In sport, a championship is hard to win, and a dynasty is even harder to build.
While just one triumph can keep a fan base nourished for years, even decades, you can’t help but feel there are some teams that should have done more with the talent at their disposal.
Here are five teams that had a brilliant chance to build a dynasty, but didn’t.
New York Yankees 2001-2004
For all their success, it’s hard to criticise the New York Yankees for almost anything. However, between their World Series triumphs of 2000 and 2009, they had ample opportunity to add to their hefty total of 27, but didn’t.
Between the years of 2001 and 2004, they were runners-up in the World Series in 2001, finished with the most wins in the MLB in ‘02 (losing in the ALDS), runners-up again in ‘03, and finished with the most wins in the American League again in ‘04, only to lose in the ALCS.
Their three-peat from 1998 to 2000 was impressive enough, but considering these four successive failures, they almost could’ve won an unprecedented seven World Series in a row, bettering their own record of five.
New Jerseys Devils 1997-2001
Between the years of 1997 and 1999, the New Jersey Devils finished top of the Eastern Conference each year, but failed to even make the Conference Finals.
It wasn’t until the year 2000 they found the mental aptitude to break through and claim their second Stanley Cup. Ironically, that year, they finished only fourth in the East.
They would return to the Stanley Cup Finals the next year but lost out to the Colorado Avalanche, blowing five great chances to win five Stanley Cups in a row.
Philadelphia Phillies 2008-2011
The Philadelphia Phillies ended a long run of heartbreak for Philadelphia sports fans, winning the World Series in 2008 off the back of young pitching star Cole Hammels.
While nothing in sports is ever certain, when Philadelphia went back to the Fall Classic the next year, Phillies fans thought they might be witnessing the club’s greatest era of dominance ever.
Sadly, they lost that World Series, and despite finishing with the most wins in the league the next two years, they haven’t made it back to the World Series since.
Atlanta Braves 1996-1999
During the 1990s, the Atlanta Braves joined the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys as being known as ‘America’s Team’, and similar to the Cowboys, Atlanta struggled with the pressure that tag brought.
After winning the World Series in 1995 and returning in 1996, they looked set for a long era of dominance, similar to the aforementioned Phillies.
However, they lost that World Series, and despite finishing first in the National League from 1997-99, their regular success bore no more championships. In the period from 1991-1999, they won 5 NL pennants, 3 further division titles, but only 1 WS.
Detroit Red Wings 2004-2009
When it comes to choking, no team in America does it better than the Detroit Red Wings.
From 2004-2008, Detroit finished 1st in the NHL’s Western Conference every single season, and finished 2nd in 2009. But for all this success, they have been to the Stanley Cup Finals only twice, and won only once.
Extended that further from 2010 to 2013, and they made three further semi-finals appearances and one quarterfinals appearance. But yes, that’s right, only 1 Stanley Cup.