12 longest active playoff droughts in NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL

The Seattle Mariners have ended a streak that no team should ever want to hold.

Following their win on Friday, the Mariners are going to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. It ends the longest active streak for most seasons without making the playoffs across the four major North American sports leagues.

The Mariners punched their ticket to the 2022 playoffs by earning one of the three wild-card spots in the American League a year after they missed the playoffs by two games.

The Kings not only hold the longest active playoff drought among all teams in the four major North American professional leagues, they also hold the longest playoff drought in NBA history. They haven't appeared in the playoffs since Mike Bibby was their starting point guard. Sacramento went 30-52 in 2021-22, missing the final play-in spot by four games.

The Sabres have mostly finished in last place or close to last in their respective division since 2011. Buffalo drafted Jack Eichel with the No. 2 overall pick four seasons into its drought and traded the young star last season. The Sabres' playoff drought is the longest in NHL history.

The Phillies were one of the top teams in baseball in the late 2000s, winning the World Series in 2008 and making it back there in 2009. They made the NLCS in 2010, too. 

Luckily for the Phillies and their fans, they could be off this list very soon. They're a half-game ahead of the Brewers for the final wild-card spot in the National League.

The Royals reached baseball's mountaintop in 2015, winning the World Series a year after they lost in seven games on baseball's grandest stage. Kansas City holds one of the worst records in baseball this season.

The Pirates earned three playoff appearances in a row (2013-15), but they haven't recovered since the Cubs beat them in the 2015 NL wild-card round. 

The Hornets nearly squeaked into the playoffs this past spring. They made the play-in tournament but were blown out in the opening game. LaMelo Ball's emergence could lift them over the hump in 2022-23.

Longtime fans of the Red Wings haven't been too accustomed to the team's recent stretch. The franchise had a 25-year playoff streak prior to its current drought. Detroit still seems far from making it back to the postseason, after finishing 26 points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference in 2021-22.

The Broncos haven't made the playoffs since their triumphant Super Bowl win to cap off the 2015 campaign. That, of course, was Peyton Manning's final game. Denver recently traded for quarterback Russell Wilson to solve its chronic quarterback problem, which could also solve its postseason problem.