Hall of Shame: Biggest Losing Skids in Sports History

Written by on May 22, 2015

Whereas winning is the chiefly aim in sports and it is fun follow, read about or support winning individuals and teams, the world of sports betting operates on a different set of rules where bettors can be rewarded by betting on a team/sportsperson to win or lose. So, while diehard fans will always want their teams to win irrespective of the occasion, bettors often shift allegiances, depending on their wagers. A losing streak can therefore be just as important as a winning streak in our beloved world of sports betting.
Bearing that point in mind, and not forgetting that history has a knack for repeating itself ominously, here is a look at the biggest losing skids in sports history:

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL), 1976-1977, 26 Games

The uniforms were not the worst thing going on for the Bucs in 1976
This is the longest losing streak in the history of the NFL. The skid came when Tampa Bay joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1976 and it took the Bucs close to two seasons to get their first victory. The winless run ended in their 13th road game against the New Orleans Saints, a feat that condemned Saints Coach Hank Stram to an axing from his job.

2. Prairie View A&M (NCAA Football Division 1, FCS), 1989-1998, 80 Games

The only appropriate reaction to losing 80 games in a row
This record marks the all-time longest losing streak in all divisions of NCAA Football. The record nearly doubled Columbia University’s 44-game losing streak between 1983 and 1988, which previously held the longest skid in the division. The run eventually came to an end when the Panthers eked out a 14-12 win over Langston University on September 26, 1998.

Other Notable NCAA Football Losing Streaks

In 2012, the NCAA provided a comprehensive report on NCAA football teams and all the key records from the past, which I am sure will have more than enough information on all the records you need in regards to NCAAF players and individuals. But in summary, here are the key losing streaks in NCAA Football:• Longest Losing Streak in NCAA Football Division I (FBS): Northwestern Wildcats, 1979-1982, 34 Games• Longest Losing Streak in NCAA Football Division II: Lock Haven Bald Eagles, 2007-2012, 52 Games• Longest Losing Streak in NCAA Football Division III: Macalester Scots, 1974-1980, 50 Games

3. Baltimore Orioles (MLB), 1988, 21 Games

“Can you make that LOOK like a win?”
Following a 0-6 start to the season by the Orioles in 1988, the team fired their manager Cal Ripken Sr. That, however, didn’t help much, as Frank Robinson (Ripken’s replacement) went on for 16 more games without a win. The skid came to an end when Baltimore got a victory against the White Sox. The 21-game skid holds the MLB record for the longest losing streak in the American league.

Other Notable MLB Losing Streaks

• Longest Losing Streak in the National League: Cleveland Spiders, 1899, 24 games• Longest Losing Streak in Federal League: Baltimore Terrapins, 1915, 21 games,• Longest Losing Streak in the American Association: Louisville Colonels, 1889, 26 games• Longest Losing Decisions by a Pitcher, Anthony Young (NY Mets Pitcher), May 1992 to July 1993, 27 consecutive losing decisions

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), 2010-2011, 26 Games

The Cavaliers never missed Lebron James so much
This 26-game losing skid is tied for the longest losing skid in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers (whose winless run came recently in 2014). According to most pundits, this streak came because of losing LeBron James to Miami Heat. The Cavs got back to their winning ways on February 11, 2011 when they defeated the Clippers 129-119 in overtime. Notably, the Cavs ended that season on a shameful 19-63 record.

5. Washington Capitals (NHL), 1974-1975; and San Jose Sharks (NHL), 1992-1993; Tied at 17 Games

I don’t know about you, but that facial hair screams ‘winner’ to us.
Despite being one of the hottest NHL teams over the recent years, the Capitals are tied with the San Jose Sharks (1992-1993) for the longest losing skid in the history of the sport. To their defense, though, the Caps’ 17-game cold streak came during their inaugural ’74-’75 season, where they finished with a pathetic 8-67 record, with the Sharks’ skid also coming in their first two seasons in the NHL.

6. City College of New York (NCAA Lacrosse Division III), 1979-1988, 92 Games

The good old days… 1899
After going on a 9-year winless run, the City College New York Lacrosse team beat Queens College 9-8 in overtime, bringing an end to their sorrowful 92-game bender. Remarkably, the record for the longest losing streak in the NCAA Lacrosse Division I is held by Wagner College at 29 games. Interestingly enough, Wagner College also holds the record for the longest skid in NCAA Men’s Tennis Division 1 at 59 games (between 2007 and 2012). Maybe the administrators in the school should stick to books rather than sports.

7. Bangladesh Cricket Team, 2001-2004, 21 Test Matches

Bangladeshi cricket… it’s a thing
As far as national teams are concerned, the Bangladesh team scoops the top honors in losing streak with 21 straight losses between 2001 and 2004. The team also holds the record for most consecutive ODIs (One Day International matches) with 23 ODIs from 1999-2002. Not to forget, the Bangladesh team holds the longest losing streak in the Twenty20 international competition at 12 straight losses (2007 to date) and the biggest skid in the Combined International Cricket at 28 losses in a row (between 2003 and 2004). So much for the Bangladeshi and cricket being the most popular sports in the country.Note: A Losing Streak is string of losses in consecutive games by an individual or team, lasting as few as two games or for a much longer duration, until a point in time when that individual/team gets a win. Since everyday is a chance to make new history, some of the above-mentioned records could be broken in the near or distant future. Therefore, ensure that you check with us regularly, as we’ll always do our best to give you timely updates of such records if (and when) they do happen. ( (