The 50 Worst Teams in Sports History

Kelsey GivensAnalyst IIOctober 28, 2011

The 50 Worst Teams in Sports History

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    Some teams have all the luck, and some...well they don't seem to have any luck at all.

    Throughout the history of sports there have been good teams and there have been the teams that make fans wonder how they ever made it into the professional leagues. 

    Whether it be for a single season, a decade or almost the entire history of the franchise, there are some teams that are so terrible that even when they win, people consider them one of the worst teams in sports.

    So here is a list of 50 of the worst teams of all time. 

No. 50: 1998 U.S National Men's Soccer Team

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    This team was shockingly bad in the fact that with so much talent and some success in the 1994 World Cup, they still managed to lose in the first round and come in at No. 32 of 32 teams in the tournament. 

No. 49: Cleveland Indians

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    This is one of the few teams on this list with a long history of being terrible.

    There have been several year spans where the team does great, and then it pulls itself back into being one of the worst teams in the MLB.

    For example, in 2009 the team finished the season with more losses than wins, having won 65 games and lost 97.

    But in 2007, the team won the Central Division Title. 

No. 48: 1960 Dallas Cowboys

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    While the team has obviously seen more success in recent years, in 1960 the Cowboys finished their first season in the NFL with a record of 0-11-1.

    This may be, in large part, due to the fact that they became an official part of the NFL too late to be a part of that year’s draft.

No. 47: 2007 Miami Dolphins

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    The Dolphins have struggled for a little while now, but in 2007 they were so terrible that fans were even wearing paper bags over their head during the games. 

    Maybe that was so they didn’t have to see the horrific 1-15 finish the Dolphins posted that year. 

No. 46: 2007-2008 Knicks

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    This was a truly tough season for the Knicks, who only won 23 games to finish 23-59. The worst part may have been all the hype the team created about itself, making the expectations greater and the fall to the bottom that much farther. 

No. 45: 1982-1983 Houston Rockets

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    Here is another team on this list that isn’t typically seen as one of the better teams in the NBA.

    However, they may have been at their worst during the 1982-1983 season when the Rockets went 14-68. 

No. 44: 1981 Colts

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    1981 was not a good year to be a Colts fan.

    The team won only two games, losing 14 that season. And those two wins sandwiched a 14-game losing streak as well. 

No. 43: 1988-1989 Miami Heat

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    There was no dream team trio on this Miami Heat, that much is for sure.

    The Heat were only able to win 15 of 82 games and suffered from a 17 game losing streak, the league record at the time. 

No. 42: 1962 Mets

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    Today, the Mets are one of the strongest teams in the MLB, but in 1962 that was definitely not the case.

    The Mets suffered from the third-worst winning percentage of all time in baseball, .250, and finished the season with a record of 40-120. 

No. 41: 1952 Pittsburgh Pirates

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    1952 was not the Pirates’ year.

    The team couldn’t seem to pull it together and went on win no more than two games in a row that season.

    The most devastating part for fans, however, might have come from the random winning surge they seemed to go on between mid-July and August, which dropped off in September allowing the team to finish 22.5 games behind seventh place with a record of 42-112.

No. 40: 1916 Philadelphia Athletics

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    Being super cheap and having a talented and successful team don’t seem to go hand in hand in any sport, and they definitely didn’t with the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics.

    When players began complaining about their pay, it was reported that the owner traded them off, even if they were some of his best players.

    The results were posting a 36-117 record with a .235 winning percentage and having their longest winning streak being just two games that season. 

No. 39: 2001 Panthers

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    Where was Cam Newton for the Panthers then?

    They definitely needed him, or someone like him, because the team went 1-15 and set a record at that time by suffering a 15-game losing streak after a season opening win against the Vikings.

No. 38: 2006 Raiders

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    The Raiders had been struggling for a while, but they were especially bad during the 2006 season when the team went 2-14. 

No. 37: 1995 New York Jets

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    For Jets fans everywhere, this is a season they would love to forget.

    The team won only one game that year, dropping the other 15. 

No. 36: 1995-1996 Vancouver Grizzles

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    While the Grizzlies record at the end of the 1995-96 season is enough to land them on this list, they really cemented their position with two huge losing streaks on their way to a record of 15-67.

    They went 19 games without a win and later in the season went, a then record, 23 games without a win.  

No. 35: 1933-1945 Philadelphia Phillies

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    During these few terrible seasons, the Philadelphia Phillies had a winning average of just under .300. The worst year for the Phillies was in 1942 when the team finished 42-109.

No. 34: Kansas City Athletics

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    While the current Oakland Athletic's team was housed in Kansas City from 1955 to 1967, they were one of the most disappointing teams around.

    During the team's 12 year stay, they mostly finished in or around last place in the league every year.  

No. 33: 1980 Saints

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    This team was nothing like the 2009 Super Bowl winning Saints team.

    In 1980 the New Orleans Saints’ leading rusher, Jimmy Rogers, had only 366 yards for the entire season and the whole team won only a single game to go 1-15.

No. 32: 2004-2005 Atlanta Hawks

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    While this team was really bad, posting a record of 13-69 for the entire 2004-2005 season, they never had massive losing streaks like some of the other horrible teams on this list. 

    Although that is a plus for them, they are still one of the worst teams of all time with that many losses in one season. 

No. 31: 1975 Washington Capitals

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    The Capitals are usually a pretty solid team in the NHL, but in 1975, the Caps had a horrific season.

    The team had 37 consecutive road losses, and in total, lost 39 of 40 away games. The Capitals ended the season with a 8-67-5 record.

No. 30: The Cleveland Browns

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    Here is another team that seems to have a losing stigma attached to it.

    Although the team seems to be doing better in recent years, there have been seasons, like that of 1999, where the Browns finished 2-14.

    The Browns are also one of the only teams in the league that have neither hosted a Super Bowl, nor sent a team to the bowl. 

No. 29: 1972-1973 New York Islanders

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    While the Islanders have vastly improved since, the team went on to finish the 1972-1973 season with a record of 12-60-6, scoring only 30 points the entire season. 

No. 28: 1935 Boston Braves

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    Even with one of the greatest baseball players of all time on their roster, Babe Ruth, the Boston Braves just couldn’t seem to win, finishing the 1935 season 38-115.

    That season the team also finished 26 games out of seventh place, and when Ruth left it has been reported that Braves fans stopped coming to the games, which explains why when they played the Dodgers there were only 95 people in attendance at the home game. 

No. 27: 1966 New York Giants

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    This is possibly the worst season this franchise has ever had in all of its existence.

    The team just couldn’t seem to pull it together to play a complete game and finished the season with one win, one tie and 12 losses. 

No. 26: 1939 St. Louis Browns

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    The St. Louis Browns were not only one of the worst teams in 1939, but of all time. 

    During that season, the team went 43-111 and had a team ERA over 6.00, as well as a really low batting average to seal their fate as a terrible team.  

No. 25: 1936 Philadelphia Eagles

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    The Eagles have been a very competitive team in the past couple of seasons, but in 1936 they were anything but serious competitors.

    The Eagles won their first game that season and went on to lose the last 11 games, suffering four shutouts during those last games. 

No. 24: 1992-1993 San Jose Sharks

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    The early ‘90s were not a good time for the San Jose Sharks.

    The team was especially bad during the 1992-1993 season where it won only 11 games out of the 83 it played. 

No. 23: 1998 Denver Nuggets

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    While not always the most successful team in the league, the Nuggets were especially bad in 1998 when they went 11-71, on average allowing 100.8 points per game.

    The team also had one of the worst defensive ratings in the league that year, possibly explaining why they gave up so many points per game. 

No. 22: 1990 New England Patriots

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    Up until this current season, the Patriots have been one of the dominant teams in the NFL.

    That title, however, was not so apparent during the 1990 season when the team finished with only one win out of 16 games. The Patriots amassed only 239 first downs for the entire season, about half of what other teams in the league had accomplished. 

No. 21: 2006-2007 Philadelphia Flyers

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    This team was labeled the worst in 40 years for the Philadelphia franchise.

    The Flyers finished as the worst in the NHL with a record of 22-48-12, scoring a league low 56 points for the entire season.

    This was also the first season since 1994 that the team didn’t make the playoffs. 

No. 20: 1952 Dallas Texans

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    These guys were especially bad the year they moved from New York to Texas, winning only a single game and losing 11. The Texans also went seven for 27 in extra point attempts. 

No. 19: 1992-1993 Dallas Mavericks

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    This Mavericks team did not have the skills and talent that today’s team does, and that much is pretty obvious.

    The 1992-1993 team lost 19 games in a row during the middle of the season to finish with a record of 11-71. 

No. 18: 1971 Bills

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    It’s hard to win a game with both the worst ranked offense and defense on your team, which is exactly what they Bills were facing during the 1971 season.

    The Bills suffered four shutouts and ultimately finished the season 1-13. 

No. 17: Columbus Blue Jackets

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    This team just ended its eight game losing streak Tuesday night with a win over Detroit.

    The Blue Jackets have only made it to the playoffs once in the franchise’s history, which was in 2009. At that point, Columbus had been the only team in the league to have never made a playoff appearance. 

No. 16: 1943-1944 New York Rangers

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    This was the epitome of a rough year for the Rangers.

    The team only won six games, losing 39 and tying five, but also gave up 310 goals in the process. 

No. 15: 2003 Detroit Tigers

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    The Tigers were a hot mess in 2003. They struggled the entire season, earning one of the lowest winning percentages ever in the league with a .265.

    At the end of the season the Tigers won just 43 games, losing the other 119. 

No. 14: 1972 and 1973 Houston Oilers

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    The team’s record, 1-13, wasn’t even the worst part of its season. The worst part might have been the 447 points the 1973 team gave up, or possibly having a player, Dan Pastorini, who made three consecutive league records with the number of times he was sacked. 

No. 13: 1986-1987 L.A Clippers

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    The Clippers have never been known as a powerhouse of the NBA, but they were especially bad during the 1986-1987 season, winning only 12 games out of 82.

    The franchise suffered a decade’s worth of seasons with 50 or more losses, now that’s one disappointing team. 

No. 12: 2009-2010 Nets

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    To put it nicely, the Nets were terrible during the 2009-2010 season.

    Posting a record of 12-70 for the season, the Nets set a record as the only team in the league to have ever started a season 0-18. 

No. 11: 1992-1993 76ers

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    It should have been pretty clear that this was not going to be a good season for the 76ers when they started off with a 15 game losing streak.

    The team went on to only win nine games for a record of 9-73. 

No. 10: 1980-1981 Winnipeg Jets

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    After winning the WHA championships in 1978 and 1979, this team fell fast and hard.

    The Jets even suffered a 30-game losing streak, and went on to only win nine games that season, posting a final record of 9-57-14. 

No. 9: 1992-1993 Ottawa Senators

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    In this season alone the Sens lost 38 straight road games and the last one that broke that streak was their last away game.

    The Senators finished with a record of 10-70-4. 

No. 8: Northwestern

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    From 1979 to 1982, the Wildcats were possibly one of the worst teams in Division I-A football.

    They suffered a 34-game losing streak, and during that time, the Wildcats were so terrible that after a 61-14 home loss to Michigan State, fans rushed the field and tore down the goalposts. After terrorizing the field, fans continued marching through the town shouting “we’re the worst.”

No. 7: Prairie View

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    This team has had a long history of being one of the worst in college football.

    Between 1989 and 1998 the school managed to set the losing record with an 80-game losing streak.

    In 1991 the team scored only 48 points the entire season. And even when they started to improve in 1999, the team still only went 2-9 for the season. 

No. 6: 2007-2008 New Jersey Institute of Technology Basketball Team

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    As of today, this is the worst team in the history of Division I-A basketball.

    During the 2007-2008 season the team failed to win even one game, finishing the season 0-29. 

No. 5: The Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Even with super star LeBron James on their side, the Cavs couldn’t pull in a championship if their lives depended on it.

    The franchise has a history of being one of the worst teams in the NBA. This past season was especially bad, running on a 26 game losing streak and finishing with a record of 19-63. But it wasn’t the worst the team has seen in its history.

    The very first Cavs team played in the 1970-71 season. This Cavs team had to play its first seven games on the road, and lost the first 15 games of the season, before ultimately finishing with a record of 15-67. 

No. 4: 2008 Detroit Lions

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    This team is considered to be one of the worst in the history of the NFL.

    The Lions were terrible that season, failing to win even a single game, finishing 0-16. In addition to a lack of wins, the team gave up the second highest amount of points for any season, 517, and had one of the worst ranked defenses in the league that year. 

No. 3: 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    The 1976 Buccaneers are largely considered one of the worst teams ever in the NFL.

    The team suffered five shutouts and zero wins to finish 0-14.

    That bad luck continued into the next season where the Bucs lost 12 games in a row to make for a total of 26 consecutive losses between the two seasons. 

No. 2: 1934 Cincinnati Reds (The Football Team)

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    When you see Reds, you’re most likely thinking the city’s baseball team. But in this case we’re talking about the football team, the Cincinnati Reds, who played from 1933-1934.

    In that short time span, the team was able to set two records for lowest amount of points scored in a season, with 38 points in 1933 and 37 points in 1934.

    During the 1934 season, the team unsurprisingly went 0-8. 

No. 1: The 1899 Cleveland Spiders

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    And the worst team in any sport ever, are the 1899 Cleveland Spiders.

    This team is largely considered to be the worst baseball teams to have ever played. In 1899 the Spiders went 20-134. 

    Road games made up a majority of the losses the team suffered, amassing 101 over the course of the season. The Spiders also had one of he lowest winning steaks of all time at just two games.