The NFL season just ended, but sports in Kansas City never end thanks to the Royals. While the Chiefs and their neighbors keep the sports pages full around town, Bob Gretz takes a look at just how bad the two franchises have been over the past three years (and beyond).
To say that sports fans in Kansas City and its environs have been disappointed by their NFL and major league baseball teams is maybe the biggest understatement of the year. Over the last three years, the Royals have a .430 winning percentage (209-277) and the Chiefs have a .208 winning percentage (10-38).
That’s a combined record in the 2007-08-09 seasons of 219 victories, 315 defeats, a .410 winning percentage. Bad? That’s world-class bad. It has made Kansas City the “Land of Losing” when it comes to major professional sports.
In the last three years, only one other city that has major league baseball and a team in the NFL has put their sports fans through more depression and losing than the Royals and Chiefs. That would be the fans of our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. The Nationals and Redskins have combined for a 212-321 record, a .398 winning percentage.
There’s more … in the last three seasons neither the Royals nor the Chiefs had a winning season. There’s only one other city that’s not experienced at least one season from their two teams where there were more victories than defeats. That’s Oakland, where the A’s and Raiders are a combined 240-293 in the last three seasons for a .450 winning percentage. But they never cracked than a .469 winning percentage in any of the six seasons (three each for baseball and football.)
We all know how bad things have been for both Kansas City teams in recent history, but I didn’t realize how unique their circumstances were when it came to cities that own both an NFL and MLB franchise.
As for the cities they have shared the losing with — Oakland and Washington — I’m pretty confident the teams in DC will have more success than Kansas City, but I’m even more confident that the Chiefs/Royals won’t have to do much in order to outperform the Raiders/A’s.
The Nationals actually finished the season playing decent baseball and have a very nice young core, one that has a chance to compete for the wild card. I don’t see the Royals being so lucky. As far as the Redskins, Daniel Snyder will continue to spend boat loads of money — something that has to work sooner or later, right? — but the Chiefs could absolutely be just as good over the next few seasons.
While the Royals will continue to struggle until ownership opens up and starts spending a reasonable amount of money, the A’s are in a very similar situation. The difference between cities will be the Chiefs becoming a winner before the Raiders. Does anyone doubt that will happen? As long as Al Davis is running the show in Oakland, Kansas City will have an immediate advantage over the Raiders.