Before we get started, sorry to disappoint anyone who thinks this is going to be a list of my favourite contestants from the hit weight-loss reality show, (its Michael Ventrella; season 9 he lost nearly 300 lbs). I digress as this is not that list however, as, inspired by seeing the Cleveland Browns record their first win in the NFL since 2016, having lost 19 straight games and gone 635 days without a win, I examine some of sports most spectacular and surprising losers. Whilst I have no doubt that some of you will be familiar with the sort of Facebook video that depicts a clueless cyclist celebrating a lap early and faceplanting straight into last place, this article takes a look at the more bizarre and record-breaking way that teams and athletes have self-destructed. I’ll stick in a cringe warning right here before you read any further.
While his career as a whole can be said to have been a great success, I have to include Rio Ferdinand as a dishonourable mention. Simply because anyone who manages to pick up a tendon strain in their knee by ‘relaxing’ is just so laughable. The England defender picked up this injury after he had been resting his leg on a coffee table for a number of hours.
Sticking with football and the bizarre injuries for a minute, and one man who I’m not sure will be remembered for something more important than this incident is Norway defender Svein Grondalen who was forced to withdraw from an international match after he collided with a moose while out jogging. Ah here.
Boxing is a peculiar sport, one in which the tide can turn with the flick of a wrist. That’s exactly what happened to one such boxer. Daniel Carruso was warming up for his 1992 Golden Gloves Championships bout so enthusiastically that he punched himself in the face and accidentally broke his own nose. He was deemed unfit to fight and was disqualified. Talk about a smack in the face!
Moving to staggering losing records in sports, the Philadelphia 76ers outclass Cleveland when it comes to the worst losing streak in American pro-sports history as they went 28 straight games without a win and 2 consecutive seasons win-less. This record was only just recently eclipsed, albeit not by a traditional sport, as the Shanghai Dragons, a team that compete in the Overwatch League playing the video game in China, ended their season with no wins and 40 losses, in the League’s inaugural season. No part of that sentence is impressive.
Finally, every other losing record pales in comparison to the record between the infamous Harlem Globetrotters and the lesser known Washington Generals. The Globetrotters have been playing the Generals since the early 1950s, and in 1974 when the Generals finally managed to beat the Globetrotters, the record reportedly stood at 2,945-1. The Globetrotters are estimated today to have beaten the Generals (and other aliases they have gone by) a mind-blowing 17,000 times! To put that into perspective, in the entire 25-year history of the Premier League, 47 teams have played out just over 10,000 games. So the fact that 2 teams could have played each other over 17,000 times is staggering.