The 7 Worst Sports Records of All Time | STACK

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7 Really Bad Sports Records That Will Never Be Broken

December 23, 2012

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Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points a game once. Nap Lajoie hit .426 in 1901. Cal Ripken Jr. played in 2,626 Major League Baseball games in a row. These are the kind of sports records that get talked about for generations. However, there are certain sports records that we would never tell our children about, in fear that they might run out of the room screaming like we had just denied them a creamsicle. These records live in the corners of the Internet, only surfacing after lengthy Google quests. Fortunately for you, we've gone on those quests. We love seeing athletes at their best; however, we also get a kick out of seeing them at their worst. Here are seven of the worst sports records ever set.

Quickest Disqualification From an NBA Game

Bubba Wells

Cuprit: Bubba Wells (1997)

Record: 3 minutes

In the NBA, you are allowed six fouls before you've got take a seat on the bench. It is rare for a player to reach this foul limit, but when it does happen, it's usually well into the fourth quarter, after the player has been on the court for 25-plus minutes. Not Bubba Wells. Inserted into a game against the Chicago Bulls back in 1997, with the sole purpose of fouling Dennis Rodman (a poor free throw shooter), Wells did what he was told. He fouled out in the third quarter after registering just three minutes of actual court time. Impressive. What's worse is that the Hack-a-Rodman strategy didn't even work, as the enigmatic Bull hit 9 of 12 free throws and the Bulls won the game. Poor, poor Bubba.

Fewest Points in a Quarter

Golden State Warriors

Culprits: Dallas Mavericks (1997), Golden State Warriors (2004)

Record: 2 points

There are 12 minutes in a quarter of NBA basketball. In those twelve minutes, the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors scored exactly one time, respectively. In twelve minutes, the ball went into the hoop once. The shot clock in the NBA counts down from 24 seconds. This means that for the remaining 11 minutes and 36 seconds of the quarter, these two teams were putting up bricks like the three little pigs. Just be thankful you weren't in the arena to watch those performances live. The day an NBA team scores zero points in a quarter, that team should immediately be demoted to the D-League, where the players have to live in shady Discount Inns until they are deemed ready to return to the NBA.

Most Fumbles in an NFL Game

Len Dawson

Culprit: Len Dawson (1964)

Record: 7

Nov. 15, 1964 was a tough day at the office for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson. He somehow fumbled the ball a whopping seven times in a game against the San Diego Chargers. Seven! Is he the guy who originated the term "butterfingers" by dipping his hands in butter before the game? That's got to be where it came from. "There goes Dawson, playing with butter before the game again." How else is it possible for a player to fumble the ball seven times in one game? Dawson also threw two interceptions, so it's safe to say he had the worst single quarterback performance of all time (JaMarcus Russell, don't worry, nobody's taking away your Lifetime Performance award.)

Worst Shooting Game in the NBA

Tim Hardaway

Culprit: Tim Hardaway (1991)

Record: 0-17

Maybe after missing his first twelve shots, Hardaway should have just stopped shooting. He didn't. He took five more shots, and missed those too. It was a historic day of awfulness for Hardaway, because once you've reached the peak of your profession, you should never miss 17 shots in a row. I could go into my backyard and hoist up 17 airballs right now, and the closest to the NBA I'll ever get is shouting "I LOVE YOU KYRIE!" from the upper deck at Cavs games. It's like the old saying. You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take. Except in Hardaway's case, you miss 100 percent of the shots you do take. So it's a lose-lose.

Most Consecutive Losses in a Row

Cavs losing streak

Culprits: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1976-1977), Cleveland Cavaliers (2010)

Record: 26

It takes something special to lose 26 games in a row. It's more than just a dreadful roster. It takes a team that has given up its will to win and buried it deep beneath its arena. For the Cleveland Cavaliers, the roster that was left after the departure of LeBron James would have been better off competing at the AAU level (Joey Graham! Luke Harangody! Cavs!). The epic losing streak included a 55-point loss at the hands of the Lakers, and 127 points handed to the Denver Nuggets.

As bad as the Cavs' streak was, the Buccaneers streak might be worse. The Detroit Lions went 0-16 in 2008, but that team's losing streak only hit 17. The Bucs had an entire offseason to add new players and try anything, to get a single win. It didn't happen. The team's coach, Jim McKay, didn't even get fired. That's almost as bad as having a sunburnt pirate as your logo.

Most Penalties in an NHL Game

Chris Nilan

Culprit: Chris Nilan (1991)

Record: 10

To say Chris Nilan was known for his fighting would be like saying Pigpen is known for his inability to take showers. It's a bit of an understatement. Nilan's nickname was "Knuckles," since he apparently punched everyone in the face. As a member of the Boston Bruins, Nilan racked up a ridiculous 10 penalties in a game against Hartford. He was in the penalty box for 42 of the game's 60 minutes. Maybe there should have been an anger management counselor in the box with him.

Most Balks in an MLB Game

Bob Shaw

Culprit: Bob Shaw (1963)

Record: 5

One balk can be forgiven. Two balks and it's like, "Hey, guy on the mound, please stopping balking." But five balks? FIVE? Even if, as a pitcher, you didn't understand what constituted a balk, after you got called for it, I don't know, three times, maybe you'd start to figure out what you were doing wrong. What's even more incredible is that Shaw loaded up his five balks into just four innings of work. Let's hope his manager isn't holed up in some insane asylumn, curled up in a ball and rocking back and forth as he mutters "Bob Shaw" over and over again.


Jordan Zirm
- Jordan Zirm is an Associate Content Director for STACK. After earning his BS in Journalism from the University of Missouri, he spent time writing for...
Jordan Zirm
- Jordan Zirm is an Associate Content Director for STACK. After earning his BS in Journalism from the University of Missouri, he spent time writing for...
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