In sports, losing comes with the territory and losing streaks can be contagious like the plague. With that, we present our list of teams with the worst records in their respective professional sports. Here’s to the biggest losers!
National Hockey League: 74-75 Washington Capitals (8-67-5)
The Washington Capitals lost 67 of 80 games and won just a single road game in their maiden season. They finished 8–67–5, managing just 21 points. Their .131 winning percentage is still the worst in NHL history. They also set records - many since broken - for most road losses (39 out of 40), most consecutive road losses (37) and most consecutive losses (17). Though this Caps club was an especially bad batch of losers, four of their eight wins were, at least, by three goals or more.
National Basketball Association: 72-73 Philadelphia 76ers (9-73)
These Sixers’ scrubs opened the season with a 0–15 losing streak and later lost 20 consecutive games. They improved to 9-60 on the year but lost the final 13 games of the regular season. The 73 losses, despite the Nuggets and Nets having since come close, remains the all-time record for any NBA franchise. Ironically, during the 1966-67 season, the Sixers posted the best record in league history at the time (68-13).
National Football League: 2008 Detroit Lions (0-16)
The 2008 Detroit Lions had a flawless, 4-0, preseason record before it all went to shit. The 08 Lions were the first team in NFL history to finish 0-16 and were mathematically out of the playoffs Week 11. The highlight of this horrific season was their 69th Annual Thanksgiving Day: The Lions lost 47-10 in their only nationally televised game of 2008 and allowed the most points they ever had on Thanksgiving Day.
Major League Baseball NL: 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20-134)
Although the Cleveland Spiders are more of a footnote in baseball history, their record of 134 losses in the 1899 season is absolutely shameful and still stands today. The 1962 New York Mets, 40-120 (.250), are usually credited for being baseball’s worst team in the “modern era,” but this doomed team finished 84 games behind the pennant-winning Brooklyn Superbas and 35 behind the next-to-last place Washington Senators. Damn Yankees! In all fairness, the Spiders couldn’t avoid getting stomped. Teams complained about low attendance at League Park and the Spiders essentially became a travel team. On the road, the Spiders compiled an 11-101 record.
Major League Baseball AL: 2003 Detroit Tigers (43-119)
The Tigers nearly broke the 1962 Mets' record for fewest wins in Major League Baseball history, but won five of their final six to avoid the dreadful distinction. They were outscored by 337 runs over the course of the season (928 to 591) and finished 47 games behind the Minnesota Twins. The Tigers rallied from an 8-0 deficit to beat the Minnesota Twins 9-8 in game 161 of their season and earned a standing ovation from fans after wining the last game of the season.
English Premier League (Soccer): 2007-08 Derby Country FC 1 win 8 draws 29 defeats
Derby Country FC holds some of the least flattering records in all of English football.
Their horrific 2007–08 run was equal to Loughborough's all-time league low of a single win for the entire season. Other Premier league records (1992–present) include Least Home Wins in a Season (1, tied with Sunderland) and Least Away Wins in a Season (0, tied with 5 other teams) and Most Defeats in a Season (29). Records set included Fewest Points in a season (3 points for a win) with 11, Fewest Goals Scored (20) and Worst Goal Difference (-69). The club also holds the record for Most Consecutive League Games Without A Win, with 37 matches between September 22, 2007 and September 13, 2008.
Major League Soccer: 1999 Kansas City Wizards (8-24, 20 points)
In 1999, the MLS adopted shootouts to break ties and the rule change was too much for these Wizards to handle. Kansas City lost 24 of 32 games in 1999, giving them the worst lost total in league history. Since then, the most by any Major League Soccer team has been 22 by both Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA in 2005. Chivas also holds the MLS record for fewest wins in a season, winning only four of its thirty-two games. Shootouts were abandoned after the 1999 season, but far too late to save the Wizards' abysmal record.
Major League Lacrosse: 2006 Chicago Machine 0-12
The Machine completed the only winless season in Major League Lacrosse’s history. Chicago lost an MLL record thirteen consecutive games. Ironically, the Chicago Machine franchise moved to Rochester, NY in 2011 and were 0-6 to start the season.
National Lacrosse League (Indoor Lax): 2006 Edmonton Rush 1-15
The Rush recorded the first victory in franchise history in dramatic form, defeating the Calgary Roughnecks 12-11 with only 0.2 seconds left in the game. It was their only win of their inaugural season, but Edmonton wouldn’t win their first home game until opening night of the 2007 season. The Charlotte Cobras, who operated in just the 1996 season, are the only team in NLL history to go winless (0-10).
Women's National Basketball Association: 1998 Washington Mystics 3-27
The Washington Mystics played their first season in 1998. That year, they set a WNBA record for least wins in a season that still stands today. The Mystics aren’t quite in a league of their own, the Atlanta Dream and Chicago Sky have totaled more losses than the 1998 Mystics, though both of those teams managed more wins.