanta and to keep one of his programming staples on his then-fledgling superstation WTCG; Turner also bought the NBA's Hawks for the same reasons. In his early years of ownership, Turner was a very hands-on owner and would often stage outlandish promotions to spur attendance. Also, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium's turf was considered the worst in the majors, being maintained by the city's street crew until the late 1980s. During the 1990s, the Braves became one of the more dominant teams in baseball, winning 14 consecutive divisional championshipsnote ; however, the team won it all only once in 1995.
    • Part of the reason that both the Falcons and Braves were Butt Monkeys for the better part of their first three decades in Atlanta was their divisional alignment. Both teams were placed in their respective conference's West Division, despite Atlanta being an East Coast city, due to more established and financially powerful owners (e.g. Cubs and Cardinals in MLB, and the Cowboys in the NFL) wanting a more lucrative schedule for their teams. The Braves were finally placed in the NL East with the 1994 MLB realignment, while the Falcons got a more favorable divisional alignment with the creation of the NFC South in 2002.
    • The Hawks have been equally inconsistent since their arrival in Atlanta in 1968 (prior to this, they were in St. Louis, where they won a championship in 1958note ). The Hawks' first permanent arena in Atlanta, the Omni Coliseum, despite being innovative for its time, was literally a rust bucket. The arena was built with weathering steel as part of its load bearing structure, with the steel intentionally forming a thin layer of rust to seal itself; however, the engineers who designed the arena failed to account for Altanta's humid climate, meaning the steel had rusted more than intended. The arena was also built on a former railroad yard, and unanticipated settling caused further stress to the structure. The Omni's rapid deterioration led to its subsequent demolition and replacement by Philips Arena in the late 1990s. The Hawks' most recent ex-owners, Atlanta Spirit, had been a circus, with the group getting involved in numerous external and internal lawsuits, selling off the NHL's Thrashers to opportunistic Canadians in 2011, and then-GM Danny Ferry and then-controlling owner Bruce Levenson were found to have made racist comments about Luol Deng, a Sudanese-born player, and the black majority fanbase in Atlanta, respectively in 2012 and 2014; the latter incident occurred not long after the NBA ousted ex-Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his three decades of racist behavior. The final season under Atlanta Spirit was ironically the team's best: they finished atop the Eastern Conference, and got to the Conference Finals for the first time ever. And then were swept by the Cavaliers. The next year, the Hawks again had a good season, won a playoff series, only for the Cavs to beat them 4-0 again, only one round earlier. (Add another sweep in 2009, and it seems Atlanta just can't handle LeBron James.) Then 2017 had the Hawks falling in round 1 to the same Washington Wizards they beat two years prior...
    • The city lost not one, but two NHL teams in the league's modern era, with both teams relocated to Canada. Both teams struggled with low attendance, minimal local media exposure and unstable ownership during their tenures in Atlanta.
      • The Flames were established in 1972 and moved to Calgary in 1980. The Flames were a modest success on the ice, making the playoffs in 6 out of their 8 seasons in Atlanta; however, they never won a playoff series. The existence of the World Hockey Associationnote  as well as the bottoming out of Atlanta's real estate market in the 1970s caused then-owner Tom Cousins to bleed money on the Flames, forcing him to sell the team to Nelson Skalbania's Calgary-based consortium to avoid bankruptcy.note 
      • The Thrashers first played in 1999 and moved to Winnipeg in 2011, becoming the Replacement Goldfish Jets. The Thrashers experienced the typical growing pains of an expansion franchise prior to the 2004-05 strike; however, the team were an absolute disaster under Atlanta Spirit's ownership, regularly finishing in the bottom of the league and only making the playoffs once. In their only playoff appearance in 2007, the Thrashers were immediately swept by the New York Rangers. What makes the disaster of Atlanta Spirit's ownership worse was the fact that the group wanted absolutely nothing to do with the Thrashers; they only cared about the NBA's Hawks. The group spent five years in a protracted internal legal dispute, which prevented the group from putting the Thrashers up for sale in the meantime. Aside from Atlanta Spirit's aforementioned dysfunction, True North Sports and Entertainment's desire to bring the NHL back to Winnipeg and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's staunch insistence to keep the Coyotes, the original Winnipeg Jets, in Arizona basically drove the Thrashers out of Atlanta. Permanently cementing the Thrashers' Butt Monkey status, Atlanta Spirit considered them an Old Shame, erasing any and all reminders of the team, and many hockey purists, especially Winnipeggers, claim that the NHL leaving Atlanta and returning to Winnipeg was the one of the few good decisions made by Bettman during his tenure as commissioner. However, many Thrashers fans argue that the wrong team was moved to Winnipeg, since the league had two years to keep the Coyotes in Arizona, yet they allowed the Thrashers to be sold and moved as soon as legally possible. Many Thrashers fans also believe that the NHL leaving Atlanta for Winnipeg will hurt the league in the long haul, especially if the Canadian dollar trades far too below its US counterpart. When Atlanta Spirit sold the Hawks and the operating rights to Philips Arena in 2015, several Thrashers fans believed that the group should've sold all three assets at once.
      • If the NHL is ever crazy, or desperate, enough to return to Atlanta for a third shot, a prospective owner would likely have to build their own arena in the suburbs as the new Hawks ownership plan to purge the last reminder of the Thrashers' existence by completely rebuilding the interior of Philips Arena to optimize its sightlines for basketball, leaving a subpar configuration for ice hockey, similar to the Islanders' Barclays Center or the Coyotes' former home of America West Arenanote , assuming Philips Arena will even have ice refrigeration equipment after renovations. Despite the failures of two NHL clubs, Atlanta had more successful teams in minor leagues. The International Hockey League's Knights were a successful team in their 4 years in Atlanta in the early 90s, winning the league's championship in their sophomore season in 1994; however, the team left after the 1995-96 season because then-Hawks owner Ted Turner wanted bring the NHL back to Atlanta, having missed the opportunity to keep the Flames in Atlanta back in the 70s, and the Omni Coliseum, the only large hockey-ready arena in Metro Atlanta at the time, would have to be demolished and replaced by Philips Arena, since the NHL would not allow Turner to use the Omni even as a temporary arena due to its above-mentioned structural issues. Like their NHL predecessor and successor, the Knights relocated to Canada, in this case to Quebec City to fill the void left by the Nordiques' departure; however, the team ultimately folded after only two seasons in Quebec. The ECHL's Gladiators, based in the Gwinnett County suburb of Duluth, has been fairly successful both on and off the ice since their inception in 2003; however, the Gladiators have missed the Kelly Cup playoffs in their four most recent seasons.
    • In a case of Every Year They Fizzle Out, the WNBA's Dream are a top competitive team in their division that has great players and always made to the Playoffs as of 2013. They've won three conference championships and made it to the Finals (2010, 2011, 2013), only to get swept by the opposing team; two of them coming from the same team, the Minnesota Lynx (2011, 2013), which became a dynasty with their 2015 Finals win, while the Dream are one Finals loss away from tying with the New York Liberty (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002) as the Buffalo Bills of women's basketball.
    • The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are a well known and well respected intercollegiate athletics program in the NCAA, thus averting the trope. Atlanta's other major public university, Georgia State, not so much. The Panthers football program, although young and inexperienced, is The Chew Toy of the FBS. In their first two years as an FBS program, the team only recorded one win. Not helping matters is that they share an initialism with their in-state rival Georgia Southern, with sports writers often confusing the two schools.
    • When Atlanta made its bid for the 1996 Olympics, it was considered a long shot, and the city certainly surprised the international community when it beat out sentimental favorite Athens in hosting the Centennial games. While the city ultimately benefited from hosting the Olympics, the IOC and European NOCs criticized Atlanta for its reliance on commercialization in order to turn a modest profit as well as some logistical problems. The Games were also marred by the bombing at Centennial Olympic Park.
  • Ironically enough, Berlin (West Berlin before reunification) became a cursed city in German football during the Bundesliga Era (particularly in comparison to the likes of Munich, Hamburg, and the Ruhr area). The best team in West Berlin, Hertha BSC, never won a Bundesliga title and have often been overshadowed by the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and Schalke FC. In contrast, Dynamo Berlin was a force (albeit a controversial one) in East German football, but reunification and scandals turned them into a relatively obscure side playing in the regional leagues. Fellow East German side Union Berlin became well known for their rabid, left-wing, fanbase, but they were a yo-yo club in East German football and a relatively unsuccessful side after the Berlin Wall came down.
    • The biggest shit-show in Berlin football was none other than Tasmania 1900 Berlin, who were only promoted to the Bundesliga after the Bundesliga wanted a team in Berlin to replace Hertha BSC (who were relegated due to salary violations). Tasmania quickly made history...by being the worst team ever to play in the Bundesliga. Their Wikipedia page shows a few records (e.g. only team with no away wins, most defeats in a season) which attest to their extreme futility.
  • Buffalo. Home to two tortured teams, and was to another that begun to stink once leaving town (see the Clippers in the NBA folder):
    • If you asked a football fan what the Buffalo Bills are most famous for, four common answers will likely be:
      1. They were the first team to lose four consecutive Super Bowls.
      2. They're the team whom the Tennessee Titans beat in the "Music City Miracle".
      3. They're the team that the other teams in the AFC East slaughter for two easy wins.
      4. In the final years of Ralph Wilson's life, they were one of the most rumored candidates for relocation to either Los Angeles, Toronto or London; however, new owner Terry Pegula, who also owns the NHL's Sabres, intends on keeping the Bills in Buffalo for the long term; one of Pegula's first actions as the new Bills owner was to end regular season games in Toronto.
    • The NHL's Sabres usually choke early in the playoffs and lost two finals in mysterious circumstances, in 1975 (where one game was played amidst fog and with a bat invading the rink) and 1999 (nicknamed "No-Goal Game" in Buffalo, as they thought the triple-overtime title goal for Dallas was illegal).
    • For a long time, Buffalo's only sports comfort was baseball, where the Buffalo Bisons [sic] of the International League (a AAA-level Minor League, i.e. just below top-level; they're currently an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays) were frequent contenders and won three IL Championships in seven years (1997, 1998,note  and 2004). However, even that is gone; they haven't even qualified for the postseason since 2005.
  • Cleveland, Cleveland, Cleveland. There's the Indians ('97 World Series, '99 ALDS, '07 ALCS), the Cavaliers (The Shot, The "Decision"/Betrayal), and especially the Browns (let's see, there's Red Right 88, The Drive, The Fumble, The Move...) In the years between the 1964 Browns and 2015-16 Cavaliers, the city had zero major league championships to celebratenote . There's a reason ESPN called it the most tortured sports city in America. A common joke is to take a random city in Ohio and ask why they don't have a pro football team (or basketball team, or baseball team), then answer "because then Cleveland would want one too." Although Cincinnati DOES have baseball and football teams, and Columbus (the state's capital) has hockey and soccer teams.
    • The Cavaliers just barely managed to avoid officially becoming the worst franchise in professional sports history... by stopping one game short of the 27 consecutive losses needed to go on to full Epic Fail glory. Instead, they get to share the 26-game record with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Bucs were a brand new expansion team with few players who were actually NFL-worthy when they had that losing streak. The Cavs, who'd been in the NBA for 40 years during their streak, have no such excuse. Either way, the 2010-11 team still holds the worst losing streak in NBA history, a record it took from the 1981 through 1983 Cavaliers. Yes, two seasons. Those '81-'83 Cavaliers were owned by a man so incompetent the NBA passed a rule to prevent other owners from constantly taking advantage of him during trades.
      • LeBron James got the Cavaliers to two NBA Finals, both times with the adversary clinching the title in Ohio (that's right: just to twist the knife onto the perennially tortured Cleveland Sports Fanbase, they had to witness the Larry O'Brien Trophy presented in the Quicken Loans Arena to their opponents.... TWICE!).
      • The Spurs swept the Cavs in 2007. (Then again, LeBron's best teammates were Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Drew Gooden, and Anderson Varejão. Winning a title would have been astronomically hard, particularly against the Duncan-Ginóbili-Parker triumvirate.)
      • In 2015 LeBron and the Cavs managed a 2-1 lead on the Golden State Warriors despite before losing the following three games to ensure the Cleveland curse lasted one year longer. (To be fair, LeBron's best co-stars were one by one taken down by injury. Likewise, the Cavs were worn down physically due to the fact that the Dubs had a MUCH deeper roster - in fact, the Finals MVP would turn out to be the Warriors' Andre Iguodala, who started zero games in the regular season! - and that LeBron was given a CRAPTON of minutes and had to single-handedly carry the team; mind you, he still played extremely well, scoring 40+ points in multiple games. Then again, when your best healthy teammates are JR Smith, Timofey Mozgov, and Tristan Thompson, you'd have to play extra hard just so your team can have a chance in the Finals.)
      • 2016 had LeBron reaching his sixth straight final, steamrolling the East before a rematch with the heavily favored Warriors, who had finished a best-in-NBA-history 73-9 that season. Golden State managed to open 3-1 and everyone felt things hadn't changed... only for the Cavs to win three straight and become the first team ever to overcome a 1-3 deficit in the Finals, with their victory over the Warriors in Game 7, highlighted by a key LeBron defensive play that came to be known simply as "The Block", finally ending Cleveland's 52-year professional sports championship drought.
    • And adding further insult to the Browns' injury: Because they're in the same division (AFC North), every year they have to travel to the Cincinnati Bengals, who play in Paul Brown Stadium (Yes, the namesake of the Cleveland team has his name on the stadium of a cross-state division rival), and the Baltimore Ravens—the original Browns franchise that packed up and moved in 1996, Took a Level in Badass and went on to win two Super Bowls, while the only way the Browns can ever go to the Super Bowl is to buy tickets. And, just to pile it on, their final divisional opponent is the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that's won the Super Bowl six times and is based in a city with which Cleveland (as a city) has a typical neighborly rivalry (they're about 100 miles apart and their spheres of influence collide somewhere between Akron and Youngstown).
      • Mike Polk's memetic Factory of Sadness rant (warning for NSFW language) pretty succinctly describes the general state of the Browns and their long-suffering fans. While recorded in 2011, it's still perfectly applicable to the team as of 2017.
      • Since their 1999 relaunch, the Browns started 26(!) quarterbacks (as of the 2016 season). In contrast, the Green Bay Packers (Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien), the New England Patriots (Drew Bledsoe, Tom Brady, Matt Cassel, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett), and the New York Giants (Kent Graham, Kerry Collins, Jesse Palmer, Kurt Warner, Eli Manning) each started five quarterbacks during the same period. Cleveland-based advertising agency Brokaw displayed a mannequin wearing a Browns jersey listing all of their quarterbacks since 1999, with their names placed on duct tape. The mannequin was taken down and retired following the Cavs' victory in the 2016 NBA Finals.
    • The ultimate Butt-Monkey in baseball has to be the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. Their owners had bought the St. Louis Browns but kept ownership of the Spiders (something illegal today) and transferred most of the good players from Cleveland to the newly-renamed St. Louis Perfectos (now known as the Cardinals). They only won 20 games out of 154—35 games behind the next-to-last place Washington Senators, giving them a winning percentage of .130, baseball's worst and one of two seasons below .200 (the 1890 Pittsburgh Pirates being the other). Maybe the saddest part about the Spiders is that they actually were a decent team before this travesty, being home to Hall of Famer and pitching award namesake Cy Young and even winning the World Series in 1895, only for them to fold a few years later because their own owners pillaged their roster of all its decent players and left the team as an unwatchable husknote .
    • A few weeks before the Cavs won the 2016 NBA championship, the Lake Erie Monsters (since renamed the Cleveland Monsters), a hockey team that also plays in the Quicken Loans Arena and is owned by Dan Gilbert, won the second-tier American Hockey League - coincidentally, a title Cleveland also hadn't won since 1964. The Monsters were minor league (specifically, they're the AHL affiliate of Ohio's NHL team, the Columbus Blue Jackets), but the fact the Quicken Loans Arena was sold out (a crowd with just 1,000 people less than the NBA Finals one day before) shows that Cleveland people really wanted to see a local team win a title.
    • In 2016, the Indians made it to the World Series for the first time since 1997, giving Cleveland the potential for two championships in the same year. After racing out to a 3-1 series lead, they then proceeded to lose the final three games of the series just to remind fans that this is Cleveland. To add insult to injury, their opponent was the equally Chew Toy Chicago Cubs, who at the time had the longest World Series title droughtnote . With the Cubs winning the series, the (dis)honor of holding the longest title drought now shifts to the Indiansnote .
  • Gold Coast. Despite Queensland being a state for rugby, the Gold Coast Titans have had only two winning seasons, their last in 2010. Meanwhile, the Gold Coast Suns have sunk into mediocrity after some promising early seasons. However, it's nothing compared to their respective predecessors; the Gold Coast Chargers (a.k.a. the Giants, the Seagulls and the Gladiators) were the city's original rugby team, with their most successful season having a point difference of -28 and their worst having a difference of -365. In the AFL, the Brisbane Bears (despite the name) started there, and were consistently on or near the bottom of the ladder until they actually became based in Brisbane (and subsequently merged with Fitzroy to become the Brisbane Lions). Multiple teams have folded, most abysmal: The Rollers and the Blaze, the (admittedly successful if short-lived) Cougars, the Blue Tongues (after moving from Brisbane), Gold Coast United, which had virtually no attendance from fans (they were replaced by the Western Sydney Wanderers, who became a success story for the expansion of the A-League).
    • In fact, in some sports, the entire state of Queensland can be considered this. The Queensland state Cricket team started playing in the Sheffield Shield in 1926/27 and didn't win it until 1994/95, while the Brisbane Bears/Lions, apart from the early 2000s when they won three premierships in a row in 2001-3 (thanks in part to a cash injection from the league) usually finished in the lower half of the ladder and struggled to maintain players (many of whom would rather return to the southern states). There is also a Running Gag about Queensland players not actually being from Queensland, as seen here.
  • The Kansai region of Japan (which contains Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe) is quite the tortured region in both Soccer and Baseball, with the exception of J.League powerhouse Gamba Osaka and (formerly) Nippon Professional Baseball dark-horses Orix BlueWave.
    • While Gamba Osaka have been relatively successful, their crosstown rivals Cerezo Osaka haven't really made waves in Japanese football, having won no J.League titles (in stark comparison to Gamba's eight championships). This is despite having boasted two of Japan's most famous Footballers: Shinji Kagawa and Hiroshi Kiyotake
    • Vissel Kobe's just as bad as Cerezo Osaka, if not worse; they've been nothing more than mid-table whenever they appear in the J.League's top division.
    • Cerezo and Vissel have nothing on Kyoto Sanga, who peaked in 2002 with a Emperor's Cup win and have fallen to Second-division obscurity since. Not helping is the fact that young stars like Park Ji-Sung (who found fame with Manchester United) and Daisuke Matsui left soon after the Emperor's Cup triumph.
    • In Japanese Baseball, the Hanshin Tigers are considered to be perennial underachievers, despite their devoted fanbase in Osaka and rivalry with the infinitely more successful Yomiuri (Tokyo) Giants. They did have their shining moment during their Japan Series victory in 1985...which was then followed by 18 straight seasons of mediocrity, mostly being either dead-last or next-to-last in the league. Currently, they have the least Japan Series titles among active Japanese Baseball teams, an "honor" they share with the relatively young Rakuten Eagles note .
    • The neighboring Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes (now called the Orix Buffaloes after merging with the Orix BlueWave) were also this during their 56-year history; from their founding in 1949 to their merger in 2005, the Buffaloes had never won a single Japan Series title. Even the Buffaloes' merger with the more successful BlueWave hasn't changed their Butt-Monkey status; the newly-christened "Orix Buffaloes" have not reached the Japan Series since the merger note . Seems like the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes' ineptitude, rather than the Orix BlueWave's relative success, may have carried over to the successor team.note 
  • Kansas City, as detailed here. As the article linked states, "Cleveland has earned national renown for being Heartbreak City. By comparison, the plight of the Kansas City sports fan is almost ignored. We suffer in silence. But man, have we suffered." Like Seattle, their soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, is one of the best of the MLS. But in the Big Four...
    • The Royals spent nearly 30 years without qualifying for the playoffs, only returning with a wild card berth in 2014.
      • The Athletics' stint in Kansas City (1955-67) was one of most futile stretches in MLB history. They finished all 13 seasons below .500, and in the 50s they essentially functioned as a farm team for the New York Yankees.
      • The Royals' AL Wild Card win broke the longest streak without playoff wins among cities with at least two teams: 20 years (every since a Chiefs win in 1994), 15 years longer than second place San Diego. Then the Royals made it back to the World Series...which they lost in game 7. At home. However, just one year later, the Royals managed to seal the deal in 5 games, 30 years after their previous championship. 2016 had them miss the postseason despite an epic comeback and having one game remaining just to remember it's never easy in KC.
    • The Chiefs won a Super Bowl in 1970 and nothing else since. Apart from a tradition of getting trampled in the playoffs, the Chiefs have also had a notable lack of successful quarterbacks since Len Dawson's retirement. The aforementioned 1994 win was led by Joe Montana, who at the time, was in the twilight years of his career,note  and the Chiefs only won again in the playoffs again in 2015 (also in a Wild Card berth).
    • The indoor teams left town: the NHL's Scouts moved first to Colorado, then to New Jersey and the NBA's Kings went to Sacramento.
      • The Scouts' awful records in their two seasons note  were one of the major reasons that the 1974 NHL expansion was widely seen as having been a mistake.note  Unsurprisingly, the Devils tend to not mention their past as the Scouts (or the Rockies, for that matter).
      • The Kansas City / Kansas City-Omaha Kings were actually decent in their first few years, even making the Western Conference finals. However, a series of bad luck incidents prevented the team from building on its success: the Cleveland Cavaliers lured their best players away and the general manager was fired in a bizarre scandal in which he was found to be reusing marked postage stamps. The roof caved in on the Kings — both figuratively and literally; part of the roof fell in at the Kemper Arena because of a severe storm, forcing the team to play most of the 1979–80 season at a much smaller one. The ownership group sold the team to Sacramento interests for just $11 million, probably relieved to get rid of them.
      • Adding further insult to the indoor plight, Kansas City has a state-of-the-art arena ready, but both leagues are unwilling to expand, and trying to relocate teams also didn't work.
  • Las Vegas. Until the 2010s, the city had never been seriously considered as a home for a major professional team, despite having been the largest metro area, as of the 2010 Census, in the United States without one. In June 2016, the NHL officially awarded the city its first major team, with the expansion Golden Knights, and in March 2017, the NFL approved the move of the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas.
    • Las Vegas' economy is largely dependent on tourism and gambling; many of Las Vegas' hospitality and entertainment employees work night and weekend shifts, which would potentially result in low attendance figures for recurring sporting events. Any pro team would also have to compete with the numerous entertainment options along the Vegas strip. Legalized sports betting in Nevada is especially contentious among the major leagues, particularly the NFL, who flat out refuses to allow even tourism ads during the Super Bowl.
    • Las Vegas' media market is also rather small at 40th in the United States.note  When Golden Knights begin play in 2017, they will be the NHL's 6th smallest market, only ahead of Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Buffalo and Winnipeg, and when the Raiders move to Las Vegas by 2020, they will be in the NFL's 5th smallest market, only ahead of Jacksonville, New Orleans, Buffalo, and Green Baynote .
    • Prior to T-Mobile Arena's opening in April 2016, the metropolitan area lacked any venues adequate enough to host a professional team full time due to the available venues' age and design. UNLV's Sam Boyd Stadium was built in the early 1970s, only seats 40,000 when expanded, and lacks sufficient premium seating for an NFL team to be profitable; also, the stadium is built open air in the desert. Before T-Mobile Arena's opening, the largest indoor arena by seating capacity was the Thomas and Mack Center, which was built in the early 1980s and older than virtually every current NBA and NHL arena. Cashman Field is one of the oldest ballparks in Triple-A Baseball and is connected to a convention center.
    • In March 2017, the Oakland Raiders received near-unanimous approval to move to Las Vegasnote . However, Las Vegas does not have a good history with alternative pro football leagues. During the Canadian Football League's brief American experiment in the early 90s, the Las Vegas Posse were an absolute fiasco both on the field and in the front office during their only year of existence. Las Vegas later had a team, the Outlaws, in the equally short-lived XFL, a league that was a joke in and of itself. In 2009, Vegas got a third attempt at a pro football team, the Locos of the United Football League. Despite being the UFL's most successful team on the field, the Locos struggled at the box office; in their final home game of their existence, the Locos only drew an attendance of 601. In 2015, Las Vegas had yet another franchise that was also called the Outlaws, this time in the Arena Football League. Like the previous football teams, they too had box office issues and ceased operations right after the regular season ended, despite having qualified for the playoffs.
    • In June 2016, the NHL officially awarded Las Vegas the 31st team in the league, since baptized Vegas Golden Knights. Cue the usual complaints from Canadians and hockey purists on how "hockey doesn't belong in the desert" and "[Quebec City, Saskatoon, or another Canadian city] should've gotten a team first". Just shortly after being awarded a team, owner Bill Foley has already aired out his grievances on trademark issues with his preferred choice of the "Black Knights."note  Cue fans making mock names like "Las Vegas Why-Are-We-Here-Again." (the press was not as negative, if only because reporters could half-jokingly say "make me cover this team!"). When they finally revealed the aforementioned Golden Knights name, logos and colors, the presentation was marred with technical difficulties and a rather embarrassing showcase reveal, inviting even more mockery from both the press and hockey fans alike. Even Vegas-based fans were shaking their heads in disbelief in how baffling the reveal was.
  • Miami. The residents of the South Florida metropolitan area are infamous for their embarrassing indifference to their teams, only being attracted to "big name" star players and showing up when their teams win games consistently rather than showing actual dedication to their teams regardless of win-loss records; it also doesn't help that three of their four major league teams are still relatively new to their respective leagues (with the NBA's Heat founded in 1988 and both the NHL's Panthers and MLB's Marlins founded in 1993). Another major reason is that the city itself has so many attractions outside of sports (such as the bustling nightlife, the beaches, etc.) that it's hard to even build up an actual dedicated fanbase for its pro teams, making it the East Coast equivalent of Las Vegas only without the gambling trappings. While the Heat has been a dominant team of late, the other three franchises are not so lucky, and two of them are often considered The Chew Toy of their respective leagues.
    • While the Dolphins hold the distinction of being the only team to achieve a perfect season (won the league's championship with no losses or ties in the regular season) in the Super Bowl era, the team hasn't been relevant since 2000, with Dan Marino's retirement and the Patriots' near-perennial dominance of the AFC East.
    • Fans of the Miami (formerly Florida) Marlins. Whenever their team starts to look like they'll be good for years to come, ownership calls for the best players to be traded away. The champagne-soaked carpets hadn't even dried after the Marlins won the 1997 World Series before the team was stripped for parts, while the second fire sale after the 2003 World Series win at least happened over 2 years. It's beginning to reach the point where the fans have stopped caring, when they're not infuriated that the city of Miami sunk nearly 3/4 of a billion dollars into a new stadium for the Fish on the (now-broken) promise of fielding a competitive team. Owner Jeffrey Loria already had a bad reputation given what he did to the Montreal Expos (see the MLB folder for more), but his tenure with the Marlins often results in articles calling Loria the worst owner in either the MLB or all sports.
    • The Florida Panthers actually started off pretty strong by expansion team standards, reaching the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals in only their third year of existence. Since then, however, the team has been an also ran, regularly finishing at or near the bottom in both the standings and in attendance. In over 20 years, the Panthers only qualified for the playoffs five times - only winning rounds in the Cinderella run, and the third and fourth were separated by a record 12 years. The Panthers, like any other struggling Sun Belt team, are often rumored to be a prime candidate for relocation. Still, the 2015-16 season went particularly well, with the Panthers qualifying for the fifth time and winning the second division title, and the fact most players are young makes fans optimistic about a consistent team for a change... before 2016-17 had them crashing again.
    • In 1997, Miami was one of the first two cities to be awarded a Major League Soccer expansion franchise. In 2002, due to low ticket sales and poor finances, it became one of the first two cities (along with Tampa) to lose its franchise. A decade later, English soccer superstar David Beckham is trying to bring MLS back to Miami; however, the league won't fully grant him a team until a stadium is built.
    • The Hurricanes from UMiami always reveal many talents, but never won the March Madness and haven't gotten a football title since 2001.
  • In a metropolitan area case, Minneapolis-St. Paul, aside from the WNBA's Lynx.
    • NFL: The Vikings have the same 0-4 Super Bowl record of the Bills. The crushing playoff defeats and boneheaded off-field moments (building the Cowboys dynasty through a trade, the Love Boat Scandal, the Metrodome ceiling collapse) make it even more painful.
    • MLB: The Twins have the most recent Minnesota title in the Big Four... in 1991. And afterwards they spent eleven years off the postseason, and 2002 was the only return to the playoffs out of six where they won a round. In 2001, the Twins were one of two teams, the other being the then-league owned Montreal Expos, slated for contraction; however, the Minnesota state government forced the Twins to fulfill their obligations with the Metrodome, delaying contraction to 2006 at the earliest. However, contraction never came to fruition, as the Expos moved to Washington, DC to became the Nationals in 2005 while the Twins remained in Minnesota, eventually getting a new ballpark in 2010.
    • NBA: After the Lakers moved to Los Angeles, nearly 40 years later basketball returned with the Timberwolves in 1989. The team's only good seasons were from 1996 to 2004 with Kevin Garnett, who only pushed them as far as the division finals. And after Garnett left in 2007, the T-Wolves have been in the cellar, even with Kevin Love becoming an all-star. Garnett came back in 2015, long past his prime, to serve as mentor for a promising young roster anchored by back-to-back Rookies of the Year Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
    • NHL: Despite the state's love for hockey, both teams could be considered Minnesota Nice, as in fun but harmless. The North Stars did manage two Cinderella runs to the finals (losing 1981 to the Islanders dynasty and 1991 to Mario Lemieux's Penguins) - until poor attendance, a decaying arena with no deals for a new one, and owner Norm Green's law problems led him to move the team to Texas in 1993. And the Dallas Stars managed to win The Stanley Cup in 1999, ensuring Green remains reviled in Minnesota. The state got a new team in 2000 after building an arena in St. Paul, the Wild. Who had a few surprising runs but are usually ineffective.
  • Oakland. In the Bay Area, if San Francisco is considered the eldest child and San Jose is the youngest child, then Oakland would be the neglected middle child, despite many championships among all but one of its teams in the 1970s. With the Warriors planning to move back to San Francisco by 2019, the Raiders planning to move to Las Vegas by 2020, and the fate of the Athletics still uncertain, Oakland could very well lose its status as a major league city within the next five to ten years.
    • The Oakland Coliseum is often considered to be one of the worst stadiums currently in use in professional sports. At half a century old, the stadium is dilapidated, and the plumbing within is severely outdated, with sewage problems occurring even when the stadium is not hosting events. Unlike its contemporaries, which have either been demolishednote , renovated for single sport use onlynote , or sit mostly unusednote , the Coliseum is the only multipurpose stadium, as of 2017, still shared between a gridiron football team and a baseball team. Unlike many such stadiums, the Coliseum uses grass instead of artificial turf, meaning the Athletics have to play on a field abused by football cleats late in the baseball season, and the Raiders have to play on dirt early in the football season. The "Mount Davis" grandstand, built in the mid-1990s to bring the Raiders back to Oakland, has became a white elephant of late, as both the Athletics since 2006 and the Raiders since 2013 have closed off the entire upper deck of Mount Davis.
    • In their early years, the Raiders were a very competitive team under late owner Al Davis, and Davis was known for being bold and controversial as a owner/general manager. However, towards the end of Davis' life, the team became something of a joke. Since 2002, the team had nine different head coaches, note  and the team had not finished with a record better than 8-8 until 2016; however, in their first playoff appearance in over a decade, the Raiders were an early out due to injuries at the quarterback position. Prior to and since Al Davis' death, the Raiders have been trying to replace the antiquated Coliseum to no avail. Los Angeles is off the table for relocation, since the Rams won the right to return to LA in 2016, and the rival Chargers had a provision to join them within the following year and subsequently exercised that right since they failed get their own long obsolete stadium in San Diego replaced. After mulling a move to San Antonio, the Raiders received league approval to move to Las Vegas by 2020; however, Las Vegas' small media market and legal gambling industry, as noted above, are potential concerns. A move to Sacramento would have kept most of the Raiders' existing fanbase in Oakland within a two to three hour drive, and Sacramento is the second largest media market without an NFL franchise; however, Sacramento lacks a large corporate presence, since most of the city's economy, as the California state capital, is centered around the local, county, and state governments. On top of that, a new stadium would be needed; Sacramento's largest stadiumnote  doesn't even hold 22,000. The Raiders plan to stay in Oakland as a lame duck team for at least 2017 and 2018 while the new Las Vegas stadium is under construction; however, considering that the late Bud Adams tried to do the same thing with the then-Houston Oilers before moving to Nashville two decades ago, history is likely to repeat. If a sharp decline in attendance doesn't force the Raiders out of Oakland early, a spurned Oakland city council voiding the Raiders' lease at the Coliseum almost certainly will.
    • While the Athletics have been fairly competitive in their time in Oakland, their Butt Monkey status lies primarily with the Coliseum, where they have played since moving to Oakland in 1968. Aside from the stadium's aforementioned issues, the stadium's baseball configuration has the largest amount of foul territory in the majors, even by the standards of "cookie cutter" stadiums, meaning that foul balls which would end up in the seats and out of play at another ballpark can, and often will, be caught for an out; also, this puts fans sitting in the lower bowl further away from the action. Many Athletics fans hate the Mount Davis grandstand, which was constructed in the mid-1990s to lure the Raiders back to Oakland; Mount Davis took away the picturesque view of the Oakland hills which served as the backdrop for Athletics' games. The Athletics have tried to move out of the Coliseum and into their own ballpark either in Santa Clara, San Jose or Fremont; however, the San Francisco Giants claim territorial rights on those cities and they refuse to cede any of them to the Athletics. If the A's can't secure a new ballpark in Oakland, even with the Raiders' and Warriors' imminent departures, prospective landing spots for the A's include Montreal, Portland, Charlotte, Sacramento, or San Antonio.
    • The Golden State Warriors (who have played in Oakland since 1971, but expect to return to San Francisco by the end of The New '10s) have suffered a lot since the mid-seventies, after a Dark Horse Victory in 1975 and two good seasons that followed. Despite bright moments (the Sleepy Floyd game, Chris Mullin/the "Run TMC" era, taking down the Mavericks as an 8 seed), management was always screwing the team, be it for turning into a contender or keeping it competitive (Of particular notoriety was the ownership regime of Chris Cohan between 1997 and 2010, which was well known for a TERRIBLE front office and a relative lack of spending). After a revamp in 2012 (started by high-spending new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, maintained by an excellent front office led by Bay Area native Bob Myers, and starring the hot-shooting "Splash Brothers": Steph Curry and Klay Thompson), the Warriors are again one of the strongest teams in the NBA, but they still need to overcome the fierce competition in the Western Conference to think about a fourth title. They managed to do so in 2015, marking a final between two teams in this page and with droughts of 4 decades: Warriors (last in 1975) and Cavaliers (never won since starting in 1970). And both team's share of bad luck continued to show in this decisive series - the Cavs lost Kyrie Irving to injury on Game 1, while the Dubs managed to miss a dunk that would have ultimately ended up winning the game for them in Game 2. Eventually the Warriors overcame a 2-1 deficit to take it all in six games, finally earning the title which a long-suffering fanbase deserved. It helps to know that the core of this Championship team is relatively young; this may ensure that the Warriors would bring more championships to the Bay Area in the long run, ridding the Dubs of their Butt Monkey status. And then they lured Kevin Durant in the 2016 offseason, simultaneously adding one of the league's 5 best players and gutting their main Western Conference rival.
      • Two of the main reasons why the Warriors suffered a lot between 1975 and 2015 were their terrible defense and relative lack of reliable big-men. Even during their best years (Run TMC, We Believe), the Dubs' offense built large leads in many games...only for the Warriors' crappy defenses to squander the lead and gift the Dubs either a VERY slim victory or a heartbreaking loss. The real constant of the problems the early iterations of the Dubs had suffered during their attempts for championship contention was their head coach Don Nelson. He popularized the "Nellie Ball" strategy (named after his nickname), which prioritized fast break offense over defense, which, while effective in the short run, does not generally guarantee success in the playoff level and is usually relegated to high school competition; thus the 80s and 90s Dubs constantly fizzled out during either the playoffs or the regular seasons because of this rather short-sighted strategy they implemented. Likewise, Golden State, for the most part, didn't have a great center/big-man since the departure of Nate Thurmond; it wouldn't surprise Dubs fans to see guys like Alton Lister (Made famous for getting dunked on and taunted by Shawn Kemp), Erick Dampier, Adonal Foyle, and Andris Biedrins man the middle. Even 6'9" Billy Owens, a natural small forward, saw some time at center for the Dubs! Thankfully, the Lacob/Splash Brothers-era renaissance seems to have taken care of some of these problems. For example, Coach Mark Jackson helped foster a culture of tough, effective defense with the Warriors (said defensive efficiency was retained by his successor, Steve Kerr). Likewise, the Dubs acquired noted defensive big Andrew Bogut and drafted center Festus Ezeli in 2012; while the two aren't exactly on par with, say, Anthony Davis or Marc Gasol, their defense and strength in the paint has been enough to ensure that the Warriors weren't easily pushed around beneath the basket. The Dubs' defensive renaissance has also been helped by the acquisition and development of great defenders, such as Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. It helps to note that the 2015 Championship wasn't won solely by the Dubs' scintillating offense; their excellent defense, a far cry from the crap defenses of the Don Nelson/Small Ball era, was their key to winning the title. note 
      • 2016 seemed to have the Warriors as an unstoppable Invincible Hero. They broke the 95-96 Bulls regular season record with 73 wins, lost only two games in the first two rounds, and despite seeing the Thunder open 3-1 in the Western Finals turned the tide around as OKC choked. On the Finals, the Dubs opened 3-1 and the repeat just seemed at hand... cue the Cavaliers winning 3 straight, including the decisive game in Oakland (which Golden State led at various points). The Warriors are a powerhouse right now, but it won't always be easy.
    • Many of the NHL's 1960s/70's era expansion teams have struggled in their early years, but among the first six, the Oakland/California (Golden) Seals were the least successful team. The team struggled both on the ice and at the box office; as a result, the franchise lasted only 11 years total with the first 9 in Oakland, and the last two in the fellow Butt Monkey city of Cleveland (as the Barons), before the franchise was absorbed into another struggling team, the Minnesota North Stars, in 1978.
      • The merger was technically undone when the San Jose Sharks (who many see as the reincarnation of the Golden Seals) were enfranchised in 1991. Despite initial struggles, the Sharks have been relatively solid throughout their history (with some deeming them one of the best 90's era expansion teams in North American sports), but they have the nasty tendency to embarrass themselves come playoff time.
  • Philadelphia. Four major sporting franchises, four Butt Monkey teams.
    • Veterans Stadium, home of the Phillies and the Eagles from the 1970s until the early 2000s, was arguably the most notorious stadium of the "cookie cutter" era. The stadium's artificial turf was so bad, it ended the careers of two (opposing) players. Also, the stadium was infamous for its fans who sat in the 700-section; Eagles fans as well as Phillies fans in general were so rowdy in that era, the city of Philadelphia had to install a court and jail within The Vet. (The judge of the "Eagles Court," Seamus P. McCaffery leveraged the recognition he got from that into a run for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where he sat as a Justice before resigning in 2014 while facing an FBI investigation over alleged violations of ethics rules.)
    • Baseball's Phillies once held the professional sports record for the most consecutive seasons without winning at least half of their games (finally eclipsed by the cross-state rival Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010), and also once held the record for the longest championship drought (they went 97 years from their inception to their first championship; that record was eclipsed by the Cubs in 2006), and became the first professional sports franchise to amass a total of 10,000 losses (since joined in that regard by the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs). Despite this, they were one of baseball's best teams in the late 2000s, even breaking Philly's 24 year title drought, though they've reverted back to their losing ways since then.
    • The Eagles last won a title in 1960, six years before the first Super Bowl. (The first Super Bowl, played in 1967, was the championship of the 1966 season.) Keep in mind that despite the success they've had in the '00s, they are the only team in the NFC East division to have not won a Super Bowl note . The fact that every other team has won at least three Super Bowls doesn't help (yes, even the Redskins).
    • The Flyers may have been the most feared team in the NHL (if not the world) during their two Stanley Cup-winning seasons in 1973-74 and 1974-75, but they've had little to cheer about since then aside from becoming only the fourth team in North America to bounce back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series (against the Boston Bruins in 2010) - they've been back to the Stanley Cup final series six times (1976, 1980, 1985, 1987, 1997, and 2010) and have lost every single time. Of these, 1976 and 1997 were particularly embarrassing slapdown sweeps (against the Montreal Canadiensnote  and the Detroit Red Wingsnote  respectively), and 1987 a heartbreaking series that went to seven games against Wayne "The Great One" Gretzky's Oilers.
    • The Philadelphia 76ers used to own the worst record in NBA history back in the 1972-73 season. In that season, the 76ers somehow accumulated only nine victories to go with their 73 losses. Then in 2015-16, they got the second worst, 10-72; ironically, both are the inverse of the best regular seasons ever, 73-9 by the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors and 72-10 by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (considered the best team in NBA history). Of course, the 1970s slump eventually led to a championship in 1983, but that record still haunted the team for quite some time now. The supporters seeing the current "built for tanking" squad, which first tied the Cavs' 26 losses record streak in 2013-14, and then combining the ending of the 2014-15 season and the beginning of the 2015-16 one broke it with 28 consecutive defeats, just hope all those draft picks end up being worthy and lead to another title.
  • Phoenix has victorious teams in arena football (Arizona Rattlers) and WNBA (Phoenix Mercury). In the big four, the only title ever is the 2001 World Series by the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have had only three playoff appearances and one series win ever since. The Suns are the team with the highest winning percentage to have never won an NBA championship (two lost finals, seven lost Western finals). The Cardinals have the longest NFL title drought (since 1947, back in their original city of Chicago), and despite Arizona featuring their best seasons - a playoff win in 1998, a Super Bowl run in 2009 where the Cards almost pulled an upset before the Steelers scored a touchdown on the last play - it's mostly long stretches of futility. Finally, the Coyotes did manage many playoff appearances and a good run in 2012 (winning their division and going all the way to the conference finals), but are mostly known as a franchise always threatened to be relocated.
  • San Antonio. Unlike most examples here, since the Spurs are a dominant force in the NBA, the city has the major issue of having difficulty attracting major league teams to even to come to San Antonio at all despite being one of the biggest cities in the country, and its metropolitan area (part of the Texas Triangle that features state capital Austin) being one of the fastest growing in the U.S. Every attempt at attracting either a NFL, MLB, NHL or MLS team have either been blocked, imploded or lack the necessary stadium to accommodate them. (the city at most has two teams also owned by the Spurs and that play in their arena, the WNBA's Stars and the American Hockey League's Rampage, and a minor league baseball squad, the Missions) The NFL issue has been a massive sore spot for fans of football as Jerry Jones has gone to great lengths to strangle the city out of the league despite the endless hunger for the sport there.
  • San Diego. It's the largest major metropolitan area in the U.S. never to have won one of the four modern major professional sports championships (though the fact that the city only has one team out of the four major leagues doesn't help) and both their football and baseball teams have come close only to be crushed in agonizing defeat. The Chargers did win a championship, but that was in 1963, when they were in the old American Football League. The AFL and NFL merged in 1970, and the Chargers have not won a championship since.
    • Not helping matters for the Chargers is their quarterbacks; Eli Manning, the younger brother of Peyton Manning, and the No. 1 draft pick for 2004, spurned them (with his father Archie Manning referring to Chargers general manager A.J. Smith as "The Lord of No Rings"), and was traded to the New York Giants, where he would win two Super Bowls. Next, there's Drew Brees, who was released in 2005 out of concerns for his injured shoulder, and joined the New Orleans Saints in the 2006 season, where he would win Super Bowl XLIV, and set several passing records. Instead, the Chargers got Ryan Leaf, who would go on to become arguably the biggest draft bust in NFL history, and didn't help matters by being a Jerkass in his time with the Chargers.
      • There's the blessing that Phillip Rivers (drafted in 2004 with the pick they got from the Giants for trading Eli) was actually a pretty good quarterback. The curse? He (along with the Chargers) have gained a reputation for choking in the playoffs.
      • If there's anything that'll make Charger fans cry, it's the fact that their in-state rivals, the San Francisco 49ers and the hated Oakland Raiders, have won Super Bowls note , while the Chargers haven't won a single one. The one time they did get into the Super Bowl (Super Bowl XXIX), they lost 26-49, by the San Francisco 49ers. note . They haven't gone back since, despite the presence of talented players such as Philip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates, Shawne Merriman, and Eric Weddle.
      • Creepy fact: 8 players note  who were part of that Chargers team in Super Bowl XXIX died before the age of 45. This has led people to believe that the Chargers' Super Bowl XXIX team has been cursed.
      • Since the Chargers' return to Los Angeles, the team has become the biggest joke in the NFL. The team was ridiculed for its now quickly-abandoned alternative logo, which looked like a cross between the Dodgers' and the Tampa Bay Lightning's logos. Before moving into the new Inglewood stadium for 2020, the Chargers will play in the MLS-specific StubHub Center, making it the smallest Super Bowl era stadium in the NFL. With the Rams' tepid reception in their first year back in Los Angeles, the Chargers' viability as the market's second team is put into serious doubt; even Clippers fans were booing the Chargers' logo when it was shown on the Staples Center's videoboard. Despite pre-approving the Chargers' move to Los Angeles in 2016, the NFL and its owners are now showing remorse for the move. Dean Spanos has effectively become the most hated owner in the NFL since Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore.
    • Their pro soccer team, the Sockers, were a formidable force in the 1970s and early 1980s. Why MLS never awarded a franchise to San Diego is baffling, to say the least! (California instead got a team in Los Angelesnote , with another to come in 2018, and one in San Jose. Also, there's Club Tijuana across the Mexican border in Liga MX.) However, with the Chargers move to LA, there's a greater push for a MLS franchise.
      • Likely because, at the time, what is now Qualcomm Stadium was already being used by the Padres over the summer. Four different teams in three different sports (the fourth being the local college football team, the San Diego State Aztecs) using the same venue in September would've been too much.
    • San Diego lost not one, but two NBA teams. Both the Rockets, a 1967 expansion team, and the Clippers, the relocated Buffalo Braves, struggled both on and off the court during their short tenures in San Diego. The Rockets moved to Houston while the Clippers moved to Los Angeles; while the Rockets became a fairly competitive squad in Houston, the Clippers continued to be the NBA's biggest joke, as detailed in the NBA section below. Also, without a modern arena, the NBA won't be looking to return to San Diego anytime soon.
  • Seattle. What with the Sonics being stolen and relocated to Oklahoma City (with the blessing of then-NBA commissioner David Stern no less, despite the move being a breach of contract), and the Mariners losing superstars whenever they hit free agency. Although, the Butt-Monkey status is being redeemed somewhat by the success of the rebooted Seattle Sounders FC MLS team, and the WNBA's Storm has been successful as well.
    • The Seattle Pilots lasted only one season before going bankrupt and moving to Milwaukee, making them the shortest lived modern era professional team. The reason for the Pilots' short life: after the Athletics left Kansas City for Oakland in 1968, Missouri Senator Stuart Symington threatened to revoke Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption if they didn't return to Kansas City. MLB intended to enfranchise the Pilots and Royals in 1971; however, due to pressure from Senator Symington and the American League not wanting an odd number of teams, MLB was forced to activate the Pilots in 1969 before the city of Seattle was even remotely ready to accommodate the team, playing in the Major League-inadequate Sick's Stadium. Major League Baseball would eventually return to Seattle in 1977 with the Mariners after the city sued the American League for breach of contract with the Pilots' move to Milwaukee. In true Butt Monkey fashion, the Mariners struggled; the team did not attain its first winning season until 1991, 15 seasons after their inception, and the team hasn't made the postseason since the 2001 season. The Mariners' first home, the Kingdome, was considered one of the worst venues in professional sports. Its roof in particular proved to be problematic for the relatively short lifetime of the stadium; the roof would often leak water, which eventually resulted in several acoustic tiles falling from the ceiling in July of 1994. This, along with two workers dying during the repair of the ceiling, led to the Kingdome's eventual demolition and replacement with Safeco Field for the Mariners and CenturyLink Field for the Seahawks, with the latter built on the footprint of the Kingdome.
    • For most of their existence, the Seahawks were not a good team. In their first appearance in the Super Bowl, they got shorted, only to be the Opposing Sports Team to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the eyes of the fans, media, and yes even the officials.note  However, in recent seasons, the Seahawks have redeemed themselves by having one of the most passionate and loudest fanbases in the NFL, making CenturyLink Field one of the hardest places to play in as a road team, and the Seahawks utterly dominated Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII (despite the Broncos having the league's statistically best offense and being favored by the Vegas oddsmakers to win in a close game), bringing Seattle its first Big Four championship in nearly 35 years. A return to the Super Bowl also happened. Where the Seahawks lost to the Patriots despite leading frequently and having a chance for a last-minute comeback. Ending with an interception on what's widely considered the worst play call in Super Bowl history.
    • Related to the SuperSonics, not only the "hijacking" by Oklahoma City stung, but the Seattle city council never agrees on a plan for a new arena, something that could convince the NBA to give them an expansion team to resurrect the Sonics.
  • St. Louis is an understated example, because they do have the second most successful baseball team in the Cardinals (and even they offered suffering as before the 10th title in 2006, the team had a 24-year drought with three lost World Series). In the NFL, they had two teams leave, one without much to offer (the Cardinals, who only qualified thrice in 27 years before moving to Arizona) and another that had a moment of glory before an acrimonious departure (the Rams, who had got to two Super Bowls and won one with the "Greatest Show on Turf", but was amidst an 11-year dry spell when problems with the stadium made the team return to Los Angeles). In the NHL, the Blues are the oldest team without a title, and haven't even qualified to the Stanley Cup final since 1970. St. Louis hasn't seen an NBA team since 1968, when the Hawks left town (and when the ABA was there, it was only for two seasons. However, the Silna brothers got, in hindsight, a ridiculously lucrative deal for folding the Spirits; the four surviving ABA teams paid them a fraction of their television shares in perpetuity until the NBA bought the Silna brothers out in 2014). And despite the city being a soccer hotbed, the only current association football franchise is in the third tier.
  • Tampa Bay. While two of their three major sports franchises - the football Buccaneers, the hockey Lightning - have won a national championship within the last 20 years and the third - the baseball Rays - has played in a World Series and been a recent high-caliber contender, the teams overall have been miserable throughout most of their (brief) history. The only reason Tampa's not on par with long-suffering communities like Cleveland and Philadelphia or even Atlanta is due to Tampa being a relative newcomer (1976 onward) to pro sports.
    • The Buccaneers were notoriously one of the biggest Butt-Monkey teams in the NFL. The inaugural season was so bad (0-14) that the losing streak carried over into the second season (2-12) for a massive 26-game losing streak. And don't even get started on the nightmare that was the entire 1980s decade (blown draft selections, whiffing on Bo Jackson, wasting talent like Steve Young and Vinny Testaverde...). It wasn't until Tony Dungy turning things around in the 1990s and Jon Gruden winning the Super Bowl before fans believed the worst was over. And then Gruden got fired in 2008 and the team's gone back to being a disaster again.
      • One of the early-'80s blown draft picks was actually a second-rounder — defensive end Booker Reese. The Buccaneers traded their 1983 first-rounder to the Chicago Bears to get the rights to Reese in 1982, but Reese was an epic failure, proving way too raw for the NFL. Worse, the 1983 first-rounder the Bears got at 18th was Willie Gault, a super-fast wide receiver who had a good NFL career. And even worse, the Bucs could have drafted Dan Marino had they kept that pick; at that time, they had just lost quarterback Doug Williams to the USFL due to then-owner Hugh Culverhouse's notorious penny-pinching.
    • The Lightning is a slight aversion in that they're a successful team, but inconsistently reaching the playoffs and rarely doing well when they get there. Other than the Stanley Cup season of 2004, the finals in 2015 (even building a 2-1 lead before the Blackhawks won three and got the Cup), and conference finals in 2011 and 2016.
    • The Rays started off as the Devil Rays playing for a penny-pinching owner who alienated the local business community and mismanaged the team. It didn't help that the team's attempts at jersey designs and colors looked like eyesores for the first eight years. It wasn't until they dropped the "Devil" from the name and got smarter ownership that the team turned it around in 2008 to become the model mid-market franchise (small payroll but big results) of the last six years. Problem is, they still play in one of the least-liked indoor stadiums left in pro baseball in a part of the Tampa Bay market (downtown St. Pete) that can be almost impossible to drive to for most game days.
    • The most successful pro franchise in Tampa Bay is the Arena Football team, the Storm.
    • Their MLS team, the Mutiny, was the first team to be the best of the regular season. Yet they lasted only five years. (The current soccer team, the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL (now of the USL), won the league in 2012 but has struggled ever since.)
    • And let's not talk too much about the poor University of South Florida's college football and basketball programs. Especially their football team, who loves their "signature" wins, but can't keep it together in conference play. Perfect example: 2007. After beating the likes of Auburn and West Virginia (among others), they ended up #2 in the AP poll before losing their next three conference games.
  • Toronto. The Maple Leafs were out of the playoffs for 7 seasons after the 2004 NHL lockout (and have the longest current Stanley Cup drought of any team), the Blue Jays are forever 81-81 and dwarfed by the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in the AL East (they had no playoff appearances between the World Series titles in 1992-3 and AL East titles in 2015 and 16), and as for the Toronto Raptors, before a surprisingly deep run all the way to the 2016 Conference Finals, had long stretches of being The Chew Toy along with a meager 7 postseasons in 20 years (with just one round won in that period!). Add Toronto FC taking 9 seasons to qualify for the MLS playoffs (it was the only team, not counting the expansion ones that joined that season, not to hit the postseason; up until then it had won the Canadian Championship, which is only contested by 3 to 5 participants; and said first playoff ended in a 0-3 beating; they did get to the MLS Cup in 2016, only to lose in the penalty shootouts to Seattle), and only the Canadian Football League has seen Toronto winning something in the last 20 years. However, the Argonauts suffer from the worst attendance in the CFL in recent years; not even a move from the cavernous Rogers Centre to the smaller BMO Field is helping.
  • Vancouver. Considering the city of Vancouver is also something of a Butt-Monkey in the media, there's no surprise.
    • The Vancouver Grizzlies had a mercifully short existence in the NBA, in which they won the first two games in franchise history and it was all downhill from there, with two losing streaks in their first season and no season in which they came close to a winning record or any hope for the playoffs. In fact, in the NBA's first lockout season, the team ended up getting only 8 wins in that season.note . To add insult to injury, a few years after the team moved to Memphis, they became a perennial playoff team.
    • The Vancouver Canucks are one of two Canadian teams left in the NHL not to have won a Stanley Cup. The Canucks of the 1980s were particularly bad. The Canucks didn't have a .500 season from 1975-76 to 1991-92 (though reaching the Stanley Cup final in 1982, getting soundly thrashed by defending champions New York Islanders), and from 1984-85 to 1991-92, the Canucks won more than 30 games (out of 80) just once. The Canucks also became Wayne Gretzky's favourite team to play against, so much so that he recorded more goals against Vancouver than any other franchise. It got so bad that coach Harry Neale cracked, "Last year we couldn't win at home. This year we can't win on the road. My failure as a coach is not being able to find a place to play." Nowadays, they've gone from being bad to having an tendency to disappoint their loyal fans by setting new record lows in playoffs ranging from being the only Presidents' Trophy team to win only one playoff game in the first round, to managing to lose the Stanley Cup finals to the Boston Bruins despite having a two-game lead in the series.
    • The MLS' Vancouver Whitecaps qualified thrice to the playoffs, and only once didn't lose in the preliminary round. They were also runner-up in three straight Canadian Championships (five if one counts losses in 2008 and 2009 by their NASL predecessor team), which they only won in 2015. And their best player defected to play in Mexico. By contrast, the previous two teams with the moniker had some success, winning the NASL in 1979 and various Canadian and USL tournaments.
  • Washington, D.C.: Four sports. Four teams. Four disappointments. Washington fans can get passionate, but it's still hard going in the Nation's Capital.
    • In Washington's favorite sport, baseball, we have the Nationals, who are...actually pretty decent right now, especially considering that they used to be the Montreal Expos (for which see Major League Baseball, below). However, for their first ten years or so in DC, the Nats sucked just as hard as they had before they moved, leading to the joke: "First in war. First in peace. Last in the National League." This was itself a revival of an old joke (except with "American" in place of "National")note  about the even-more-hapless Washington Senators, which had sucked in both of their incarnations (which became the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers) and only won one World Series (1924) between them—and rarely even won the AL pennant. After the 2016 postseason loss to the Dodgers, the joke could be: "First in war. First in peace. First to choke in the NLDS."
    • Also faced with repeated futility are the NFL's Washington Redskins. Sure, they had those three Super Bowl rings, but that was over two decades ago. And the suck got worse ever since such as drafting a Heisman-winning quarterback (Robert Griffin III) who apparently has knees made of papier-mâché. His backup and replacement, Kirk Cousins, has performed better (his 2015 performance led to his creating the famous meme "You like that?!". But on top of the team's performance, the team's very name, created in an era of Values Dissonance, is the subject of national controversy and court rulings.note 
    • Washington Wizards (NBA): Have not won two playoff series since the 1970s. And they had Michael Jordan (who was, admittedly, well past his prime) for a few years in the early 2000s. The 38-year gap between division championships (1979 and 2017) was the longest divisional drought in American pro sports. The Distaff Counterpart Mystics (WNBA) are even worse, winning just one round in nine playoffs (which are only half the seasons the team played!) and with the only banners they ever hung being widely mocked for commemorating being "attendance leaders."
    • Washington Capitals (NHL): Consistently mediocre, despite having one of the best scorers in the league in Alex Ovechkin. This alone is enough to damn them, really. Only once made it to the Finals in 1998 where they had the pleasure of getting swept by the powerhouse Detroit Red Wings. They have earned the dubious honor of owning the worst overall record in league history where they went 8-67-5 during their inaugural season of 1974-75. And then comes the fact they blow 2-0 or 3-1 leads in a regular basis, with the 2015 one - led conference semifinals 3-1, then lost the following three to their Arch-Enemy, the Rangers, with Games 5 and 7 decided on overtime - reaching all-new levels in futility/heartbreak.
      • To make matters worse, Game 7 was the same day the aforementioned Wizards lost in Atlanta, only for two days later to be eliminated by the Hawks at home with Paul Pierce having his game tying, series saving, last second three point shot waved off because he didn't get it off before the buzzer. It was a bad week for Washington.
      • 2016 and 2017 seemed different, only to end all too familiar: the Caps had the best regular season, struggled a bit in the opening round, and then faced the powerhouse Pittsburgh Penguins, who opened 3-1, and had Washington attempt to claw a comeback before being killed in Game 6 overtime in one year, and Game 7 third period at home in the other. Things never change with the Capitals, it seems.
    • Since the Caps' Stanley Cup appearance in 1998, dozens of teams have reached conference championships in each of the four major pro sports in the US (NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB). How many of those teams were from Washington? Zero. An entire generation has grown up in DC with no championships. (Only soccer fans have had happy moments, as D.C. United is one of the most successful squads in the MLS.)
  • While more of a "cursed region" than a "cursed city", the region of Yorkshire has been experiencing a down period in club football in the 21st century. Yorkshire's biggest club, Leeds United, fell down to the third tier after years of financial mismanagement; while they did claw their way back to the second tier, they haven't reached the highs they had in the 70's and 90's. Yorkshire's constant representatives in the top flight, Hull City and Middlesbrough, haven't finished higher than mid-table in the Premier league during the 2000's and New10s (though Boro did reach the UEFA cup final in 2006). Sheffield Wednesday, which was a Premier League power in the90s, fell on hard times during the Turn of the Millennium, while their rivals, Sheffield United, haven't been much better either (save for one non-descript Premier League appearance) during the same period. Other Yorkshire clubs such as Barnsley, Bradford City, and Huddersfield Town haven't really progressed past the lower leagues during this time period. This sorry state of Yorkshire football is ironic, given the fact that this very region is recognized as the birthplace of Association Football. The successes of Lancashire clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool hasn't really done much to ease the suffering of Yorkshire fans either.

    Association Football 
It's usually tough to pick out Butt Monkeys in Football (Also known as Soccer or Calcio), since each league's worst teams are often relegated to lower leagues. However, this trope can apply to National Teams with poor records in international play, consistent presences in top-flight leagues which underperform in every season (or in extreme cases, get relegated with alarming frequency (teams like this are known as "Yo-yo clubs")), teams that underperform despite their lofty status (e.g. teams that play in Big Cities, teams that were never relegated), or even entire leagues themselves.

  • In Brazil, a common saying is "There are things that only happen with Botafogo". In the 1940s, despite good players only won the state championship once. In the 1960s, they had one of the top teams and players in Garrincha, but Pelé's Santos was contemporary. They had a 21-year drought of titles starting in 1968, and 5 years later even had to sell their stadium. Despite a minor resurgence in the mid-90s, with a Brazilian championship and a South American tournament, in 2002 Botafogo was relegated, and upon its return to top level in 2004 nearly fell again. Ten years later, Botafogo begun 2014 in the Copa Libertadores and ended with their second relegation, amidst a sea of debts to the Union among other problems.
    • Another just as tragic example is Atlético-MG. The first Brazilian champion in 1971 (before a confederation Retcon to turn two previous tournaments official as well), but plagued with good-but-unlucky or downright atrocious teams ever since, to the point that until winning the Copa Libertadores in 2013, the only big titles were defunct second-level South American tournaments. Standout moments include a lossless runner-up campaign (losing the final game on penalties at home), losing a Libertadores playoff because of too many expelled players, a relegation in 2005, finishing the 2009 tournament 9th after frequently being in the top positions, and despite leading for 15 straight rounds in 2012 only ending as second. Add that his inter-city rival Cruzeiro won plenty of titles, frequently gives crushing defeats on Atlético, and has supporters obsessed in displaying their superiority... (even if it borders on hypocrisy at times, such as when dissing Atlético's Libertadores title when Cruzeiro hadn't won a big title since 2003, or Atlético's 2014 Brazil Cup title over Cruzeiro)
  • For sports as a rule, if you cause a foul-up in a notable tournament that causes your team to lose (and be potentially removed as a result, depending on where you are) or look significantly worse, you will be this for years on end, partly down to Never Live It Down. Examples include Rob Green for England in the 2010 FIFA World Cup- he's not been able to find a good team for a while since.
    • The same rule applies to coaches:
      • David Moyes was well known for performing well despite limited resources as the manager of Everton, but an ill-fated stint at Manchester United (succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson, of all people) tarnished his repuation; since then, he's only had unsuccessful stints at Real Sociedad and Sunderland.
      • Louis Van Gaal was a world-class coach for the likes of Barcelona (save for the time he nearly led them to the relegation zone), Bayern Munich, and the Netherlands, but he was criticized for his boring tactics and underachievement during his two-year spell at Manchester United.
      • Luis Felipe Scolari was highly regarded during his hey-day, including Brazil's record fifth World Cup in 2002; now all that everyone remembers of him is the 7-1 thumping that his Brazil side suffered during the 2014 World Cup.
      • Mark Hughes almost became this. After some success at Manchester City, he found himself leading Queens Park Rangers to a relegation battle (not helped by his club's poor spending practices). Thankfully, he redeemed himself by turning Stoke City from boring long-ball merchants to a more exciting mid-table threat (in fact, his creative style of play and the presence of the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Ibrahim Afellay, and Marc Muniesa have led some to dub Hughes' Stoke City "Stokelona").
      • Don Revie became popular due to the success of his brutal Leeds United side during the 60's and 70's, but his stint as England manager was nothing but a fiasco which ended in his ban from English football after taking a job at a team in the United Arab Emirates.
      • Similarly, Graham Taylor's repuation was tarnished after a failed stint as England manager. This was despite his feat of turning Watford from Fourth-Division strugglers into a First-Division mainstay.
  • The Maldives national soccer team's record in 1998, the first time they entered The World Cup qualifiers: Played 6, Won 0, Tied 0, Lost 6, Scored 0, Conceded 59 — including a 17-0 defeat at the hands of Iran. Guess if you can't be the champions, you might as well be the plucky amateurs who set the record for the worst ever World Cup qualifying run.
  • Among the FIFA Confederations, the OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) is this. The best national team in the OFC is not guaranteed a spot in the FIFA World Cup; it has to defeat other national teams in an inter-continental play-off. Likewise, the biggest nation in the Australasia-Oceania region, Australia, left the OFC to join the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) in order to have an easier time in qualifying for the World Cup. This left the OFC with New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and a lot of smaller Pacific Island nations and territories. Not helping matters is the fact that Association Football is not exactly a popular sport among Pacific Islanders (Of all Oceanian nations, only Vanuatu considers association football a national sport. However, Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands also have a significant football following.), with Rugby Union, Rugby League, and American Football being more popular and widespread.
    • Back in 2013, one of minor islands managed to get A Day in the Limelight once Tahiti managed a Dark Horse Victory in the OFC Cup and thus qualified for the Confederations Cup at Brazil. The Tahiti National Team proceeded to lose all of their games in blowouts (including a brutal 10-0 Demolition by powerhouse Spain), with an overall -23 goal differential! Nevertheless, Tahiti received a TON OF RESPECT from the Brazilian fans and the opposing teams due to their underdog status and fair play.
      • History Repeats as the 2016 Olympic Games, also in Brazil, had Fiji's U-23 team among its teams. One goal for, 23 against (only one less than 2013 Tahiti), a 10-0 blowout by Germany, but being an underdog favorite of the crowds, helped by moments such as this penalty save.
    • Fun fact: the largest margin of defeat in an international match is held by OFC member American Samoa, who lost 0-31 to Australia during a World Cup qualification match! So poor was their performance that the people in charge of the scoreboard lost count of the number of goals they had conceded and displayed the final score as 32-0 to Australia.
    • Some footballing fans think that the OFC should merge with the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) and create a new Asia-Pacific Confederation (especially with Oceanian/Pacific Island sides Australia, Northern Marianas, and Guam already plying their trade in the AFC). Unfortunately, said setup has some problems, which include the unwieldy size of the confederation (the AFC is already one of the largest FIFA confederations, which is why it is split up into sub-confederations), the potentially complicated World Cup qualifying process that might result from said size, and the unfairness of having weaker Oceanian sides such as American Samoa and Tonga face Asian powers such as Japan and Korea (which would lead to a repeat of the Aussies' 31-goal demolition of American Samoa).
  • Speaking of International Football, the Philippines was once the consistent Butt Monkey in the Southeast Asian zone (AFF) of the Asian Football Confederation. During AFF competitions, the Philippines (despite being one of the oldest teams in the region) was constantly on the receiving end of multi-goal annihilations by Southeast Asian superpowers like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. This all changed, however, during the late 2000's to the New Tens, as an influx of mixed-race Filipino players trained in Europe strengthened the national team. Nowadays, the Philippine National team is one of the highest ranked national teams in Southeast Asia, while teams have taken to enacting one-sided victories on other weak AFF teams (e.g. Timor-Leste, Laos, Myanmar).
    • One reason behind the relative malaise of the Filipino national team was the relative disinterest of Filipinos with regards to Association football. Even up to now, the Philippines' most popular sport is Basketball, with Volleyball and Boxing ranked closely behind. Football, on the other hand, was seen as a niche sport for rich kids and Ilonggos (natives of Panay and western Negros) before the National team Took a Level in Badass in recent years. This can be seen in the Philippine national teams of Basketball and Football; the Pinoy basketball team is a Southeast Asian Powerhouse that annihilates other Southeast Asian basketball teams in 30-100 point margins note  and has the potential to occasionally upset stronger sides such as Iran, Angola, or France, while the football team's dominance is only over crappy national teams (e.g. North Korea, Mongolia, Maldives) and Southeast Asian sides; hell would probably freeze over if the Philippines managed to beat, say, Japan or Australia in a Football match.
    • Ironically, the Philippines is the only Southeast Asian country (not counting Australia) to boast of a player that became a star in a legendary European team: FC Barcelona legend Paulino Alcantara, who once held Barca's club record for goals scored before it was broken by none other than Lionel Messi.
  • Amongst the Asian Sub-confederations, we have the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF). Each Asian confederation has a relative footballing power note ...expect for the SAFF, whose best country is the football-averse India (ranked 132 in the rankings, below not-so-big sides such as Bahrain, Thailand, and the Philippines). Not helping is the fact that the SAFF also contain minnows such as Bhutan and the aforementioned Maldives.
    • The poor state of South Asian football is made more embarrassing by the Indian National Team's constant inclusion in the FIFA games, where they are consistently the single worst international side in the games (with ratings comparable to English League Two note  sides and crappy MLS teams). Said inclusion is a source of bitterness for Croatian, Japanese, and Iranian fans, whose more talented national sides are frequently left out (although the Japanese side's issue is due to their contract with Konami) while the weak India team is frequently included in FIFA games.
  • Major League Soccer:
    • MLS itself was, and to some extent, still is, often looked down by the top-flight leagues in Europe and FIFA.
      • In the league's earliest years, MLS attempted to "Americanize" the game by using a countdown clock and eliminating ties with shootouts. The moves failed to draw new fans and alienated existing American soccer fans. MLS eventually fully adopted the standard IFAB rules by 2005.
      • In contrast to its international counterparts, MLS plays spring to fall rather than following FIFA's traditional fall to spring calendar (MLS uses spring to fall scheduling to avoid playing in winter - especially important for the Canadian and Northern US clubs which are prone to lots of snow - and to avoid domestic competition with three of the four major North American leagues; in the summer the only major competition is baseball).
      • MLS does not practice promotion and regulation with lower division leagues within the US and Canadian soccer systems (North America already having four major leagues when MLS started up in 1996 meant that the market for spectator sports was already crowded and there was nowhere near enough ground support to try to grow clubs from the ground-up because it would have been difficult to attract corporate sponsorship due to uncertainty - the closed franchise system used by the existing leagues was the only way to guarantee stability. Also, MLS uses the United Soccer League as its minor league similar to the International and Pacific Coast Leagues of Triple-A Baseball, the NBA G-League, and the American Hockey League).
      • MLS does not employ a single table, double round-robin regular season format, instead splitting its teams into two conferences with an unbalanced schedule (The other major North American leagues are split into two conferences, which are further divided into two (NHL), three (MLB and NBA), or four (NFL) divisions in each conference. Since the contiguous US and Canada are larger than the entire European continent, splitting the league is intended to help alleviate travel costs).
      • MLS uses a postseason playoff rather than the regular season standings to determine its league champion (again, stiff competition for sports attention - using just the regular-season table puts up too great risk of the last few weeks becoming a Foregone Conclusion and thus boring. However, MLS does award the top team in the regular season with the Supporters' Shield, which gives the winner home-field advantage throughout the MLS Cup playoffs and a bid in the following year's CONCACAF Champions League for US-based teams).
      • MLS plans to expand to 26 teams by 2020, with eventual expansion to 28, which the top-flight European leagues view as excessive (the NFL has 32 teams, the NHL has 31, and MLB and the NBA have 30 each. While the top European leagues consist of 20 or fewer teams, depending on the league, there are more top division clubs per capita in Europe than in the US and Canada).
    • CD Chivas USA was one of the league's least successful clubs, as it was a failed attempt to appeal to a Latino fanbase. In their ten seasons of existence, the team lived in the shadow of both the LA Galaxy and Club Deportivo Guadalajara of Mexico's Liga MX. Chivas USA shared its home market and stadium with the former and was often seen as the "B-squad" of the latter.
    • Both of the early Florida clubs, Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion FC, did not survive the league's first decade. Both teams struggled with low revenues and big operating losses so much that MLS pulled the plug on both clubs to keep the entire league from folding in 2001; not helping Miami's case was the fact that its owners were trying to field a team on a bare minimum shoestring budget. MLS wouldn't return to Florida, or the Southeastern US, until 2015, with Orlando City SC. Retired English footballer David Beckham holds franchise rights to a new MLS team in Miami; however, the league won't formally grant him a franchise until he and his investor group can secure a new stadium for the prospective team.
  • Of the Premier League's un-relegated mainstays, we have Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, and (formerly) Aston Villa.
    • Tottenham have consistently choked in major competitions during the Premier League era, so much that mortal enemies Arsenal treat the constant occurrence of Spurs finishing behind Arsenal as a holiday (lovingly dubbed "St. Totteringham's Day"). Not helping is the fact that good Spurs players often get snapped up by bigger teams once they become well-known, with Michael Carrick (Man United), Dimitar Berbatov (Man United...again), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), and Gareth Bale (Real Madrid...again) proving this point. Nowadays, Spurs seem to be shedding this shell thanks to young talents like Harry Kane, Eric Dier, and Dele Alli (in addition to renowned veterans like Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen, Hugo Lloris, Heung-min Son, Toby Alderweireld, and Christian Eriksen), but the happiness might be short-lived since the likes of Kane and Alli have earned interest from clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, and Barcelona.
    • Everton have tried to catch up to the big clubs, but have consistently struggled to realise their potential throughout the Premier League era. Like Spurs, their biggest stars (e.g. Wayne Rooney, Mikel Arteta, Marouane Fellaini, John Stones, Romelu Lukaku) often end up moving to bigger clubs;
    • Aston Villa started the Premier League era strongly, but they eventually descended into mid-table mediocrity during the Turn of the Millennium. Like the previous two teams, they also lost their fair share of stars (in this case, Villa lost Ashley Young, James Milner, Gareth Barry, and Fabian Delph). This eventually spiraled downward into an utterly shambolic 2015/16 season, which finally ended in their relegation. Their current form in the second tier shows that they won't be coming back to the Prem anytime soon.
  • Two more examples in the Premier League are Wigan Athletic and Stoke City. Wigan was constantly tipped for relegaton in every season of their stay (2005-2013) in the Premier League, endlessly subjected to multi-goal poundings by the likes of Man United and Chelsea, and was mocked for being a small-town team with almost no fans. note  Stoke are a consistent mid-table side, but their infamy came from the boring, long-ball style of former manager Tony Pulis. Even after Mark Hughes' "Stokelona" revolution (which eschewed the long ball for a short-passing, possession style of play), people kept on making jokes about "Rainy Nights in Stoke" and "Long-ball Stoke".
  • Only three teams have consistently stayed in La Liga since its inception: Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and...Athletic Bilbao. Bilbao, while moderately successful (with 8 La Liga titles), hasn't gotten the legendary reputation of the former two sides. In fact, Bilbao is commonly overlooked (in favor of Atletico Madrid) when people talk about the "Big Three" of La Liga.
    • If there is something that Bilbao fans can be proud of, it's their reputation for producing great players (mostly of Basque descent) within their ranks. note . Sadly, most Athletic-Bilbao produced players only become famous or succesful when they move to bigger clubs, as shown by Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Aitor Karanka (Real Madrid), Ander Herrera (Manchester United), and Fernando Llorente (Juventus).
  • Similar to Athletic Bilbao, German side Hamburger SV (despite a few titles in the late 70's to the early 80's) are regularly overlooked compared to the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, and Bayer Leverkusen. This is despite having a longer tenure in the Bundesliga; Hamburger are the only founding member of the Bundesliga to have never been relegated (hence their nickname Die Dinosaurier (The Dinosaurs)). note 
  • Mexico's Liga MX has Cruz Azul and Atlas.
    • Cruz Azul is considered one of the "Big Four" note  but they haven't won the league since 1997. Since then they have reached the final five times and lost them all (although they won a CONCACAF Champions League and Copa MX inbetween). The last time they reached the final (Clausura 2013) they lost against rivals América in penalty shoot-out despite dominating most of the match. Because of that match, Cruz Azul is viewed as a Butt Monkey, and as a result, the term "cruzazulear" note  was coined as a way of really screwing up what was otherwise a guaranteed victory.
    • Atlas is considered another Butt Monkey, though to a lesser extent than Cruz Azul, but still noticeable. Despite producing many of Mexico's best players in its history (such as Rafael Márquez, Andrés Guardado, Pavel Pardo and Jared Borgetti), they only have won the league once (in 1951), and they struggle constantly with the risk of relegation.
  • The Dutch consider ADO Den Haag to be this; despite playing in the Hague, which of the Netherlands' big three cities alongside Amsterdam and Rotterdam, ADO have not reached the successes that Ajax, Feyenoord, or PSV (who play in the much smaller city of Eindhoven) have had in the Eredivisie.
  • The England national team. They are always hyped to achieve large success in almost every single tournament they participate... only to lose and underperform when the tournament starts, sometimes losing in a complete humiliating fashion. Just some example of how much of a Butt Monkey they are:
    • 1950 World Cup: Their first World Cup (after all of Great Britain's national teams ignoring the World Cup up until that point, due to thinking that their own British Home Championship was way more prestigious than WC) and they were tipped as one of the favorites to win it. Then they lost 1-0 to an USA team that consists of purely amateur players. It is one of the tournament's biggest shock result, and still one of the worst defeats for England in football/soccer.
    • The Running Gag that if England have to face a penalty shootout, they will inevitably lose the shootout.
    • Euro 2016: After a not-so-glorious group stage, they are facing Iceland in round of 16. Iceland is an Euro debutant (in fact, their first major tournament ever), England is the 1966 World Cup winner. Sounds easy right? Nope, they lost 1-2 to Iceland. It has been described as one of the worst defeats for England, even rivaling that 1950 match against USA in the World Cup. To make things worse for them, their neighbor Wales (also in their first Euro tournament, and their first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup) reach the semifinals, losing to eventual winners Portugal in the semis.

    Australian Football League 
  • The Carlton Blues, despite being one of the more successful clubs historically, have been this since the 2000s. They had a brief return to form from 2012-2014, but have since sunk back into this status.
  • Carlton's arch rival, the Collingwood Magpies had an absolutely spectacular run of Every Year They Fizzle Out from 1958 to 1990, appearing in eight grand finals and losing every single one of them. Fanbase-wise, Collingwood fans are some of the most mocked in the league (Americans, think of Collingwood as the Australian version of the Philadelphia Eagles. Brits, think of them as being Liverpool).
  • The Essendon Bombers of the 1970s were just awful (and the fashion disaster that was their red shorts didn't help matters), until Kevin Sheedy took over as coach in 1981, replaced the red shorts with black ones, and led them to four premierships. Since then, however, they've copped a lot of flak over the years, especially in the aftermath of the 2013 supplements scandal.
  • The Fremantle Dockers have been in the league since 1995, have never won a premiership, and usually finish in the bottom half of the ladder. Their original club colors (purple, red, white and green) are probably the most mocked in league history.
  • The Melbourne Demons are the oldest professional team in any football code, dating back to 1859. They won a premiership in 1964 before sacking Norm Smith as coach, leading Smith to curse the team. From that point on, up until the late 1980s, they faltered, and even then still have yet to win another premiership. Also the victim of another 70s fashion disaster, switching their strip from navy blue to royal blue.
  • The Richmond Tigers are perpetually mocked for always finishing just under the top 8.
  • The St Kilda Saints have been playing in the VFL/AFL since it was founded in 1897, and have only won one premiership (1966) and that by a single point. The Saints have been playing since 1873.
  • The expansion of the AFL has seen two of its expansion teams trade this status with one another in the span of a few years. In the early 2010s, the Gold Coast Suns played fairly competitively while the GWS Giants often got slaughtered. By 2016, the Giants would be just short of making the grand finals at 16-6 while the Suns finished near the bottom at 6-16.
  • Port Adelaide Power were a threatening team for most of the 2000s, winning the 2004 premiership and making the 2007 Grand Final. Port Adelaide would proceed to lose said Grand Final to the Geelong Cats (who hadn't won it all since 1963) 163-44, the largest margin in grand final history.Note 

    Major League Baseball 
  • A year after winning the 1918 World Series, the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, who went on to become the game's greatest player and team. The Sox would be known as having the "Curse of the Bambino" (although that really didn't become lore until 1990) until they finally won the Series again in 2004.
  • The Chicago Cubs. Before 2016, they spent 108 years without a World Series title, by far the longest championship drought in all professional North American sports leagues (especially given that their last title was won before the NBA, NFL and NHL even existed), and they hadn't even reached the Fall Classic since World War II, earning the team the nickname "Loveable Losers". Hell, they're probably the worst sports team championship-wise in general. After their 1908 World Series victory, they didn't even win a playoff series until 2003. Then, just when it seemed they were going to win the pennant for the first time since 1945... well, just Google "Steve Bartman". One can only wonder why this team still keeps running on even after literally over a century without winning a championship. Also, prior to the Steve Bartman incident is that someone made the mistake of hiring comedian and Chicago White Sox fan Bernie Mac to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch; instead of singing "Root, root, root for the Cubbies", Bernie sang "Root, root, root for the champs, champs!"
    • As mentioned above, many "cursed teams" are dubbed that because of infamously bad moves the team made. What are the Cubs supposedly cursed by? A goat. During that last World Series trip in 1945, a local tavern owner tried to take his pet goat to a Series game, even buying the goat a ticket. When the other fans demanded he and the goat leave, he declared the Cubs would never win the title again. (The owner later regretted his statement, and he and his descendants have tried—with the cooperation of the Cubs and the fans—to lift the curse in various ways on several occasions. The tavern, incidentally, is the "Billy Goat Tavern" on lower Michigan Avenue, made famous by the "Olympia Cafe" sketch on Saturday Night Live - "No Coke, Pepsi!".)
    • In 2015, it seemed the Cubs could win and make the joke made by Back to the Future Part II 26 years prior true. Cue the Mets sweeping them in the NLCS...
    • The following year the Cubs clinched their first World Series berth in 71 years (on the tavern owner's anniversary of death, no less!), earning jokes of "pigs seen taking off from O'Hare Airport!". And given their adversary was the equally Chew Toy Cleveland Indians (last title: 1948), soon there were articles claiming this series was one to show what "suffering fanbase" really means, and jokes saying the finals just screamed "hell has frozen over!". And the finals just tested fan patience a bit longer: the Indians opened 3-1 before the Cubs forced a game 7, and even that was an extra innings nail biter until the 108 year wait was over. (the Back to the Future Twitter even joked that their "prediction" being off by a year was due to the 1994-95 strike)
    • Their crosstown arch-rivals, the White Sox, were almost as unfortunate, with their most recent victory (2005) coming 88 years after the last one before that (1917). Their curse is attributed to throwing the 1919 Series to Cincinnati when most observers thought they would make short work of the Reds. Seventy-five years after that, they were leading their division by a good bit when a players' strike derailed the season. Finally, in 2005, they made it through a full season with the American League's best record, and promptly charged through the postseason, culminating in a four-game sweep of the Houston Astros.
  • The former Montreal Expos, in spades. Throughout their history in Montreal, the Expos always had stadium problems, even before they took the field for the first time in 1969. Since Jarry Park was intended to serve as a temporary stadium, fans were left exposed to cold Canadian weather in April and September. While playing at Jarry Park, Major League Baseball threatened to revoke the franchise several times if a new domed stadium wasn't built. Stade Olympique was intended to open by the 1972 season; however, a construction workers strike delayed the stadium's construction substantially; the stadium wasn't even fully completed in time for the 1976 Summer Olympics, as the inclined tower and infamous "retractable" roof weren't completed until over a decade later. When the "retractable" roof was finally installed, it never worked as intended, which was supposed to fold up like a giant umbrella and go up into the inclined tower. The roof was prone to tearing in high winds and would often leak water. The original "retractable" roof was replaced with a fixed roof; however, it has its own set of problems, as the stadium is rendered unusable during the winter months after the roof collapsed due to heavy snowfall during its first winter of use. Aside from the roof issues, the stadium's playing surface was also rather problematic for baseball, even by the standards of multipurpose stadiums, because of the need to fit the dimensions of an Olympic-sized track as well as a Canadian football field, which is longer and wider than its American counterpart. Because of construction delays, mounting interest payments, and failed attempts to fix its design flaws, Stade Olympique cost the city of Montreal and the Quebec provincial government over C$1.5 billionnote , making it one of the most expensive stadiums of all time and one of a few contenders for worst stadium used by a professional team. The stadium's debt wasn't fully paid off until three decades after the 1976 Summer Olympics. Since Montreal's two other outdoor teams, the CFL's Alouettes and MLS' Impact, play in smaller venues and only use Stade Olympique for special events, it is often considered a white elephant, and many Montrealers suggested that the stadium should be torn down; however, demolition is more cost-prohibitive than maintenance due to the stadium's design and the surrounding infrastructure, which makes demolition by implosion impractical and traditional demolition would take a long time to complete. Aside from the stadium problems, the Expos themselves were mediocre, only winning their division once in 1981. 1994 was the Expos' best year and were seen as potential World Series contenders; however, the infamous players' strike of that year pulled the rug out from under them. After that fateful strike, the fire sale of several star players along with several other front office factors spelled the end of the Expos. In their last decade, fan support dwindled after the Expos failed to secure English language TV and radio broadcast rights and negotiations to build a new baseball-specific ballpark fell through. After Jeffrey Loria's gross mismanagement of the team so he could buy the then-Florida Marlins, the other teams of MLB acquired the Expos and intended to disband them along with the Minnesota Twins after the 2001 season; however, legal action by the Minnesota state government forced the Twins to play out their lease at the Metrodome. Also, as part of the 2002-06 collective bargaining agreement with the players' union, the league was banned from contracting teams during the length of the CBA. Contraction ultimately never came to fruition; the Expos remained in Montreal until 2004, after of which they moved to Washington, DC and became the Nationals... where they continued to suck for their first decade or so in the District. A decade after losing the Expos, the Toronto Blue Jays has hosted two games in Montreal each year since 2014 to close their spring training. Despite the "home" team being from rival Toronto, the games have been sold out, proving that Montreal is still a viable MLB market; however, the Expos' return, whether by expansion or relocation, is unlikely without the guarantee of a new ballpark.
  • The New York Mets are basically the LA Clippers of baseball. They've gained a reputation for either playing well, then completely collapsing, or just playing a subpar season from start to finish, trading for worthwhile players and doing nothing with them, and taking in lesser players and trading them away when they start playing well. A common joke about a good player on the Mets is "how will they manage to screw this one up?" That's right, even the Mets' own fans like making fun of them—and themselves, as anyone who's ever watched Jon Stewart during baseball season can tell you. It's gotten to the point where even when the Mets do have a consistently excellent season, their fans still can't help but be nervous the whole time.
    • In 1969, men walked on the moon for the first time, and the Mets won a World Series for the first time. The latter was considered a much more surprising event, given that season's team is called the "Miracle Mets" because they were down 8 1/2 games in the NL East by mid-August before going on a tear to win the division...over another Butt Monkey (the Cubs) that suddenly choked down the stretch. Heck, the latter has been more rare than the former, too — there have been six separate missions with men on the moon, while the Mets have won the World Series twice (1969 and 1986).
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates. They didn't have a winning (or .500) season between 1992 and 2013. The 20 consecutive losing seasons are a record in North American sports. In 2012, they looked to be on the way to a winning season only to suffer one of the worst September collapses ever. To make matters worse, in what turned out to be their 81st loss, their ace AJ Burnett only allowed one run… only for Cincinnati's Homer Bailey to throw a no-hitter. In 2013 the streak of losing seasons finally ended and the Pirates finally made a return to the playoffs... and promptly lost in the divisional series. They remained one of MLB's best teams the following two years, but ended up getting eliminated in the Wild Card play-in game both times; to add insult to injury, in 2015 they had the second best record in all of baseball, but were stuck in the same division as the team with the best record. It gets worse when you consider the Pirates' contrast to the other teams in town, which are mostly successful (to the point that the Steelers won the Super Bowl and the Penguins the Stanley Cup in the same year, 2009). 2016 was a crushing year for them. After three years of finishing with a winning record and making it to the playoffs, they finished the year with a losing record. Lost many of the players that made them competitive, either to trade or injury. And their star player, Andrew McCutchen, had a bad productive year to say the least. Meanwhile, they had to watch as a team whom used to be worse than them in the same division won it all. That team? The Chicago Cubs, whom finally ended the so-called curse by winning the World Series. But it wasn't all bad news for the sports fans in Pittsburgh. Their hockey team, the Penguins, won another Stanley Cup.
  • The St. Louis Browns were a textbook example of long-term futility. From 1903 to 1953, the club had just one first-place and three second-place finishes against a whopping ten times in the American League cellar. The one time they did manage to scrape together a pennant-winning team was 1944, when the rest of the league's stars were off fighting World War II (by comparison, every player on the Browns was classified as "4-F/Unfit For Military Service"), where they were defeated by their in-city rivals the Cardinals. The Browns were so putrid that for the last decade or so of their existence they were more known for stunts such as signing a one-armed outfielder and sending a midget up to bat as a pinch hitter. The team was finally sold and moved to Baltimore, where the new owners excised almost all traces of the team's St. Louis roots by engineering a trade with the Yankees for most of the remaining Browns of note. To this day, the Baltimore Orioles rarely mention anything about their past prior to 1954.
  • The San Francisco Giants, after their move from New York in 1957, didn't win another World Series until 2010 (attributed to the so-called "curse of Coogan's Bluff" placed on them by New Yorkers unhappy with the move), with highlights being heavy, monsoon-like rains delaying the 1962 championship, a massive earthquake during the 1989 World Series damaging the Giants' home field, suffering a massive turnover in game 6 of the 2002 WS, and the Barry Bonds steroid scandal. Winning three championships between 2010 and 2014 seem to have cured them of this reputation, at least for the time being.
  • Other teams can perhaps claim of longer championship droughts, but the Texas Rangers remain the oldest MLB franchise (including the first 11 years operating and the second installment of the Washington Senators) to have NEVER won the World Series. Since 2002, they were the oldest franchise to never even make it to the Series - until they ended that in 2010. Despite being steamrolled in the 2010 Series to the Giants, they returned to the Fall Classic in 2011 - and proceeded to lose it in the most gut-wrenching way possible, losing what would have been the final out of the Series on a missed fly ball that led to them losing Game Six and then Game Seven. To make matters worse, the team regularly gets little respect and support in its own region, as they play in the shadow of the Dallas Cowboys in the most football-crazy state in the country, so all interest in baseball in North Texas completely vanishes once football training camp starts regardless of where the Rangers stand.

    Motor Sports 
  • Formula One pilot Rubens Barrichello was this. As three time champion Ayrton Senna (da Silva) tragically died in 1994, he was the best Brazilian pilot in the field and thus the one Brazilians expected from the most, with some even calling him the "next Senna." Unfortunately Barrichello spent 6 years with middling cars and low results (in 1997 he only finished two races out of 19), and after getting to the best car, Ferrari, became for six years second fiddle to Michael Schumacher, who in turn ran his way to become the biggest F1 champion. Once he had the best car again, in 2009 with Brawn, his bad luck struck again and he finished third while teammate Jenson Button was champion. He ended up going to Indy Car in 2012 as his previous team chose not to renew his contract, going for… Senna's nephew Bruno, proving the surname will always chase him. And the Indy season was so middling he went to drive stock car instead (although he did end up winning the 2014 Stock Car Brasil title, so there's that).
    • It's extended to TV. He became the butt of jokes from Jeremy Clarkson when he posted a top lap on Top Gear in 2010, beating The Stig in the same car. Admittedly, in this case the jokes were about the Stig considering Barrichello his nemesis for beating his time.
  • The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series is often looked upon as the butt monkey of sports car racing due to the series' notoriously hideous and low-tech Daytona Prototypes. They are now working on a plan to try and shed that image, however, beginning with an attempt at repairing the appearance of their Prototypes.
    • With the merger between Rolex and the American Le Mans Series into the United Sports Car Championship in 2014 came a merger of the Daytona Prototypes and the Le Mans Prototype Class 2 into a single Prototype class.note  In the process, P2 was nerfed and DP got several enhancements to level the playing field, but it seems to have tilted the class heavily in favor of the DP teams, who dominated the 2014 season in the Prototype class.

    National Basketball Association 
  • The Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats. After reclaiming the original Hornets' history and records from the New Orleans Pelicans, the Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats are effectively the NBA's version of the Cleveland Browns, particularly after the re-establishment of the franchise. The original Hornets franchise were a decent team, despite never winning the division; however, the Bobcats era was an absolute embarrassment. They surprised everyone with a playoff bid in the 2009-2010 season, but it all went downhill after being swept out of the first round. They didn't even come close to making the playoffs in the 2010-2011 season and set a new record for the worst seasonnote  by an NBA team in history in the 2011-2012 season, with 7 wins and 59 losses despite gaining two lottery picks in the 2011 Draft. This was made even worse by the fact that the team had 23 straight losses and 34 losses by at least 10 points. Not even being owned by Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest player in the league's history, helped them, as he's been publicly questioned by many (including his friend/rival Charles Barkley) on his ownership abilities, with some grossly mismanaged contracts for players not worth even half their money. Also not helping the Hornets/Bobcats is the fact that they share the Southeast Division with the Miami Heat, who has for the most part dominated the division since its creation in 2004. And before you think that there is a bright side that they will receive the second pick in the 2012 Draft, keep in mind that all of the Bobcats' lottery picks have been considered busts so far.note 
    • Just a year after the technically worst note  season in NBA history, the Bobcats surprised everybody, starting 7-5, matching their win total for the entire previous season in just the first 12 games. They then promptly remembered that they were the Charlotte Bobcats and collapsed epically, starting with a 17-game losing streak.
    • In their last season before the rename, the Bobcats managed to get some dignity by clinching their second ever playoff berth. Then came a sweep by the Miami Heat, ensuring the Bobcats to be one of the few teams to never win a playoff game!
    • Once the new Hornets came back to the playoffs in 2016, again against the Heat, they lost the first two games but managed to not only win Charlotte's first playoff game since 2002 but win the next two to get the lead! And then they squandered Game 6 at home before going to Florida and being trounced in the decisive match. Luck just doesn't seem to hit Charlotte's way.
  • After moving from Fort Wayne, where they had some solid teams but a very small market, the Detroit Pistons became probably the NBA's most consistent Butt Monkey from 1957 to 1981. This was a team once coached by a 24-year-old Dave DeBusschere, who was way in over his head and returned to being a full-time player the next season. This was a team that had 13 straight losing seasons from 1957 to 1970, and ended up trading DeBusschere to New York Knicks (also Butt Monkeys of sorts during that time), where he ended up winning two championships. While guard Dave Bing and center Bob Lanier did help make the Pistons competitive, if not championship material, for good chunks of the '70s, the latter part of the decade saw Detroit return to Butt Monkey status with a bang, with a parade of different head coaches that included future college basketball analyst Dick Vitale. It was only in 1981, when the Pistons drafted Isiah Thomas second-overall, that the team escaped its Butt Monkey status for a sustained period of time, as he would soon team up with Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, Rick Mahorn, and others to form the highly-successful "Bad Boys" lineup of the '80s.
  • The Los Angeles Clippers — dear LORD, the Clippers, a standard of this trope in other leagues. It's gotten to the point where other teams' fans in the league pity Clippers fans when they visit Staples Center. And it might never get any better for them. Rising star Blake Griffin aside, the Clips were crippled by a racist owner (see below) who didn't care about winning games, atrocious luck with injuries, poor draft management, and a merry-go-round of GMs and head coaches who don't know what they're doing (with Vinny Del Negro, fired after the 2012–13 season, proving our point). A lot of teams in the NBA are bad—the Clippers are the only team that has never been really good (although they did try in the one year where they took the Phoenix Suns to seven games in the Western Conference semifinals). And now the Clippers have lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs may be a Butt-Monkey on their own with that many losses in a row (26 to be exact), but the Clippers' status as a Butt-Monkey of the NBA will be enhanced with the defeat that ended the aforementioned losing streak.
    • However, their trade for star point guard Chris Paul might be a sign that they really could be shedding their skin here. Still, only time can truly tell with this team, because Chris Paul was originally meant to play for the other team in Los Angeles.note 
    • Also, after getting rid of Vinny Del Negro, they swapped a couple of draft picks to the Boston Celtics to get their current coach, Doc Rivers. (The Celtics had decided to blow up their roster anyway.)
    • Clippers fans do get to look up at 16 NBA championship banners in the rafters ever time they show up for a home game. The catch is, none of them belong to the Clippers. That's right, they don't even have their own arena; they're forced to share Staples Center with the infinitely more successful L.A. Lakers.
      • Admittedly, the Clippers have been growing and building upon their most recent success with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul on their team, starting with two straight Pacific Division titles, and it helps that the Lakers have been getting worse in the process as well. Still, the "Lob City" only won a playoff round twice ever since their streak begun in 2012... and that is half the rounds the team ever won in LA ever since they moved in 1984 (they had a fifth back in Buffalo).
      • Most of the Clippers' woes can be pinned on ex-owner Donald Sterling, who moved the team from San Diego to Los Angeles (in an effort to 'bring pro basketball to Los Angeles' notwithstanding that the Lakers had been the team in Los Angeles for more than twenty years at that point). Sterling's racism, long an open secret, led to his lifetime ban from the NBA and a forced sale of the team. His complete ineptitude at running a basketball team means that almost anyone else is likely to be a step up for the Clippers. However, given that Sterling is 80 years old, and he's likely to make at least $700 million on a $12.5 million initial investment when the team is sold, the punishment is too little, too late in the eyes of many.
    • Out of the teams who were in the league once the Conference Finals started in 1971, only the Clippers (then the Braves) have never reached said round.note  In 2015, the other team who still qualified, the Atlanta Hawks, beat the Wizards to get to Round 3. The Clippers built a 3-1 lead on the Rockets and blew it - with the worst part being a game 6 at home, which the Clippers were winning by 19 points after the third quarter... and then the fourth went 40-15 to Houston.
    • As if 2015 wasn't bleak enough, 2016 had the Clippers collapsing right in Round 1, opening 2-0 on Portland before losing 4 straight while Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were sidelined with injuries. Maybe The Sports Guy was right to say Native Americans cursed the team? He even had to write on the team woes again seeing the Clippers suffer a first round elimination in 2017 to the Utah Jazz.
  • Completing the non-Lakers Californian teams, the Sacramento Kings. Longest active drought, with their last title back in 1951 under original incarnation Rochester Royals. After that, they shifted around the entire country note  before finally settling in Sacramento by the 1985-86 season. When they finally arrived in Sacramento, they were mostly mediocre with only 2 playoff rounds in 13 years - riding Reggie Theus in 1986 and Mitch Richmond 10 years later. Then the late 90s had the Kings become a super team with the likes of Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, and Peja Stojaković on their roster. Unfortunately, said team couldn't quite get to the next level, never reaching the NBA Finals during their brief period of excellence, usually beaten by the Lakers note . Since then, the Kings have ranged from mediocre to outright terrible, mired in a long playoff drought that has lasted since 2006. To make matters worse, they were in peril of moving away from Sacramento due to the worsening fortunes of their then-owners, the Maloofs. While that issue has been resolved due to their purchase by Vivek Ranadivé, they have still remained at rock bottom, despite the presence of talented young players such as DeMarcus Cousins, Ben MacLemore, and (potentially) Willie Cauley-Stein. Current upheavals in the front office, plenty of boneheaded draft picks, and a revolving door in the coaching position (the Kings had 3 coaches during the 2014-2015 season!) have ensured that the Kings might have to wait a while before becoming the next Californian team to win it all. Being the division rival of the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers, who are current powerhouses (despite their less than stellar histories), doesn't help the Kings' playoff chances either.
    • Of all the teams in the Big 5 Sports Leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and MLS), the Kings are the only team in California that plays in Sacramento. While they have the distinction of playing in the State Capital, they also have the misfortune of playing in a city/metropolitan area that's not as well known or as large as the San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Los Angeles, or San Diego. Likewise, for their first 30 years in the city, they played in outdated and small arenas—first the original ARCO Arena, and then from 1988 to 2016 in the second ARCO Arena, which ended up with the embarrassing name of Sleep Train Arena. Thankfully, they've moved to the bigger, more up-to-date Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento for the 2016–17 season. Likewise, the Kings' "Small Town" status (and the fact that they were screwed over BIGTIME during the 2002 NBA Playoffs) has earned them pity and sympathy from many NBA fans.
    • To further twist the knife into the Kings' ordeal: the Kings, with one title, are tied with their fellow butt-monkey Hawks (whose lone championship, in 1958, was more recent than the Kings' last one) for the fewest championships among the 8 (still active) original NBA teams (Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, Pistons, Nationals/76ers, Warriors, Royals/Kings, Hawks). Even the Sixers, Warriors, and Knicks, who were butt-monkeys at certain points of their long existence, each have more championships than the Kings ever had in their long, tortured, journeyman existence.
  • Before the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, there were the Providence Steamrollers. Even though they were an Original Eleven NBA team, it's still no excuse for them with what happened after their first season. After a somewhat respectable 28-32 beginning season, things somehow went to Hell for the team next season as they ended up winning only 6 games! Not even the above mentioned Charlotte Bobcats ended up being that horrible!note  If social media was around during the late 40s-early 70s, people would've probably wanting teams to have a worse comparable record to the Providence Steamrollers (which may be illegal these days). In that same season, they also allowed a 46-year-old coach to play for a game, simply because it was his birthday. Afterwards, they had one more season of being better than last season, but not by much (12-48) before folding altogether. You could very well make a case that the Providence Steamrollers were the worst team to ever play for the NBA.
  • In the NBA, the entire Eastern Conference, year in year out, is normally quite a bit below the West, especially in the 2010's. Aside from the three or four teams at the top of the conference, the East usually has at least one team make the playoffs that finished with more losses than wins in the regular season, whereas the West normally has several above .500 teams that end up getting locked out due to the much more competitive nature of the conference. After the 2014-15 season, which saw only the top five teams in the East win more games than they lost, a debate started about the NBA instead choosing the top 16 teams from both conferences instead of the top 8 in each to make it fair to teams like Oklahoma City, who finished 45-37 that year and failed to qualify only because of losing a tiebreaker with New Orleans.

    National Football League 
  • The Arizona Cardinals have had a long history of this. Back when they were the Chicago Cardinals, they had a 29-game losing streak from 1942-1945 (including one season when they were temporarily merged with the Pittsburgh Steelers because of World War II causing a shortage of players). The franchise has only two NFL championship titles in its long history (the team has been part of the NFL since its formation in 1920), and the first one (in 1925) was heavily controversial. They have not won a championship game since 1947 (the longest such drought in the league), and have won only five division titles (1974, 1975, 2008, 2009, 2015) and one conference championship (2008) since that 1947 championship.
    • And with the Cubs winning the World Series, this butt monkey now holds the "honor" of having the largest drought in American sports history at the length of 69 years and counting.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals. No matter how much of a whipping-boy the Browns are in the AFC North, at least they have days when they won championships (albeit before the current NFL was formed). The Bengals have no such history, only having one period of being competitive in their history (1981-1990), and they still didn't win any Super Bowls. It also doesn't help that after period of success came the era of "The Bungles" (1990s), when they were absolutely terrible.
    • Just how bad was the Bungles era? During that time period, the franchise had nine seasons with 10 or more losses, three of those seasons in which they had the league's worst record. When NFL Films did a Top 10 worst teams countdown, the Bengals teams of the 90s earned a spot on the list. Yes, you're reading that right—teams. That's how bad they were. Every other team on the list was there for a single particularly atrocious season. The Bungles were particularly atrocious the entire decade, so there was no way to pick out any one year to represent them.
    • They currently have the longest playoff win drought, with their last in 1990. As of the end of the 2015 season the Bengals are 0-7 since (2005, 2009, and every season since 2011).
    • One of the most painful moments in Bengals history took place the day before Super Bowl XXIII, in which running back Stanley Wilson suffered a cocaine relapse in his hotel room, forcing head coach Sam Wyche to drop him from the game's roster. Due to his third violation of the league's drug policy (he was suspended in the 1985 and 1987 seasons), Wilson was banned for life from the NFL. Wyche later stated that Wilson's absence contributed to their loss.
  • The Detroit Lions, the epitome of this trope in the National Football League. At this point, almost all NFL fans simply pity Lions fans, who have come to set up entire online forums dedicated to how much their team sucks. After trading away Hall of Fame quarterback Bobby Layne in 1958 (upon which he supposedly quipped that the Lions wouldn't win for 50 years—his words couldn't have been more prophetic...unless he'd added some more years to the prediction) the Lions went on to compile the worst winning percentage in the NFL and become one of only four current NFL teams who have never made a Super Bowl appearance. Ever since the beginning of the 1960s, the Lions have been marked by mediocre play (including a game where a Lions player died on the field) and only sporadic playoff appearances where they were always eliminated in the Wild Card round. The last time the Lions saw anything resembling success was in the 1990s, when coach Wayne Fontes took the Lions to winning seasons in 1991 (when they won their only playoff game since the 1950s), 1993, 1994 and 1995, only for him to be fired in 1996. They would return to the playoffs again in 1997 and 1999 under his replacement, Bobby Ross, who would retire abruptly in the middle of the 2000 season due to frustration over the team's futility. From there, everything went south. Matt Millen was hired as the team's general manager, and under his stewardship the Lions would record a 31-84 record, the worst in modern NFL history. Millen's tenure saw the team go through multiple overhyped draft busts (Joey Harrington, Charles Rogers and Mike Williams, just to name a few), idiot coaches (dear God, Marty Mornhinweg) and a revolving door of aging journeyman players, which culminated in the now-infamous 0-16 season in 2008 which saw Millen's firing. The 2008 season had such memorable "highlights" as quarterback Dan Orlovsky running out of the back of the end zone to sack himself for a safety against the divisional rival Minnesota Vikings,note  with the 2 points from the safety ending up as Minnesota's margin of victory. There was hope that they could finally turn around under Jim Schwartz, who made a several great draft picks and took them to a 10-6 season in 2011 which brought them their first playoff berth since 1999, but a disastrous 2012 season where they went 4-12 proved that they are still the same old Lions. In 2013 they led their division for most of the season and looked like they were headed to round 2, only to drop to third in Week 15, and being eliminated the following game.
    • The Lions' misery is exemplified by the nationally televised game they play every year on Thanksgiving Day, where they get to show their futility to all of America. Somebody has to be the turkey, after all. They had a 10-year losing streak before beating the Packers in 2013. Most famously, their 2012 Thanksgiving game was cost by coach Jim Schwartz challenging a scoring play (NFL rules state that all scoring plays are to be automatically reviewed by the booth before the scoring team is awarded the points). Schwartz's challenge not only invalidated the booth review, but also drew an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty on the Lions and gave the Houston Texans a free 7 points on a play that the booth would have certainly overturned if they had been given the chance to review it. That 7 points was the difference that allowed the game to end with a tie and go into overtime, in which the Texans eventually kicked a field goal and won. While the challenge rules were later changed as a direct result of that game, that's no consolation to Lions fans.
    • At least the Lions fans are openly critical of their horrendous team and have a sense of humor, exemplified by how they made an amateur line of "0-16: The Imperfect Season" merchandise after the 2008 season; this is a big reason why they are viewed sympathetically by other NFL fans. Other examples of the Lions' fans' sense of humor are spread all throughout the internet, with a good starting point being the suggestion box on the Lions' Facebook page. There, along with angry rants from frustrated fans, you will find suggestions such as changing their home game entrance music to "I Missed Again" by Phil Collins or a Tori Amos song, or they should export the team to the Canadian Football League, or simply compile the team every Sunday morning out of the first 52 fans to arrive at the stadium as "they would certainly play better than the team we have now!"
    • It was generally accepted by fans that the team would never be competitive for as long as it was owned by William Clay Ford. It has been pretty well deduced that the Fords are completely indifferent to the Lions' poor performance as long as the games are selling out and the team is turning a profit. The fact that the Fords like to raise ticket prices after the Lions have a winning season is seen as just further proof of this, though given that winning seasons are pretty uncommon events for the Lions, that particular problem doesn't come up very often. The Lions' lack of a winning culture has been attested to by a number of former players and coaches, the most notable being Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders—who eventually admitted that his abrupt retirement just short of breaking Walter Payton's all time rushing record was due to the team's careless attitude and frequent coaching changes removing any enjoyment he derived from playing the game and the knowledge that he had no chance of being traded to another team—and former head coach Bobby Ross—who frequently accused the players of just playing for their paychecks and abruptly retired in the middle of the 2000 season out of frustration with the organization's lackadaisical attitude towards winning; he felt that he was the only person there who genuinely cared about building a winning franchise.
    • As many fans will point out, the Lions' poor play stands in contrast to the general competitiveness of the Detroit Tigers, Pistons and especially Red Wings (who are one of the best teams in the NHL, and currently have the longest playoff appearance streak across the Big 4 leagues). What do those teams have in common? They're not owned by William Clay Ford. Moreover, two of them—the Tigers and Red Wings—were owned by Mike Ilitch (the guy who started Little Caesars Pizza from nothing—unlike W.C. Ford, who, as you might have guessed, is a descendant of Henry Ford), a former athlete (he played minor-league ball in the Tigers farm system in The '50s) and diehard Detroit sports fan who revels in his teams' victories and feels the pain from their defeats.note  With Ford's death in 2014, his widow Martha Firestone Fordnote  was temporarily owner of the Lions. The heir apparent to the owner's title was going to be William Clay "Bill" Ford, Jr., who is a bit of a hippie for an executive (he's a vegan and folk singer and when he was CEO of Ford for a time he donated most of his salary to charity) but likes sports (he's a judoka and plays amateur hockey) and seems a bit more invested in the team. In 2016, the new GM was announced as Bob Quinn, former director of pro scouting for the Patriots. Time will tell if the new guy can get the Lions out of this status.
    • Or, to put it all in a nutshell, the Lions are the L.A. Clippers of the NFL (though, thankfully, lacking the openly racist owner).
    • During the 2012 season, the sentiments of most fans after a Lions game is "At least Calvin Johnson had a good game." Especially apparent when he broke the record for most receiving yards and is on track for a 2,000-yard season. Many people/fans were just glad the Lions did not go 0-16 again.
    • And then, after making the playoffs for only the 2nd time in this millennium, the Lions led the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 early in the 4th quarter when on 3rd down, a Matthew Stafford pass bounced off the back of Dallas linebacker Anthony Hitchens. As Hitchens was not playing the ball, the officials promptly ruled pass interference... only for the officials to reverse the call after the penalty was marked off, resulting in Detroit having to punt. Dallas would go on to win 24-20.
  • The Houston Oilers won the first-ever AFL championship—and never won another one. A string of crushing playoff defeats in the team's NFL history finally came to a head in 1993, when they blew the biggest lead (35-3) in NFL playoff history to the freakin' Buffalo Bills. The fans dubbed them "Choke City" (adding insult to injury, they declared the Rockets "Clutch City" when they won the NBA title a year later). They also suffered due to the fact that they were owned by Bud Adams, who was frequently near the top of "Worst Owners in the NFL" lists. How the Oilers moved wasn't due to apathetic fans—Bud Adams threatened to move the team when he wanted an upgrade to the Astrodome and then wanted a brand new stadium shortly after the city of Houston gave funds to upgrade the Astrodome. When the city of Houston understandably balked at such a request, Adams announced that he was moving the team to Tennessee, breaking the hearts of many an Oiler fan.
    • Bud Adams still remained near the top of "Worst Owner" lists according to Tennessee Titans fans until his death in 2013. While they haven't experienced many losing seasons like some of the other examples thanks to long time coach Jeff Fisher, they've had to endure questionable moves by their owner which often crippled their Super Bowl hopes. When the Titans of the late '90s-early '00s couldn't get over the hump and win the Super Bowl, Adams dismantled the team in a hissy fit by trading most of the team away. There was also the situation with the 2006 Draft, where he forced Jeff Fisher to draft Vince Young and then forced Fisher to start Young despite him obviously not being ready to take over the starting job. When Young eventually turned out to be unfit for the starting job, Adams decided that the best way to solve the problem was to fire Jeff Fisher. Then fired Young as well the next week, making the whole ordeal even more pointless.
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars, especially in the last few years. If you hear about them on sports talk radio or ESPN, there's usually some snide remarks being made about the team, how seats in their stadium are tarped over - never mind that a) the only reason there's extra seats is to accommodate the Florida/Georgia game and the Gator Bowl, which draw much larger crowds than the NFL, and b) other cities, like Oakland, tarp off seats, too - and just this side of a betting pool on when the moving trucks will roll in to carry them to another city, usually either Los Angeles or London; the team plays one of their home games in the latter city as a semi-permanent tenant in the NFL's International Series, and the owner also owns a soccer team in Londonnote .
    • Some of this stems from a general bias against the city of Jacksonville, Florida; while it's actually the largest city in Florida, it has a reputation of being a small town that thinks it's a metropolis (objectively, these critics are right that "largest city in Florida" is a bit overblown: it has the largest population because it is also the most geographically extensive major city in Florida—Miami, the Tampa Bay Area, and Orlando-Kissimmee have much larger urban populations, but they are divided into a large number of small municipalities). Ever since the team was awarded in 1995, there have been sports writers and fans questioning, "Why a team in Jacksonville?"
    • By expansion team standards, their first five years were pretty good, with two division championships and two appearances in the AFC Championship Game. Salary cap woes caught up to the team in 2000, leading to coach Tom Coughlin's firing in 2002 (he went on to win the Super Bowl twice coaching the New York Giants), and things went further downhill from there due to poor drafts and coaching. A change in ownership in 2012 has finally brought about a full-on rebuilding that will take a couple of years. In the first half of the 2013 season, that showed on the field, with the team losing handily each week; after the bye week, though, the team went 4-4 to finish 4-12, and gave a glimmer of what could be next year.
  • It may be hard for a younger football fan to believe this, but for much of their existence, the New England Patriots were this. With mediocre season after mediocre season, being on the receiving end of one of the most lopsided Super Bowl defeats in history for the one season that they were not mediocre, and constant threats of relocation to either Jacksonville or St. Louis, if you asked Patriots fans in the '80s (Hell, probably early '90s fans as well) if they thought they could win a championship in their lifetime, they probably wouldn't have an answer. Then came the 2000s and birth of a dynasty and they haven't resembled anything close to this trope since.
    • A classic example of how bad the Pats used to be before Tom Brady's arrival came when their name was dropped as the favorite team of the titular "Bad Luck Sammie", by mid-'90s alt-rockers The Figgs. Guess Sammie's a much luckier man these days. When The Figgs performed "Bad Luck Sammie" live in December 2012, the lyrics were changed from the Patriots to the New York Jets to reflect their struggles at the time.
  • Before the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl, they were considered to be the league's biggest joke next to the Lions. They debuted in 1967 but didn't have a winning season until 1987. The 1980 season was the peak of putrid play, as they went 1-15, which at the time was the most losses in one season in league history. Then they couldn't win a playoff game until 2000. And thus, the nickname "Ain'ts" was born.
    • Fun fact: their fans were the first to wear paper bags over their heads.
    • Another fun fact: You know the far above example Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their first 26 games? They won their 27th game. Guess which team that was against? That's right: This butt monkey. The Saints. It was so bad a loss the team fired both the head coach AND the quarterback the day after.
    • Even after the Super Bowl win, the Saints seem to be returning to their Butt-Monkey ways. As defending champs, the Saints lose a playoff game to the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks (the worst team to somehow make the playoffs in NFL history). Then the Saints got caught in the Bountygate scandal which likely was a factor in their 2012 losing season. A bounce back to the playoffs in 2013 was considered a short break (they managed to beat the Eagles in the Wild Card Round, only to get beaten by the Seahawks in the Divisional Round).
  • When the NFL realigned into 4 divisions per conference in 2002, the NFC South (Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers) was largely thought of as the NFL's joke division since it had three perennial Butt Monkeys and a then-recent expansion team. However, the division has been fairly competitive, at least until 2014, when all four teams finished the season with a losing record, reigniting the debate of whether or not a division champion should receive an automatic berth into the playoffs and host a playoff game.
  • The NFC West was commonly seen as a Joke Division throughout most of the 2000's. After the decline of the "Greatest Show On Turf" St. Louis Rams, the division was commonly seen as a joke, despite the presence of several standout teams (the Hasselbeck-Alexander led Seahawks, the Kurt Warner-led Cardinals). In fact, the Seahawks were the first team to win an NFL division with a 7-9 record! (Meanwhile, the Giants and Bucs, who each had finished 10-6, failed to qualify.) It didn't help that the once-mighty San Francisco 49ers were going through a massive Dork Age and the aforementioned Rams started a descent into mediocrity. This all ended, however, with the resurrection of the 49ers and Seahawks as NFL powerhouses (both sparked by defensive dominance and a great run game) during The New '10s. Nowadays, the division is seen as a defensive juggernaut; the Seahawks (who have a Super Bowl Championship) have their Legion of Boom defense, the 49ers (who were constantly one or two mess-ups away from winning a Super Bowl) and Cardinals also have excellent defenses (their offenses, on the other hand...), and the Rams, despite being the division's current whipping boy, have a decent front 7 with the likes of Robert Quinn, Aaron Donald, Alec Ogletree, and James Laurinaitisnote .

    National Hockey League 
  • Among the major North American professional sports leagues, the NHL itself is a Butt Monkey.
    • Since Gary Bettman became commissioner in 1993, the league suffered from three work stoppages, losing the entire 2004-05 season and coming very close to losing the other two strike-affected seasons (1994-95 and 2012-13). Worse still, there have only been four lockouts overall, the first one happening just before Bettman took office. The first was also the mildest, affecting only 30 games.
    • Many teams, primarily those based in warm-weather markets, are financially struggling; many hockey purists blame expansion and relocation into the Southern US for the league's financial hardships as well as diluting the talent pool (though the last one is not as true as it seems); one such purist, the statistician Nate Silver (a big hockey fan—he grew up in Michigan), even attempted to back this argument up with the power of math! However, many Southern hockey fans argue that a hockey team at any level can thrive in the South under the right ownership.
    • As much as hockey purists love to blame the league's expansion into the Southern US for its struggles, the expansion of the late 1960s and 1970s was possibly worse than the 1990s expansion, as the league had expanded too quickly by more than tripling in size, first doubling from Original Six in 1967note  then adding 9 more teamsnote  in just 13 years. Many of those expansion teams struggled both on and off the ice early on with the Oakland Seals/Cleveland Barons franchise becoming one of the few major professional teams to fold since 1960.
    • The league has seven Canadian teams. Canadian teams in predominately US-based leaguesnote  tend to be Butt Monkeys, and four of those teams, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg, are among the smallest markets in not only the NHL, but across all five major North American professional leagues. The Canadian teams collect revenue and pay their expenses in Canadian dollars; however, per league rules, team payroll is paid out in US dollars, meaning Canadian owners' profits dwindle whenever the Canadian dollar trades well below its US counterpart. Seeing all seven miss the playoffs in 2016 hurt Canada as few things could.
    • With the NFL's 2016 return to Los Angeles and MLS' 2017 expansion to Atlanta, the NHL is the only major league without a team in every top 10 US media market; however, the two top 10 markets where the NHL is absent, Atlanta and Houston, are both in the Sun Belt. As mentioned in "Cities in General" above, Atlanta has not been a successful market for the NHL, and Houston has never hosted an NHL franchise; despite being one of the WHA's more successful and financially stable teams, the Aeros were left out of the 1979 WHA-NHL merger and folded before then, and a local consortium in Edmonton prevented a planned relocation of the Oilers to Houston.
  • Despite winning the Cup in 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes have had enough to count as a Butt-Monkey on their own. First, there were two seasons playing for small crowds in a gargantuan and distant stadium - and unlike the Avs and Coyotes, the Canes didn't make the playoffs upon relocation, though they got there in the second. Then after their Raleigh arena was ready, another missed postseason, a round one defeat, and finally an underdog run to the Stanley Cup finals before bowing to the Detroit Red Wings... followed by finishing last overall and yet another losing season before the lockout wiped a whole NHL season. Then the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup... and afterwards were the first champion in 11 years to miss the subsequent playoffs. After missing the 2008 playoffs by two points, 2009 had another surprise run with the Canes reaching the Eastern finals, where they were swept by the eventual champions Pittsburgh Penguins. The Hurricanes haven't even qualified for the playoffs ever since, with the sole highlight being 2010-11: Raleigh hosted the All-Star Game, forward Jeff Skinner won Rookie of the Year, and the Canes only had to win their last game at home to clinch a spot... the result was a 6-2 blowout by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets have been an absolute disaster at levels equal to or greater than the former Atlanta Thrashers. No wonder why certain people have taken to calling them the Blowjobs.
    • The Jackets embarked on their lockout-shortened 2013 campaign with a horrid 5-12-2 record. Then, they made a dramatic turnaround in the second half of the season, going 19-5-5 (for 43 points) the rest of the way. Not even the Presidents' Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks did that well over that stretch. However, it wasn't enough, as the Jackets missed the final playoff spot on a tiebreaker.
    • The first year they made the playoffs, they had to go up against the defending champion Detroit Red Wings. The Wings outscored the Jackets by a brutal 12-2 in the first 3 games, but Columbus almost forced overtime in Game 4...only for Detroit to score the series-clinching goal with 57 seconds left in regulation. The Blue Jackets finally won a playoff game on their second try in 2014 against the Pittsburgh Penguins; however, the Blue Jackets fell in the first round in 6 games.
    • One thing even makes it more painful for Columbus fans: building their contender also lead Los Angeles to two Stanley Cup titles in three years! And the second one over the New York Rangers, which added even more former Blue Jackets (including the sole star for many years, Rick Nash).
    • And of course, though the 2014-15 season started out looking to have them set as arguably a cup contender (in the pre-season, their record was 6-1-0, with most games played against top tier teams and only losing once against the Pittsburgh Penguins), a string of team-decimating injuries has left them in the bottom of the barrel again. Though they've started to rebound (the Jackets won the last nine games of the season despite not contending for a playoff berth!), the team had a stretch wherein they only won 2 out of 17 games, having been placed dead last in the entire league at one point. Yes, that includes the Oilers.note  2015-16 started with the Jackets losing 7 straight games to make the rest of the league pity them and their fans even more.
    • 2016-17 had the Blue Jackets surprising everyone, with the team expected to finish in the bottom becoming one of the top 4 in the league, including an almost record streak of 16 victories. Come the playoffs, they only win one game against the defending champion... the Penguins! And they just barely managed it too, having to win in overtime.
  • As an NHL franchise for the first thirteen seasons, the Kansas City Scouts/Colorado Rockies/New Jersey Devils only made the playoffs once and were a joke to the point that Wayne Gretzky called them a Mickey Mouse Organization after a 13-4 poundingnote  in a game against the Edmonton Oilers. By the 1987-1988 season, New Jersey Took a Level in Badass and only missed the playoffs three times before the 2012 lockout (which begun another dry spell, with three straight years not qualifying for the postseason). But at least they managed to win three Stanley Cups during their 1988-2012 run and permanently shed the Butt-Monkey label.
  • The New York Islanders in the NHL also seem to embody this as of late. Despite the fact that they were a dominant force in the 1980s,note  they've only managed a handful of playoff appearances (usually as one of the lower seeds) in the past fifteen years. The team just cannot catch a break. They are absolutely dwarfed in the local media by the much larger New York Rangers. The fact that their mascot during the mid-nineties resembled the Hi-Liner Fishsticks guy didn't help. From their inception in 1972 until 2015, the Islanders played in perhaps the worst venue in the NHL, the Nassau Coliseum. The team moved into the newer Barclays Center in Brooklyn; however, Barclays Center may be potentially worse than the old Coliseum as the former was specifically designed for basketball with no aforethought to hockey (e.g. obstructed views, scoreboard is not over center ice, the ice barely fits in the lower bowl, etc.); also, the Barclays Center seats less people for hockey than the Nassau Coliseum's original configuration, and barely seats more than Winnipeg's Bell MTS Place. The best thing one could do with the Isles at this juncture is to completely relocate them outside the NY metropolitan area where they wouldn't be outmuscled by the Rangers and New Jersey Devils.
    • Of note is that the Islanders first postseason at Barclays, in 2016, had them break the longest playoff win droughts, that lasted since 1994... against the second longest, the aforementioned Panthers, whose only deep run was in 1996. And it was only in game 6 overtime, since Isles fans seem to need things as difficult as possible before some catharsis. The following round, they faced the other Florida team, but despite great play were downed by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 5 games.
    • After a less than fruitful relationship, the Brooklyn Nets, who own and operate Barclays Center, are evicting the Islanders from their arena after the 2018-19 season.
  • The New York Rangers underwent a long drought after winning the Stanley Cup in 1940, presumably because the following year they burned the Madison Square Garden mortgage papers in the Cup and then helped drive the rival New York Americans out of existence. Opposing fans would drone the players with chants of "1940!" until they finally took the Cup back in 1994 (beating the aforementioned Vancouver Canucks).
    • Coincidentally, the Vancouver Canucks are seemingly responsible for causing the "Riot Curse", where after they got beaten by the Rangers in the 1994 finals, the city of Vancouver rioted in anger. Since then, no Canadian team has won the Cup, and any team that beats them is certain to win the Cup to add salt to the wound. Yes, Vancouver caused an entire Cup drought to a nation. History would repeat itself when the Canucks were beaten in the Stanley Cup finals in 2011 by the Boston Bruins, which caused the city to riot again.
    • The Detroit Red Wings, today universally-loathed/feared/respected (or some combination of the three) power players, had this going during their 42-year Cup drought, with opponents using the word "1955" like a weapon until they finally took it in 1997.
    • The Red Wings' biggest rival, the Chicago Blackhawks, followed their 1961 title with stretches of "almost there" (five lost finals between 1962 and 1992), mediocrity, and finally outright futility (to the point ESPN named them the worst franchise in sports). Then owner Bill Wirtz died in 2007, and his son Rocky invested in regaining the local crowd while shelling out the Blackhawks' recent draft picks into a competitive team. The result was a Stanley Cup in 2010, the second longest interval between titles after the Rangers, and another two in 2013 and 2015.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins have been a Butt Monkey at various points in their history. From the team's founding in 1967 up through the mid-1980s, they consistently finished at or near the bottom of the standings and skated line-ups consisting mostly of has-beens and nobodies. Their first real star player, Michel Brière, managed only a rookie season with the team before dying in a coma as a result of a car accident. It didn't help that the other two major Pittsburgh sports franchises, the Steelers and (to a lesser extent) the Pirates, were among the most dominant teams in their respective leagues throughout the 1970s, making the Pens something of a joke locally as well as nationally. They slowly started to turn things around starting with the drafting of Quebecois sensation Mario Lemieux in 1984, building up a strong roster of players alongside him that culminated in not one, but two Stanley Cup victories in 1991 and 1992. However, just when it seemed that the NHL would see another dynasty in the making, the team declined again throughout the 90s leading to a second butt monkey period from 2000-2004, with poor financial practices putting the team into bankruptcy while they played in an obsolete home arena with low capacity, leading to serious discussion of disbanding or relocating the club around this time. It actually took yet another Canadian phenom—Sidney Crosby, drafted after the infamous lockout in 2005—to lift the team once again, leading to a third Stanley Cup in 2009, a brand-new arena constructed a year later, and generally becoming a formidable enough opponent to avert this trope in recent years. Nowadays, they're more like Acceptable Targets because of their success, so it's actually swung the other way, with people hating them because they're successful now. They simply can't win with hockey fans.
    • Among the Penguins is a whole other story. For some reason, unique among sportscasters is Root Sports Penguins reporter Dan Potash. Harassing him has become a tradition among the Penguins, even new recruits who simply join in on the fun upon being drafted into the team without even knowing him before. This poor guy has to watch his back constantly as he covers games, as he never knows when he's going to be hit with a hockey stick, get sprayed with ice by an incoming skater, or have someone make fun of his hair. He takes it all in stride, but there's no denying that the Penguins regularly have fun at his expense, fulfilling this trope to a T. This is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
  • The current Winnipeg Jets are the runt of not only the NHL, but among all of the teams in the five major North American professional leagues. With less than a million residents in its metro area, the team plays in the smallest standalone media market among professional sports in North Americanote . The team plays in the league's smallest arena, Bell MTS Place, which seats only 15,000; even though it's considered a large, modern arena, it is undersized by NHL standards, meaning the Jets end up finishing in the bottom third in the league and dead last among Canadian teams for attendance despite having sell outs for all of their home games. Many top-tier free agents have Winnipeg on or near the top of their "no-move" lists because of the city's perception of being located out in the middle of nowhere and having nothing to do in the off-season. True North Sports and Entertainment originally sought to bring the original Winnipeg Jets, the Arizona Coyotes, home; however, the NHL instead persuaded True North to buy a bargain basement team in the former Atlanta Thrashers, a team ran into the ground by its ex-owners (See Atlanta's section in "Cities in General" for more details). Aside from dysfunctional ownership in Atlanta, the only reason the NHL even considered returning to Winnipeg was a then-strong Canadian dollar; if the Canadian dollar falls too far below its US counterpart as it did in the early '90s or if True North goes bankrupt, the Jets would be most likely the first Canadian team to be put up for relocation or contraction. The team had to spend their first two seasons in the Thrashers' place in the now-defunct Southeast Division, putting the team at a competitive and geographical disadvantage since their nearest divisional opponent was more than 1500 miles away. And their attempt at getting the final seed of the East in 2013 still fell short! Realignment for 2013-14 hasn't helped much, as the Jets finished dead last in the reorganized Central Division. The Jets did make the playoffs in 2015 as the second wild card in the Western Conference, only to get swept in the first round by the Anaheim Ducks. Unlike the NFL's Cleveland Browns, MLS's San Jose Earthquakes, and the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, the Jets have not reclaimed the original franchise's history; it's still tied to the Arizona Coyotes' historynote .
  • Both the Alberta teams have been this since their Cinderella runs to the Stanley Cup finals in the 2000s - lost to teams from the Sun Belt to make Canada feel even worse.
    • The Calgary Flames, who had broken a seven-year drought as they reached the final in 2004 (lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning), lost in Round 1 the following four seasons, and failed to qualify for another five, with the final nail in their coffin being team star Jarome Iginla leaving in 2013. Then a surprisingly improved campaign in 2014-15 managed to break the Flames' playoff drought, where they even won a round against the Vancouver Canucks before bowing to the Anaheim Ducks. With intraprovincial rival Edmonton opening the new Rogers Place in 2016, and Detroit set to replace Joe Louis Arena with Little Caesars Arena in 2017, the Saddledome is currently one of the oldest arenas in the NHL outside of Madison Square Garden, of which its interior was substantially rebuilt between 2011 and 2013.
    • The Edmonton Oilers have arguably been one ever since Wayne Gretzky was traded in 1988. Although the Oilers won the Stanley Cup in 1990, they spent the rest of the 1990s either as a bottom feeder or playing .500 hockey at best. Things got better in the early 2000s, but after their miracle 2006 Cup run the Oilers returned to the NHL basement. Their multitude of issues have included: the psychological blow suffered by Gretzky's departure (as many fans knew it was the End of an Era); financial problems (owner Peter Pocklington was forced to sell the team to a group of local investors who couldn't afford to compete for the best free agents); the weak Canadian dollar, which hampered the Oilers' ability to sign free agents the way it did the other Canadian NHL teams; and especially the team's insistence on hiring recycled ex-Oilers as coaches and managers over more qualified candidates based on their having played for the team during its Glory Days, and pigheadedly retaining them even after the Oilers' extended Dork Age has shown their incompetence. The Oilers' miracle 2006 Cup run is now seen as a fluke, and they hadn't even qualified since the 2006 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes (helped by star defender Chris Pronger requesting a trade shortly after the finals), leading to a perpetual "rebuild mode" even after three straight number one draft picks between 2009 and 2012 - and a fourth in 2015, making analysts and other teams' fans to revolt and fear for the future of the top draft pick (which turned out to be oddly prescient), while making sure to point out Edmonton fans deserve some happiness after so much suffering, but on the other hand it's hard to support such an inept team office having another lucky break. Then 2016-17 finally enabled the Oilers fanbase to feel good for a change, as the Oilers soared to the playoffs for the first time in a decade led by the 2015 top pick Connor McDavid, and even won round 1 over the San Jose Sharks. It's just a coincidence, but the Oilers also recruited a new manager and coach who are not part of the infamous old boys club at the same time that the team has become successful again.
  • Along with the Oilers, the three other teams which descended from the World Hockey Association, the Hartford Whalers, the Quebec Nordiques, and the original Winnipeg Jets, were Butt Monkeys deliberately invoked by the NHL as punishment for forcing the NHL to overexpand in the 1970s. Unlike the American Basketball Association, where all four of its surviving teams (Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York/New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, and San Antonio Spurs) remain in their respective post-merger markets to this day, only one WHA team, the Edmonton Oilers, is still in its post-merger market as of 2017. As part of the agreement to join the NHL, the four WHA teams' rosters were virtually gutted, the teams received no compensation for players reclaimed by the existing NHL teams and the teams were placed in the bottom of the order in the 1979 rookie draft, instead of at the top as is the standard practice for expansion teams. The four teams were among the smallest markets for any professional team, severely limiting their profit potential. By the 1990s, the four former WHA clubs were also playing in small, outdated arenas. An anemic Canadian dollar in the early 1990s forced the Nordiques and Jets down to Denver (as the Avalanche) and Phoenix (as the Coyotes), respectively, and the Oilers almost moved to Houston not long after Bud Adams moved the NFL's Oilers to Tennessee; however, an Edmonton-based consortium outbid Rockets' owner Leslie Alexander to keep the team in Alberta. The Whalers fared no better as they were essentially strong-armed by the old guard New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, ultimately moving to Raleigh, North Carolina (as the Hurricanes). Since then, the NHL returned to Winnipeg with the above-mentioned move of the Atlanta Thrashers, and Quebec City has built a new NHL-caliber arena, Centre Videotron, with hopes of reviving the Nordiques.
  • All the current California teams had stretches of this (though not as much as the one that doesn't even exist anymore - see the Cities In General folder for the Oakland Seals). Partly due to being in California, and not somewhere "proper" for hockey - even if since the 90s there are three franchises there, proving there's an audience.
    • The Los Angeles Kings were one of the 1967 expansion teams, and (aside from the aforementioned Seals) the last to get to the Stanley Cup final, in 1993 with Wayne Gretzky. And there they lost to the Montreal Canadiens due to an irregular stick. Before Gretzky arrived in 1988, the Kings were "never enough to get there", and after he left the team even went bankrupt thanks to then-owner Bruce McNall's Con Man antics. Then in The New '10s the Kings finally broke Butt Monkey status by becoming a dominant team, winning the Stanley Cup in 2012 (now the Blues are the only surviving team of 67 without a title) and again in 2014.
    • Up until the Anaheim Ducks were purchased from Disney in 2006, they were widely regarded as little more than a Disney marketing ploy, just like the Anaheim Angels in baseball - doesn't help the team was Mighty Ducks of Anaheim upon creation. They did ride the outstanding duo Paul Kariya and Teemu Selänne to finish seasons with respectable records, and even made the 2003 Stanley Cup finals (where they were beaten by the New Jersey Devils), but overall, a trip to Anaheim meant beach time for the other team. But then the team got really good after dropping the "Mighty", won a Stanley Cup, and have been in the mix ever since - contenders who lose shamefully, but still a great franchise.
    • The San Jose Sharks were a terrible expansion team, then got some lucky breaks (their defeat of the Red Wings in 1994 was the first 8-seed upsetting an 1-seed), and finally became a great team during the mid 2000s... that just couldn't get to the Stanley Cup Finals (at most three Conference Finals). Then the team hit Rock Bottom in the 2014 playoffs, where their status as chokers was set in stone following going up 3-0 on the Los Angeles Kings in the playoffs, and then losing all four games after. Unlike the other two, they remain butt monkeys, even missing the postseason for the first time in a decade the following year. 2016 however had the Sharks bouncing with a fury, avenging the Kings defeat in Round 1, holding up in 7 games against Nashville, and finally beating St. Louis to reach their first Finals... where they trailed the Pittsburgh Penguins all the way (their wins were after losing the first two games, and then following the fourth) before losing the series at home on game 6, extending the drought longer.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs have the unusual distinction of being considered both a Butt-Monkey and an Evil Empire; they are by far the largest of the Canadian markets, and spend the most money, but continue to play with ineptitude that earns them equal amounts of derision and pity. With that being said, recent changes in team philosophy and management, and especially their failed playoff run in 2017, have changed NHL fans' relationship with the Leafs from a team they Love to Hate to general pity, particularly as teams like Vancouver became easier targets for scorn.

    Other 
  • Anyone on the receiving end of an aikido demonstration, as they are pinned, twisted, and slammed in front of an audience of students. Since this is for educational purposes, and aikido is based on countering, this is an Enforced Trope.
  • Every team that plays the Harlem Globetrotters will be the Butt Monkey for at least that game. Special notice especially goes towards the Washington Generals, who were once a champion ABL team in Philadelphia before the league folded.
    • Invoked; the Generals were later bought by the Globetrotters and were explicitly intended to be the fall guys. Until the Trotters folded the Generals in 2015.
  • In international Cricket, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh - many critics feel that one or both of them are unworthy of test match status, and think their spots should be given to other countries, such as Ireland or even Afghanistan (who, due to the country being deemed unsafe, play their home matches in the United Arab Emirates).
    • As of June 2017, Ireland and Afghanistan have been granted test match status. No test playing nation nation had their status revoked.
    • In Australia's Big Bash League, Sydney Thunder finished last or second-last in each of the first four seasons, before going on to win BBL 5 (as well as the inaugural Women's BBL) in 2015-6.
    • The International Cricket Council, which *administers* the game, is often seen as one by cricket fans worldwide, due to their perceived "softness", making frequent, confusing and complicated rule changes, and not doing enough to promote the game.
  • The Philippine Basketball Association's Barako Bull Energy. It would seem that their main reason for existing in the PBA is to serve as a farm team for San Miguel Corporation-owned teams (San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra, Star) — a place for young players to prove themselves before playing for a contender, or a place for older, washed-up players to close out their careers when they become surplus to their old team's needs. This hasn't changed with their re-brand as the "Phoenix Fuel Masters".
    • No mention of the 2014 expansion teams? Kia/Mahindra are commonly mocked/criticized as a marketing vehicle for player/coach/boxer Manny Pacquiao (who is memetically HORRIBLE at basketball). Their relative ineptitude has caused the PBA to raise concerns about their poor performance, and their act of allowing Pacquiao to play is seen as a mockery of basketball or a symbol of Filipino basketball's decline. Blackwater, on the other hand, is a generic terrible expansion team which almost never makes the playoffs. However, they are also Butt Monkeys for a tragic reason; they were the first PBA team who had an active player die while playing for them note .
    • Back in The90s, Pepsi/7Up/Mobiline was this. Never a big draw for star players (compared to powerhouses Alaska, San Miguel, and Sta. Lucia), Pepsi/7Up/Mobiline were more well known for their blue-collar style of play led by Alvin Teng and Dindo Pumaren. Sadly, their style of play didn't really translate to wins, as they consistently missed the playoffs throughout the early-mid 90's. Things changed somewhat with the acquisitons of Fil-American center Andy Seigle and scorer Jeffrey Cariaso, but the biggest blow to their Butt Monkey status was the signing of Filipino-Tongan giant Asi Taulava and the eventual name-change to Talk and Text. Nowadays, Talk and Text (now TNT) is considered one of the PBA's love-it or hate-it teams alongside San Miguel, Alaska, and Ginebra, and no one is ever going to mistake them for the league's Butt-Monkey.
  • In the University Athletic Association of the Philippines' Basketball tournament, we have the University of the Philippines. Apart from a period of success in the late-80's thanks to playmaker Ronnie Magsanoc and big-man Benjie Paras, UP (despite being the Philippines' top-ranked university in terms of academics) has frequently flirted with the bottom of the UAAP standings. This is in contrast to their neighbor and academic rival Ateneo, which is a constant force in the UAAP alongside the traditional "Basketball Schools" like UST, La Salle, and UE.
    • This can be explained by UP's strict rules on Athletes' academic performance. While most colleges in the Philippines are willing to commit shady acts like giving easier classes to athletes and adjusting athletes' grades, UP mandates that ALL ATHLETES must strictly comply with certain academic standards; any athlete that does well in tournaments but constantly fails classes is immediately booted off the team.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ButtMonkey/Sports