Tough times: Sport’s worst losing streaks

Australian Rules Football – Glenelg FC

So you think Greater Western Sydney did it tough? Glenelg entered the SANFL in 1920, but had to wait five years for their first win. In that period they lost 56 games and went through four coaches, but they eventually broke through in May 1925 with a close home triumph against West Torrens. The Tigers have come good since then, winning SANFL flags in 1934, 1973, 1985 and 1986.

Ice Hockey – Winnipeg Jets


While the all-time NHL losing streak is 17 games, shared by the San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals, the Winnipeg of the early ‘80s did it even tougher. They went an astonishing 30 games without a win in 1980/81, comprising 23 losses and seven ties.

Basketball – Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs have just one Conference title in their 33-year history. Photo: Getty

The Cavs don’t just hold the worst losing streak in the NBA, they hold the worst three. The longest of those was 26 successive games in 2010/11, while in 1981/82 they lost 24 games in a row before repeating the dose the following season.

American Football – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A new franchise in 1976, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the record for the worst losing streak in NFL history. They dropped a whopping 26 games on the bounce to start life in the big time, finally breaking through for a maiden victory in the 13th week of their second season. It was all worth it when the Bucs claimed their first Super Bowl win in January 2003.

Tennis – Vince Spadea

Vince Spadea

Spadea in 2008. Photo: Getty

The man the Associated Press once dubbed the ‘Charlie Brown of tennis’, Spadea’s record of 21 successive defeats between October 1999 and June 2000, is believed to be a record. In 2006 he released a book, Break Point: The Secret Diary Of A Pro Tennis Player. We tip it had a section on staying positive.

And think yourself lucky you don’t barrack for these guys…

California Institute of Technology basketball team the Caltech Beavers posted 207 successive losing games between 1996 and 2007 in the NCAA’s Division III. It seems a strict selection criteria and a focus on science and engineering limits options when you’re looking for guys who can own the paint or light it up from three-point land.

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