Longest losing streaks in sports
The Northwestern Wildcats 34-game losing streak is the longest in Division I (FBS) football history. During the team’s winless 1981 season, the Wildcats were outscored 505-82 – an average of 40 points per game.
Prairie View A&M Panthers
In the 1990s, the Prairie View A&M Panthers lost 80 consecutive games, nearly doubling the second longest Division I (FCS) losing streak held by Columbia (44). In 1991, the Panthers scored 48 points – all season.
The longest losing streak in Division I men’s basketball history is owned by the Towson Tigers, going over one calendar year without a win, including 28 consecutive conference losses. From Dec. 29, 2010 (overtime win against La Salle), the Tigers would not win another game until January 28, 2012 (against UNC Wilmington).
Rick Greenwald’s 2007 documentary film Quantum Hoops details Division III men’s basketball Caltech Beavers losing streak of 207 games, which is the all-time NCAA record. Since their previous victory in 1985, the Beavers went 26 years (310 games) without a conference win until the team won a conference game against Occidental on February 22, 2011.
Wagner College owns the longest losing streaks in both NCAA Men's Division I Tennis (59 matches from 2007-2012) and NCAA Men’s Division I Lacrosse: (29 games).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In 1976 and 1977, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their first 26 games. From 1983-1986, the Buccaneers set an NFL record with 14 consecutive losing seasons
Kansas City Chiefs
On January 4, 2014, the Kansas City Chiefs were defeated by the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Lucas Oil Stadium. The loss marked the Chiefs’ eighth consecutive playoff loss, which is now an NFL record, surpassing the Detroit Lions’ total of seven from 1991-2011. The Chiefs have not won a playoff game since 1994.
From 1990-1994, the Buffalo Bills lost four consecutive Super Bowls (XXV – XXVIII) to the New York Giants, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys (twice).
San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals
The Capitals and Sharks each own the NHL record with 17 consecutive losses. The Capitals and Sharks were also involved in an odd, coincidental losing streak with each other. On March 22, 2014, the Capitals defeated the Sharks 3-2 in a shootout, which marked the Capitals first victory in San Jose since 1993 – the year the Sharks set the dubious record.
In the Ottawa Senators 1992-1993 re-inaugural season, the team set an NHL record with 38 consecutive road losses.
From October 1999 to June 2000, professional Tennis player Vince Spadea suffered a record losing streak of 21 consecutive losses.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ franchise player LeBron James took his talents to South Beach after the 2009-2010 season. 2010-2011 was one of the worst seasons in Cavaliers franchise history, eventually landing the first-overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft (Kyrie Irving). The low point of the first season for the post-LeBron Cavs was the team’s NBA record 26-game losing streak.
The Kansas City/Sacramento Kings
From 1983-1984 until the team finished 27-23 in the strike-shortened 1998-1999 season, the Kansas City/Sacramento Kings set an NBA record with 15 consecutive losing seasons.
In 1963, the Philadelphia Phillies lost 23 consecutive games, which was one game shy of the all-time National League record held by the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. The Phillies would eventually finish the 1961 season with an overall record of 47-107.
From May 6, 1992 to July 24, 1993, former Mets starting pitcher Anthony Young lost 27 consecutive decisions.
From 1993-2012, the Pittsburgh Pirates set a MLB record with 20 consecutive losing seasons – the longest such streak in any of the four major North American professional sports leagues
The Chicago Cubs have gone 105 years without a World Series Championship. The Cubs have lost their last seven World Series appearances (MLB record) and their only three National League Championship Series appearances.