21 test matches, 23 ODIs
When it comes to cricket losing streaks, the Bangladesh national team takes the top prize. The team holds the streak for most test matches lost after suffering defeat 21 straight times from 2001-04. Bangladesh also holds the record for losing the most straight ODIs (One Day International matches) with 23 from 1999-2002.
The 1961 Philadelphia Phillies, coached by Gene Mauch (pictured), did what no other team had done since 1900 when it managed a losing streak of 23 games. From July 29 to Aug. 20, the Phillies were the topic of jokes for talk-show hosts for weeks, nearly reaching the mark of 24 lost games set in 1899 by the Cleveland Spiders.
New York Mets pitcher Anthony Young eclipsed an 82-year-old record when he lost 27 consecutive decisions from May 6, 1992 to July 24, 1993. During that stretch Young was 0-14 as a starter and 0-13 as a reliever. Young broke the record set by Cliff Curtis who lost 23 games in 1910-11. Young is now a pitching coach in Houston.
During the 2010-11 season the Cleveland Cavaliers, still reeling from losing LeBron James to the Miami Heat, went on a 26-game bender beginning Dec. 20, 2010. The streak ended on Feb. 11, 2011 when the Cavs beat the Los Angeles Clippers 129-119 in overtime. The Cavs ended the season 19–63.
Washington Capitals and San Jose Sharks
The Washington Capitals' inaugural season was rough at best. Finishing the 1974-75 season 8-67, the Caps saw a 17-game losing streak and also set records (which have since been broken) for most road losses (39 out of 40) and most consecutive road losses (37). The San Jose Sharks began their NHL journey in similar fashion as one of the worst teams in the league their first two seasons spanning 1991-93. The 1992-93 season yielded a 17-game skid to tie the Capitals with the longest losing streak in NHL history.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1976 and it took nearly two seasons for the team to earn its first win. The Bucs lost every game in the 1976 season — quarterbacked by Steve Spurrier (pictured) — and the first 12 games in 1977. The franchise's first win came in the 13th game on the road against the New Orleans Saints, who promptly fired their coach Hank Stram after losing to the lowly Bucs. The Bucs' 26-game skid was tied by the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers last season as the longest losing streak in any American professional team sport.
Dennis Green (pictured) took over as head coach of the Northwestern football program after the team's 1980 winless season under then head coach Rick Venturi. But Green didn't have much luck in 1981 as the Wildcats continued their losing ways. Finally the team's 34-game streak came to an end on Sept. 25, 1982 with a win over Northern Illinois in Evanston. Northwestern students rushed the field, tore down the goalposts and tossed them into Lake Michigan to celebrate.
City College New York
On April 30, 1988 the NCAA Division III City College New York lacrosse team defeated Queens College 9-8 in overtime to end a 92-game losing streak. That's nine years without a win. After the victory coach Hector Munoz told the New York Times, "My players will never forget that game. It will go with them to the grave, believe me.'' We believe you, Hector.
310 conference games
Caltech is perhaps best known for geeky antics at sporting events and not necessarily play of any kind. But on Feb. 22, 2011 the NCAA Division III Beavers ended a 310-game conference losing streak — a streak that spanned 26 years — by beating Occidental College 46-45. The last time the Beavers had won a conference game was a 48-47 victory over La Verne on Jan. 23, 1985. But the 310-game record isn't the only one the school holds. In 2007, Caltech had lost a record 207 consecutive games before notching an 81-52 victory over New York's Bard College.
When the New Jersey Tech (NJIT) Highlanders transitioned to become an NCAA Division I program in 2007 it was anything but smooth. The Highlanders' 51-game losing streak extended two seasons and ended on Jan. 21, 2009 with a 61-51 victory over the Bryant Bulldogs. The Highlanders ended the 2008-09 season with a 1-30 record.
American Vincent Spadea jumped into the Top 20 in 1999, only to see a string of injuries in 2000 drop him to No. 237. During this time he set an ATP record with 21 consecutive match losses in 2000. Spadea recovered and in 2005 reached a career-high No. 18 in the rankings.
Prairie View A&M
The NCAA Division I-AA (now Division I FCS) Prairie View A&M Panthers lost 80 consecutive football games from 1989-98. The record almost doubled Columbia University's 44-game lose streak between 1983-88. The run came to an end on Sept. 26, 1998 when the Panthers barely beat Langston University 14-12. The team played without its marching band which was suspended by the Southwestern Athletic Conference after a halftime altercation with Southern University's marching band the previous week.