There are several pro sports franchises and players that have gone lengthy periods of time without winning a championship, which would lead some to believe that they are "cursed" by some unknown force.
Droughts occur for many different reasons, from financial woes to mismanagement to poor drafting and bad coaching. However, there are some team and player droughts that must be the result of a curse.
Here's a look at 10 teams and individual players that are cursed:
New York Knicks: Despite having the advantage of playing home games at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks haven't won a championship since the 1972-73 season.
Much of their struggles can be attributed to having the misfortune of playing in the same conference as Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller in the 1990s, and such tough opponents made the path to the NBA Finals quite arduous.
They have also had several top-notch, highly-regarded draft picks go down with injuries, which led many Chicago baseball fans to believe their team was truly cursed. Elite pitchers like Kerry Wood and Mark Prior were supposed to help the Cubs earn a championship, but they fell victim to the injury bug.
Takeo Spikes: Spikes, 35, is a linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, and he has the distinction of playing the most NFL regular season games without a playoff appearance.
He played on some terrible Cincinnati Bengals teams in the late-'90s, and it didn't get much better when he joined the Buffalo Bills in 2003. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers from 2008 until 2010, just one year before the franchise changed its losing culture.
Ty Wigginton: Wigginton is a solid power bat who has tallied over 150 homers and 590 RBIs in his 11 seasons of pro baseball.
Unfortunately, he seems to be cursed because he has never even sniffed a playoff berth. It seems that he always has the misfortune of joining up with teams on the decline as he played for the New York Mets just two years after their 2000 World Series appearance. He also played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2012, just four years after they won the World Series and one year after their appearance in the NL Division Series.
Brock Lesnar: Lesnar was a dominating force in the UFC before he was cursed by a bout with diverticulitis in 2009. Lesnar bounced back from the illness to defeat Shane Carwin at UFC 116, but he was never the same fighter once the illness struck.
Toronto Maple Leafs: There is no doubt that the Maple Leafs are cursed because they have not won the Stanley Cup or even appeared in the finals since 1967.
As proof of the curse on the Leafs, Toronto was well on its way to a playoff berth during the 2011-12 season when the bottom inexplicably dropped out in the second half. The Leafs went on a 2-15 skid through part of February and March and missed the playoffs for the seventh straight season.
Buffalo Bills: Even if you're not a Bills fan, you have to feel sorry for the city of Buffalo and its diehard fan base.
The Bills have not been to the playoffs since 1999, and no football fan will ever forget Buffalo's stretch of four straight Super Bowl appearances in the late-'90s without a single victory.
It seemed like the Bills would easily top the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXV when Bills kicker Scott Norwood attempted a 47-yard field goal that would have been a game-winner. Instead, he missed and the Giants won the game.
Hanley Ramirez:It was starting to look like Ramirez would finally break his seven-season playoff slump when he was traded to the surging Los Angeles Dodgers in the middle of the 2012 season, but the San Francisco Giants played well enough in the second half to capture the NL West.
Ramirez was the 2006 NL Rookie of the Year, won a batting title in 2009, and has made three different All-Star squads. However, he has never been to the playoffs in his seven seasons, and the only explanation is that he's battling through a curse.
Cleveland Indians: The Indians haven't won a World Series since 1948. Cleveland is clearly cursed because the Indians have had several great players over the years, but they weren't able to utilize their talented players in a way that would bring a championship to the city.
Despite having superb ballplayers like C.C. Sabathia, Jim Thome, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Roberto Alomar spend significant time in Cleveland over the years, the Indians are still without a World Series title in close to seven decades.
New York Jets: Some would say the Jets have been cursed by poor management over the years, and others would attribute their woes to the team's top draft picks not panning out.
New York hasn't been back to the Super Bowl since Joe Namath led the team past the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl III, which still ranks as one of the biggest upsets of all time.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Jets and New York Mets fan, and he hasn't seen either team earn a championship since he was a four-year-old child in 1986.Sourceswww.mlb.com, MLB, player and team statswww.nfl.com, NFL, player and team stats