The Biggest Blowouts in Sports History

Ross LipschultzAnalyst IJanuary 15, 2011

The Biggest Blowouts in Sports History

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The Los Angeles Lakers have been as close to a dynasty as anyone since the millennium began. With five titles in 11 years, the purple and gold are one of the NBA's most dominant franchises.

    So when the hollow Cleveland Cavaliers came to Staples Center on January 11, most people thought it'd be a rout. No one thought it'd get historical.

    The Lakers' 55-point win was the franchise's biggest margin of victory. They never gave up more than 16 points in a quarter, and nearly doubled up the Cavs. Cleveland point guard Manny Harris was minus-57 in plus-minus, which is just embarrassing.

    Although it's even more embarrassing that Harris is a starting point guard in the NBA. But I digress.

    With this mammoth beatdown, people started wondering how it fit into the record books. Did the Lakers' make the list of biggest blowouts in sports history?

15. High School Basketball: Morningside V. South Torrance, 1990

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    Score: Morningside 102, South Torrance 24 (Halftime)

    With a haircut like that, it would make sense that Lisa Leslie would be on the losing end of the worst result in high school basketball history.

    But nay! She actually went for 101 points. Yes, all but one.

    Morningside didn't actually have the greatest margin of victory in a high school basketball game, but with the game ending at halftime, all signs pointed to an Alf Landon-esque defeat. The kicker, however, is that South Torrance's coach took his girls home after the first half to avoid further embarrassment.

    His reasoning? "Our girls have feelings too." 

14. Golf: J.D. Edgar (1919), Joe Kirkwood Sr. (1924) and Bobby Locke (1948)

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    Score: All won by 16 strokes

    Considering three people have pulled off this feat, and Tiger Woods missed by one in 2000, it doesn't seem all that impressive.

    But if you can't respect Edgar dominating the Canadian Open in an outfit a hipster from Soho lent him, then you just don't know golf.

    Honestly, it's amazing he could get 16 strokes using that rail thin putter and not suffer an actual stroke. 

13. Soccer: Stade Olympique De L'Emyrne V. Adema, 2002

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    Score: Adema 149, Stade Olympique de l'Emyrne 0

    Don't give Adema all the credit for dominating the final game of the Madagascar league season, they didn't score a single goal in this game.

    What? That's right, Olympique scored 149 times, against themselves.

    Olympique's head coach Zaka Be wanted to stage a protest that cost his team a chance at the title, and by gum, he protested 'til the cows came home. He demanded his team put the ball in it's own net, and Adema didn't even touch the ball: Olympique kicked the ball back as soon as it hit the pitch.

    Be was then banned for soccer for three years, not realizing that all publicity isn't good publicity.

12. Pro Basketball: Miami Heat V. Cleveland Cavaliers, 1991

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    Score: Cavs 148, Heat 80

    Brian Daugherty and the Cleveland Cavaliers hoped that playing the sub-.500 Miami Heat would be an easy win.

    They just never thought the Heat would quit.

    Most games that are blowouts see the lead balloon early, and plateau at the end. Not in this game, as the Cavs outscored Miami 75-27 in the second half, with guys like John Battle and Henry James having huge nights.

    That's how you know it's a blowout: when people you've never heard of are leading the team in scoring.

11. NCAA Tourney: Loyola University Wolves V. Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, 1963

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    Score: Wolves 111, Golden Eagles 42

    No one thought this game would be close, considering Loyola was, (and ended up being), a championship-caliber team. 

    But the Golden Eagles looked more like lead on this night.

    Shooting 22% from the field, Tennessee Tech allowed Loyola to score more often than Lawrence Taylor, (too soon?), as the Wolves ended up setting the tourney mark for largest margin of victory.

    No, not the biggest blowout in college basketball, but certainly most embarrassing. The Eagles finally made the tournament only to miss more shots than Lindsay Lohan.

10. Cricket: Sri Lanka V. Kenya, 2007

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    Score: Sri Lanka 201, Kenya 27

    Most people reading this will not have extensive cricket knowledge, and won't know this is a blowout off hand.

    So, for comparison, please note that the second biggest blowout in the sport is by 42 less runs. This kind of victory is like if the Lakers won 100-20.

    If that still doesn't shock you, I'm out of ideas.

9. Baseball: Chicago Colts V. Louisville Colonels, 1897

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    Score: Colts 36, Colonels 7

    Before Chicago sports fans were forced to suffer through the mediocrity that is Cubs baseball, they had the Colts.

    You know, back in the good ol' racist days of baseball. When the city could expect a title from its team.

    Actually, the Colts had a down season in 1897, but at least they made fools of Colonels. Without a box score, it's impossible to know how the game went down, but let's assume Chicago wasn't down seven in the ninth and made a ridiculous comeback.

    A 36-run ninth would be an entire slide show on its own.

8. Pro Football: Chicago Bears V. Washington Redskins, 1940

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    Score: Bears 73, Redskins 0

    During the regular season, the Redskins beat the Bears 7-3, prompting Washington's owner to call their opponents "crybabies and quitters."

    Can you say, "Bulletin Board Material?"

    Bears' coach George Halas showed his players these comments before the 1940 NFL Championship, and they scalped the 'Skins. The league lost so many footballs on score, the referees had to ask Halas to go for 2 points after the final two touchdowns.

    However, the best quote came from the losing quarterback, Sammy Baugh. A writer asked if he thought the game would have been different if his receiver didn't drop a touchdown that would have made it 7-7.

    Baugh's answer? "Sure. The final score would have been 73-7."

7. Pro Hockey: Detroit Red Wings V. New York Rangers, 1944

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    Score: Red Wings 15, Rangers 0

    Running the score up in hockey nowadays can make a coach into a social pariah.

    Back in the 40s, you'd be a pariah if you didn't load up. And boy, did the Wings take that to heart.

    During the 1943-1944 season, Detroit outscored New York 67-26 in ten meetings. In this one-sided affair, the Wings were up 10-0 with only six minutes left, and decided to pour it on. Red Wings forward Syd Howe recorded a hat trick in the remaining time, and even that wasn't enough for Detroit.

    To be fair, the Rangers were Kimbo Slice awful. A week later, Detroit pounded them again, 12-2.

6. Rugby: Australia V. Namibia, 2003

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    Score: Australia 142, Namibia 0

    Australia loves rugby. Namibia doesn't. I probably didn't have to say that, but let's just lay it all out on the table.

    One nation cared at the 2003 World Rugby Cup, and the other probably didn't know it was playing.

    If you aren't familiar with Rugby, and find this score to be arbitrary, here's a way to make its impact known: Just like football, the maximum number of points a team can score when they have the ball is seven.

    It's hard to imagine that there was another team on the field when Australia had that number of possessions.

5. Tennis: Steffi Graf V. Natasha Zvereva, 1988

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    Score: Graf over Zvereva, 6-0, 6-0

    Anyone who knows tennis looked at that score and goes, "Duh, of course that's the score of the biggest blowout in tennis. One person never wins a game."

    While that's true, Zvereva probably wished she had never played the game, because this was embarrassing.

    Steffi Graf, who ended up winning all four Grand Slam singles championships, had her buzz saw running at 11 in the French Open. She got to the final, looked at Zvereva, and likely asked the umpire when her opponent was going to show up.

    Graf beat her in 32 minutes, which is hardly enough time to read this slideshow word for word.

4. NASCAR: Ned Jarrett, 1965

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    Score: Jarrett by 14 laps

    How embarrassing is it to see the same person pass you 14 times in the same drive?

    Must be how old people feel every day.

    Put into perspective, 14 laps at the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is 19.25 miles. Most people don't drive that much in a day.

    And Jarrett finished faster than a 13-year-old boy.

3. Horse Racing: Secretariat, 1973

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    Score: Secretariat wins by 31 lengths

    Everyone says to bet on the field. Never take the favorite if the field is an available bet.

    Well, that's unless Secretariat is the favorite. Then there is no field.

    Secretariat needed to win the 1973 Belmont Stakes to earn the Triple Crown, so he turned on what Gus Johnson calls his "getting away from the cops speed." At one point in the stretch, he led by 1/16th of a mile, which is gigantic in horse racing.

    The picture, however, says it best.

2. World Hockey: South Korea V. Thailand, 1998

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    Score: South Korea 92, Thailand 0

    There isn't much information from this 1998 Asia-Oceania Junior Championships, so let's put it this way:

    The New Jersey Devils scored 174 goals all season in 2010-2011. South Korea probably had nearly half of that before the Zambonis came out for the second intermission.

    Now, neither of these teams are known for their hockey prowess, but a 92-point shutout? Thailand must not have been on skates, or even on the ice.

    Oh, and South Korea forward Donghwan Song scored 31 goals, which could make him an entire hat store.

1. College Football: Georgia Tech Engineers V. Cumberland College Bulldogs, 1916

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    Score: Engineers 222, Bulldogs 0

    Look at that scoreboard, the numbers won't even fit. Engineers coach John Heisman probably screamed at his players only scoring six touchdowns in the final quarter.

    Honestly, it's even funnier in context. Cumberland dropped it's football program the year before, but had a contract with Georgia Tech to play and didn't tell the Engineers they didn't have a team. Heisman, however, couldn't let Cumberland, who beat the Engineers in baseball 22-0 the past year, get away with it.

    So he made them play. Although "play" isn't accurate.

    Cumberland, which had 14 players, had one play for positive yardage the entire game. Georgia Tech went for 32 touchdowns, more than 1,600 yards rushing, didn't throw a single pass, and scored on every single drive.

    So strange that the biggest blowouts was by a bunch of Engineers. That just won't happen again.

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