In the world of sports, there are good times and there are bad times. We love seeing teams go on winning streaks, but the bad times are when our favorite teams go on losing streaks. While the rest of league’s fans are laughing, seeing a team do so terribly, we are glad that we are not fans of that team.
Currently, we are seeing two teams in the NFL in a race for last place. The Cleveland Browns, sitting at 0-9, and the San Francisco 49ers, 0-10, are both having below disappointing seasons with new head coaches. These are not even that bad compared to some of the worst losing streaks in all of sports history. Let’s look, in no particular order, at some of these notable streaks.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1976 and took almost two full seasons for them to get their first win. In their 13th game of the 1977 season, the Bucs recorded their first win against the New Orleans Saints, ending a 26-game losing streak.
After losing the final game of the 2007 season, in 2008 the Detroit Lions lost all 16 games in the regular season, after going 4-0 in the preseason, and lost the first two games of the 2009 season, for a 19-game losing streak.
The Lions are only the second team to go winless in a season, behind that Bucs team, and the first team to lose all games since the expansion of the 16-game schedule. Now the Browns and 49ers could be the next two teams to lose all their regular season games.
In the 2010-2011 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers, feeling the effect of LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach, lost 26 straight games that season. The streak started Dec. 20, 2010, and ended Feb. 11, 2011, after a victory against the Los Angeles Clippers 129-119 in overtime. This would be the longest losing streak in the NBA and tied for the longest losing streak in all of American professional team sports with the Buccaneers.
This record would be tied and then broken by the same team. The Philadelphia 76ers tied the 26-game losing streak in the 2013-2014 season. The next season, the 76ers started another losing streak that lasted into the following the season. The 76ers lost 28 straight games starting in the 2014-2015 season and ending in the 2015-2016 season.
The Philadelphia Phillies lost 23 games in the 1961 MLB season. The Phillies almost reached the mark set by the Cleveland Spiders of 24 games lost in 1899. The Spiders are now known as the Cleveland Indians.
The inaugural season for the Washington Capitals was not pretty. Finishing the season with an 8-67 record, the Caps set a record with a 17-game losing streak.
The San Jose Sharks started their NHL tenure in a near mirror image of the Caps. The Sharks began as one of the worst teams in their first two seasons, dating from 1991-1993, with a 17-game losing streak in the 1992-1993 season, tying the Capitals for most consecutive losses in a season.
This next couple are not team losing streaks, but that of individuals.
New York Mets pitcher Anthony Young lost 27 decisions from May 6, 1992, to July 24, 1993. Young was 0-14 as a starter and 0-13 in relief. The record of most consecutive decisions lost was set by Cliff Curtis in the 1910-1911 season with 23 games.
An American Tennis player, Vincent Spadea jumped into the Top 20 in 1999. After a spree of injuries, Vincent dropped to 237. During this time, Spadea lost an ATP record of 21 consecutive matches in 2000. He would recover and reach a career-high of 18th ranked in 2005.