Sunday, January 10, 2016

Writing Announcement and the Worst Sports Teams Ever (Update)

     Regular readers may remember that back in March 2015, I let you know that Grinning Skull Press had accepted a story of mine, "Cruel to be Kind," for inclusion in their horror anthology "Cranial Leakage Volume 2."  I'm pleased to report that I was just sent the contract for my story, and should be starting the editing process very soon.  The editor I communicated with indicated that everything should be completed within the next few weeks.  As always, I'll provide more info (the cover, blurb, list of all authors, etc.) when I receive it.

     To switch tracks, I also noticed that my Philadelphia 76ers as of tonight have a record of 4-36 (4 wins, 36 losses, for non-sports fans).  They have an unfortunate good shot at setting the NBA record for worst winning percentage and most losses in a season if they don't improve.  Anyway, this got me to thinking about bad sports teams.  So I looked up the worst teams in the four major U.S. sports (Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League).  These are all record-based, clearly, and not based on opinion, point/run/goal differentials, etc. (Update:  The Sixers didn't set the record, but they came depressingly close.  They finished 10-72, or the second worst 82 game record, and the third worst record by winning percentage.  I've added them in the list below.  On the plus side, they got rid of their General Manager Sam Hinkie, so maybe they'll start making better basketball decisions, etc., and finally improve significantly.)

Basketball:  1) 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats:  7-59, winning percentage of .106
                    2) 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers:   9-73, winning percentage of .110
                    3) 2015-16 Philadelphia 76ers:  10-72, winning percentage of .122
                    4) 1947-48 Providence Steam Rollers: 6-42, winning percentage of .125
                    5) (tie) 1992-93 Dallas Mavericks: 11-71, winning percentage of .134
                    5)         1997-98 Denver Nuggets:  11-71, winning percentage of .134
(Note that the schedule in the 1940's was only 48 games,while current NBA teams play an 82 game schedule.  The 2011-12 NBA season was only 66 games due to labor disputes.)

Hockey:     1)1974-75 Washington Capitals:  8-67-5 (won-loss-tie), winning percentage of .131, 21
                  2) 1930-31 Philadelphia Quakers:  4-36-4, winning percentage of .136, 12 points.

Baseball:     1) 1916 Philadelphia Athletics: 36-117, winning percentage of .235
                   2) 1935 Boston Braves: 38-115, winning percentage of .248
                   3) 1962 New York Mets: 40-120, winning percentage of .250
(Note that MLB increased from a 154 game schedule to a 162 game schedule in 1961.  And some games suspended due to rain or darkness weren't always replayed or continued, meaning team records don't always add up to 154 or 162.  Also, if we include pre-1900 teams, the National League's Cleveland Spiders were by far the worst team, with a record of 20-134 (.130 winning percentage).  Several other pre-1900 teams were worse than the 1916 Athletics, too.)

Football:   1) 2008 Detroit Lions: 0-16, winning percentage of .000, (obviously).
                 2) 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 0-14.  (Expansion team, first year of existence.)
                 3) 1942 Detroit Lions: 0-11.
                 4) (tie) 1943 Chicago Cardinals: 0-10.
                 4) 1944 Brooklyn Tigers: 0-10.
                 4) 1944 Card-Pitt:  0-10.
(Note that the NFL season schedule was rather fluid in the 1920's- 1940's, with some teams not playing the same number of games.  This was standardized to 12 games in 1947, to 14 games in 1961, and to 16 games in 1978.  The 1944 Card-Pitt squad was made up of the Chicago Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers combined--World War II resulted in depleted rosters.  The 1977 Buccaneers started off 0-12 before winning their final two games, meaning the Buccaneers started their history 0-26!  Finally, special dishonorable mention goes to the 1934 Cincinnati Reds, who went 0-8, and then were disbanded about midway into the season due to lack of funds.  They scored only 10 total points, and were shut out in 6 of 8 games.  Another group bought their squad, renamed them the St. Louis Gunners, and went 1-2 for the rest of the season.)

And as a bonus, here's some info about international sports.

Olympics:  As of now, of the over 200 countries to compete in at least one Olympic game, over 75 have never won a single medal.  Not surprisingly, countries with the smallest populations tend to be the least successful.  Here's the ones who have participated in the most overall Games, with no wins:
                  1) Monaco:  0 for 28 Games (19 Summer, 9 Winter).  Population of about 38,000.
                  2) San Marino: 0 for 22 Games (13 Summer, 9 Winter). Population of around 33,000.
                  3) Andorra: 0 for 21 Games (10 Summer, 11 Winter). Population of about 86,000.
(Note that evidently in the Games early days, medals were given out for non-sports events.  For the 1924 Games, for example, Julien Medecin of Monaco won a bronze medal in architecture.  This is not officially counted in their medal haul, clearly.)


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