10 of the Worst Records in Sports History

Raised in the US South, my childhood was immersed in sports. Over time, my passion evolved into a mission to share overlooked tales from the sports world. I created Daily Dose of Sports to highlight stories of perseverance, legends, and unsung heroes. Today, I'm not just a sports enthusiast - I'm a storyteller. Read more about me here.

Sports fans are barraged with records.

It seems every game or match brings up-to-the-minute data on how a player’s or team’s performance ranks all-time.  While many records are legendary – Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point gameSecretariat’s Triple Crown performance in 1973, Michael Phelps winning eight golds in a single Olympics – others don’t make the owner[s] so proud.

Today we examine ten records you simply don’t want to own.

Prairie View A&M has a proud football program.  Winners of five black college national championships, the small Texas school has produced NFL standouts Otis Taylor, Ken Houston and Jim Kearney.  Sadly, Prairie View cut football in 1990 because the program was hemorrhaging money.  The school brought football back the next year but offered no scholarships.  The Panthers did not see a win between 1989 and 1998, losing a record 80 straight games.  What’s worse, they scored just 48 points all season in 1991.

The lowest winning percentage in MLB history belongs to the San Diego Padres.  Through Opening Day 2019, the Friars, who joined the league as an expansion team in 1969, have amassed an all-time record of 3,684-4,302.  Their .461 winning percentage is lowest among MLB’s 30 teams.  But the Miami Marlins are not far behind.  Since entering the league in 1993, Miami has compiled an all-time winning percentage of .466.  And both of these teams are duking it out for the cellar this season.

Frank Brophy wasn’t a very good goalie.  On March 3, 1920, the Quebec Bulldog netminder let in a record 16 goals to the Montreal Canadiens, a single-game NHL record.  It was the worst night in a tough season for Brophy.  He appeared in 21 games, posting a 3-18 record and a 7.11 goals-against average, the worst in NHL history for a goaltender appearing in a minimum of 20 games.

With four Super Bowl titles to his credit, Terry Bradshaw is often mentioned as the GOAT [Greatest Of All Time].  That was certainly not the case in 1970 when Bradshaw posted the worst Quarterback Rating [QBR] since the merger.  The Blond Bomber was atrocious as a rookie, completing only 38 percent of his passes [83-for-218].  Bradshaw threw six touchdown passes and 24 interceptions in 1970 while compiling a QBR of 30.4.  How bad was Bradshaw as a rookie?  His QBR is lower than the worst ever posted by JaMarcus Russell, Geno Smith or Ryan Leaf.

Cy Young won 511 games, the most in big league history.  But the durable right-hander also lost 316, more than any hurler ever to toe the slab.  To put that into perspective, if a pitcher were to lose 20 games a season for 15 straight years, he’d be out of a job, but he still wouldn’t match Denton True Young’s 316 career losses.

Lee Westwood is one of the few golfers who has won tournaments on five continents.  A three-time European Tour Golfer of the Year, he has won that circuit’s money title in three separate seasons.  Westwood has represented Europe in ten Ryder Cups and rose to World No. 1 in October 2010.  The Englishman also holds the distinction of being the best player in history without a major championship victory.  Through the 2019 season, Mr. Westwood is zero-for-81 in majors.  He has twice finished second – at the 2010 Masters and 2010 Open Championship.

Four NFL teams – the Browns, Lions, Jaguars, and Texans – have never appeared in the Super Bowl.  As a charter member of the All American Football Conference [AAFC], the Browns won every championship in the league’s four years of existence.  The Brownies joined the NFL in 1950 and won four league titles between 1950 and 1964.  The Lions joined the NFL two decades before Cleveland and have captured four NFL titles, including three in the 1950s.  But Detroit hasn’t sniffed a championship since 1957 and it doesn’t appear that the Lions are close to hoisting a Lombardi Trophy anytime soon.  The Super Bowl-less Jaguars are much younger, having joined the NFL in 1995, seven years before the Houston Texans’ inaugural season.

Reggie Jackson led the American League in homers four times.  He played in 14 All-Star Games, won five World Series titles and was named 1973 AL MVP.  Mr. October also holds the distinction of having struck out 2,597 times, more than any player in major league history.

Ben Wallace did a lot of things well.  A four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Wallace helped the Pistons capture the NBA Championship in 2004.  But Big Ben was a woeful free throw shooter.  He made 1,109 of 2,679 attempts during his 16-year career, posting an all-time league-worst 41.4 percentage for players with 1,200 attempts or more.

The worst regular-season winning percentage in NFL history belongs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Tampa joined the league as an expansion team in 1976 and promptly set a still-standing NFL for most consecutive losses, dropping their first 26 games in a row.  The Bucs have won only 266 of the 691 regular-season games the franchise has ever played, good for an NFL-low .386 winning percentage.

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