The Worst of the Worst

Brian LumpkinContributor IMarch 30, 2009

2 Oct 1988:  Irving Fryar #80 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball during the game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots defeated the Clots 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allsport

A while ago, I was asked to do an article about the worst teams to step on professional playing surfaces.  I did so, and now it's time for you to get it.

I know when I wrote this, the regular season for the NFL was still playing out, so the Detroit Lions could have held the spot for worst NFL Team, but even so, I do still believe the '90 Pats were worse, even though they won one more game. 

I added the Madden/Barkley commentary strictly for humor value, so hopefully, they don't read this and sue me.



1990 New England Patriots (1-15)
I take great pride in my pick for the worst football team in 20 years. Everyone knows my deep hatred for the Pats. What’s funny is my hatred works backwards for them. It started with Brady, and Belichick, and now I just hate the team, franchise, and history of the entire team.

Now why did I pick the '90 Pats over all of the other 1-15 teams since 1988? Well, because they were just stomped in pretty much every game. They were outscored by 256 points all year. That’s 17 points a loss. While they averaged 11 points a game, their opponents were scoring 28.

The saddest part of this team (besides their uniforms) was the leading scorer was the kicker. With 16 field goals and 19 extra points, he scored 37 points more than anyone else on the team.

I feel bad for Irving Fryar. Being stuck with this terrible New England team for so long took away any possibility of him making the Hall of Fame, if he would have had a chance with the Cowboys, he would have been a shoo-in.

What seems to be a recurring theme in the worst teams are their bad choices in the draft. With their No. 1, pick the Pats went with a mediocre linebacker while passing up Emmitt Smith, Michael Irving, LeRoy Butler, and Bryce Paup, just to name a few.

Under coaching of the Rod Rust, the team was accused of simply quitting during most of their 14-game losing streak.

Madden says: I I I I I I remember this team and thinking that you pound it in and pound it in and pound it in and when you get to the end zone, that’s a touchdown. They didn’t do that as much as the other teams and that’s why they lost.

Barkley says: “Hey John. Have you noticed how shiny my head is? It’s trrble.”



1992 Ottawa Senators (10-70-4)
I know this one probably isn’t fair, as they were an expansion team, but the reason they have taken the gold is because of their complete lack of ability to do anything right.

The '92 Sens walked away with the worst record that season as well as the worst record in modern history. They also walked away with, and still hold, three other records.

1. Longest Home Losing Streak (11)
2. Longest Road Losing Streak (38)
3. Fewest road wins (1).

But their troubles began before they even had a complete roster. The expansion draft for them in 1992 was a complete flop.

Management, for the first three attempts, tried to get players who were ineligible. The players they did pick up were no good or terrible. Their luck didn’t get much better when the entry draft came around. Their first pick was Alexei Yashin, No. 2 overall, and he decided to play in Russia for that year.

But it really doesn’t boil down to who they did pick; it’s who they didn’t pick. All-Stars and maybe future Hall of Famers Neidermeyer, Lindros, and Selanne were all available and high on the prospect list.

No team, expansion or not, has ever been that bad since then. But look at the bright side Sens, you get first pick next year. (Where they passed on Pronger for Daigle). The Sens started their franchise with the worst record five years in a row.

Madden says: “Now…..You know what, guys? I have heard that Lindros has an 87 percent win ratio when his left skate hits the ice first. That’s a true stat, I bet Favre would be a good hockey player. He’s amazing."

Barkley says: “Why would you draft that badly? Knuckleheads. They were trrble.

2003 Tigers (43-110)

I hate baseball, but, that aside, when you think of monumentally bad teams I know what comes to mind: the Pittsburgh Pirates.

With their now tying record for longest losing record streak at 16 seasons, they are the most likely candidates for this honor and believe me I tried to find a way to squeeze them into the list, especially with their off-season signing of two Indian fellows that were on a game show in India. Neither have any baseball experience at all. They were on a stupid game show.

Anyways, back to the task at hand. I know nothing about baseball and less about players and rules in baseball. So this will be short and sweet. The Detroit Tigers in my memory were the worst team for along time. But in 2003 in particular they were the worst team in recent history. They averaged only three runs a game while the pitchers posted a 5.30 ERA. That’s 5.3 runs a game. $

They had the next to last lowest fan attendance and an enormous 170+ errors on the season. The MLB average per game was .4 and theirs was 1.1. The team's batting average was .240. With those stats alone, you can see why they couldn’t beat anyone, and why the fans didn’t want to be there.

I will however, work in a Pirate reference. When Jim Leyland left the Pirates in 1996, the worst of the losing streak was on its way. When Jim Leyland showed up to the Tigers in 2006 after their 12-year losing streak he took them to the World Series. So it just goes to show that Jim Leyland leaving and the change in ownership is why the Pirates suck so very badly.

Madden says: *covers microphone* “Do people actually still play baseball?”

Barley says: “So let me get this straight. You hit that little ball with that stick, and then run in a circle? That’s a trrble game. Knuckleheads.”



1992 Dallas Mavericks (11-71)
Ok, now I really hate basketball and know even less about that. I pick the '92 Mavs solely on their record. I haven't ever watched a complete basketball game and don't plan to in the future.

Madden says: "You know, Charles, your head is sorta shaped like a basketball. You know whose head is the least shaped like a basketball? Brett Favre. His head is like a perfectly formed Thanksgiving Turkey. Have I told you how much I love turkey, Chuck?"

Barkley says: "What do you mean you don't like basketball, you knucklehead. You better hope I don't come to Pittsburgh anytime soon. I'm gonna do something trrble to you. Don't like basketball? Knucklehead."