Fans in the Motor City slept well last night after their beloved Lions finally got over the hump, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 24-23 in Sunday's NFC Wild Card Game. This was the first time the Detroit Lions have advanced in the postseason since 1991.
Cincinnati fans know that feeling all too well. The Cincinnati Bengals finally exorcised the playoff demons a few years back with a 26-19 win over the Las Vegas Raiders in their 2022 AFC Wild Card matchup. Before that, the Queen City hadn't seen the Bengals win a playoff game since 1990.
But now, that undesirable honor has fallen to the Cincinnati Reds. That's right, Reds fans, your team now holds the record of the longest drought in professional sports without advancing in the playoffs. But maybe, just maybe, things will change in 2024.
The Reds haven't advanced in the postseason since 1995.
It's been 28 seasons and counting since the Reds have advanced in the MLB Postseason. The Reds upended the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 in the 1995 NLDS, but were promptly swept out of the NLCS by the Atlanta Braves in four games.
That three-game series sweep of the Dodgers is the last time Cincinnati has advanced in the playoffs. To put that date into perspective, Jake Fraley and TJ Friedl were probably still in diapers, and Cincinnati's starting infield hadn't been born yet.
Since 1995, the Reds have been to the postseason four times, but have failed to advance. In 2010, Cincinnati was swept out of the playoffs by the Philadephia Phillies. Two years later, the Reds fell 3-2 to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS. In 2013, the Pittsburgh Pirates eliminated the Reds in the Wild Card Game. And in the abbreviated 2020 season, Cincinnati lost to the Atlanta Braves in the first-round of the playoffs.
Among the Big Four in American professional sports, the Reds now have the longest active streak without advancing in the postseason. After the Lions' win on Sunday, the Miami Dolphins have the longest such streak in the NFL. The Charlotte Hornets haven't been to the NBA Playoffs in years, and haven't advanced since 2004. And the NHL's Buffalo Sabres haven't advanced in the playoffs since 2007.
Maybe this is the year, Reds fans. Cincinnati has a plethora of young talent and the organization has spent over $100 million in free agency this offseason. If the Reds were able to advance in the postseason this year, the Chicago White Sox are on deck. The South Siders haven't won a playoff series since their World Series run in 2005.