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Sports Then and Now



Step Aside, Cleveland, These Teams are the Biggest Losers in History 0

Posted on December 09, 2017 by Rik Snuiverink
Steve Spurrier was the original starting quarterback when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers began their stretch of 26 consecutive defeats.

Steve Spurrier was the original starting quarterback when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers began their stretch of 26 consecutive defeats.

For the 0-12 Browns, it is all something of a case of deja-vu. This time last year, they were in exactly the same position, and it was only a Christmas Eve win that saved them from a 0-16 season. That makes 28 losses in the last 29 regular season games for the Browns. It’s bad, but that single win against the Chargers last year means Cleveland can’t even make a success of losing, and just miss out on the top losing streaks shortlist.

Streaking to failure – or gambling on spectacular success

There is something almost magical about the streak. Sportsbook fans and casino goers know that it can make gamblers overnight millionaires or bring them to ruin, whether they are putting it all on black 22 at casino-websites.co.uk or trying to hold their nerve in a complex sports betting accumulator.

For sports fans, however, when all else is lost, there is what becomes an almost morbid interest in just how bad your team can become. It is a feeling that Cleveland fans know only too well. Here are some of the biggest losing streaks in sporting history.

NFL: 26 games

Not to rub it in, but had Cleveland lost to San Diego last year, they would have shot straight to the top of the list. As it is, the biggest losing streak stands at 26, and is a record held by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Worse, it came in 1976, when the regular season was only 14 games long and the Bucs were the new kids in town. It took the franchise almost two entire seasons to manage its first victory, a 33-14 win over The Saints in the penultimate game of the1977 season at Tampa Stadium. Read the rest of this entry →

‘Favorite’ is Not the Cleveland Browns’ Favorite Word 0

Posted on October 03, 2017 by Andrew Scott
DeShone Kizer has shown glimpses of potential greatness, but has also struggled at times during his first season in Cleveland.

DeShone Kizer has shown glimpses of potential greatness, but has also struggled at times during his first season in Cleveland.

The Cleveland Browns are, according to BetNow sportsbook, favored to defeat their current opponent for the second straight week, this time a one-point favorite to beat the New York Jets. Don’t tell the Browns this, though. The mantle of favoritism is one the Browns are so unaccustomed to, that it almost seems, like the Shirt of Nessus, to burn them alive, like it did Heracles. Let’s take for instance their Week 3 matchup with the Colts in Indianapolis; Cleveland was also a one-point favorite then, but not only lost 31-28 but obviously failed to cover the spread as well.

Things went, at least for a while, back to usual for the Browns, as they were deemed three-point home underdogs to the then-equally winless – though improving – Cincinnati Bengals, who then proceeded to score the most and allow the fewest point in their season thus far, as well as pick up their first win, 31-7. The phrase “the team to beat” gets, you know, thrown around a lot, but it’s usually in reference to teams that are actually good. The Browns have truly become the team to beat, but only, mind you, in the sense that whenever a winless team like the Colts or Bengals needs a quick pick-me-up, they can rely on Hue Jackson and his boys.

And speaking of the devil, Hue doesn’t “my record any more than you do or anybody does,” as he said, per ESPN, following the loss to Cincy. The Browns are, at 2-29, in a three-way tie for the worst record in NFL history over a 31-game period, of which Hue is responsible for a dismal 1-19. “It is horrible,” said Jackson. “And I will be the first to tell you that.” Hue being the first of anything? Not very likely. As a matter of fact, John McKay had a worse first 20 games, going 0-26 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976-77. But back to the business at hand, the Browns’ against-the-spread record isn’t all that great either. Cleveland is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games, 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in October and 6-22-1 ATS in their last 29 games overall. Read the rest of this entry →

The Cleveland Browns Have Finally Reached a Point Where They Can’t Get Worse 0

Posted on December 24, 2016 by Tony Samboras
Even former Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III has been unable to help the Cleveland Browns win in 2016.

Even former Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III has been unable to help the Cleveland Browns win in 2016.

The once proud Cleveland Browns organization is in tatters. With a current record of 0-14 and two games remaining against teams they figure to struggle against, it seems a certainty the team will fulfill the ultimate in futility for an entire season. After finishing last season 3-13, which included losses in its last six games, the Browns look intent on going into next season with an active 22-game losing streak and a long path back to even being competitive.

This will be the team’s 13th year in a row that they have failed to make the playoffs. That’s the second longest current streak in the NFL (behind only the Buffalo Bills). Going into next season, they face the distinct possibility of breaking the record for consecutive losses by an NFL team. The current record stands at 26, which was set by the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers from its inaugural season in 1976 until towards the end of the 1977 season. This is not the kind of number the Browns want to find its name next to in the record books.

Looking at this year’s stats for a silver lining in another exercise in futility. Four different quarterbacks have recorded starts on the season with USC rookie Cody Kessler leading the way with 1,469 yards passing with 6 TDs and only 2 interceptions. Unfortunately, nagging injuries and inconsistent play landed him on the bench in favor of team retread Josh McCown. On the season, McCown has completed only 54.5% of his passes for 1,100 yards and 6 TDs and 6 interceptions.  It might be too early to give up Kessler, who showed some ability to compete earlier in the year, but the rest of the QB corps seems to have more questions than answers. Read the rest of this entry →

Happy 80th Birthday Jim Brown 2

Posted on February 17, 2016 by Dean Hybl
Happy 80th Birthday Jim Brown!

Happy 80th Birthday Jim Brown!

Though it has been 50 years since he last carried a football in the NFL and most of his records have long been broken, Jim Brown still stands among the greatest ever to play professional football and is arguably still at the top of that list. We wish this legend and American treasurer a happy 80th birthday!

When he retired following the 1965 season at the age of 29, Brown held the NFL record with 12,312 career rushing yards. Though his mark was first passed by Walter Payton in 1984 and has since been eclipsed by seven other players, Brown remains the only player in NFL history to average more than 100 yards rushing per game (104).

Brown was the epitome of a player retiring at the peak of his greatness. In his final NFL season, Brown rushed for 1,544 yards and 17 touchdowns as the Cleveland Browns reached the NFL Championship Game.

In the 1963 NFL season, Brown rushed for 1,863 yards, which was the NFL single season record at the time. The following season, he gained 1,446 yards rushing and then had 114 yards to lead the Browns to what remains the last NFL Championship for Cleveland.

During his nine NFL seasons, Brown led the NFL in rushing an amazing eight times. At the time of his retirement, Brown’s career rushing total was nearly 2,600 more than second place Joe Perry. He also scored a then record 106 career touchdowns.

In the ensuing 50 years since he last wore an NFL uniform, Brown has spent time as an actor, but most importantly he has been a vocal leader in civil rights and supporting inner city youth. It is amazing to think that not only was Brown a great football player, but he was also one of the best college lacrosse players of his era. He was recently prominently involved when Hampton University, a predominantly African American school in Virginia, recently started a varsity lacrosse program.

It is interesting that arguably the greatest player in NFL history shares a birthday with the greatest player in NBA history, Michael Jordan. In fact, when ESPN ranked the top athletes of the 20th Century, Jordan was first and Brown fourth. Read the rest of this entry →

Broncos Outlast Cowboys, Patriots and Seahawks Fall From Perfection: Week 5 NFL Headlines 1

Posted on October 08, 2013 by Andy Larmand

As we took off into the second quarter of the season (for most teams), the fascinating phenomena kept rolling in. Included in this week’s list is something that hasn’t happened to the New England offense in seven years, a first for any quarterback since the merger, the continuation of home dominance for one NFC North team, a record-tying day for one tight end and an offensive outburst in Dallas. Here are your Week 5 NFL headlines.

Travis Benjamin had a career night in the return game for the red-hot Browns.

Travis Benjamin had a career night in the return game for the red-hot Browns.

The Browns scored their first rushing touchdown of the season (and it wasn’t Trent Richardson) in their fifth game and stayed perfect when starting quarterback Brian Hoyer as they beat the Bills, 37-24, on Thursday night. They did, however, lose Hoyer for the season with a partially torn ACL suffered early in the game. Cleveland punt returner, Travis Benjamin, tied a franchise record with 166 punt return yards in the win for the first-place Browns. Their 37 points were the most they have scored in a game since putting up 41 back in 2009. Since Week 3, they are averaging 28.3 points per game after averaging eight points per game in the first two weeks.

The Patriots fell from the ranks of the unbeaten and the Bengals improved to 6-22 against the AFC East since 1998 as New England managed only six points in the 13-6 loss. The six points were the fewest for the high-powered New England offense since being shut out on Dec. 10, 2006, 21-0, in Week 14 against Miami. The Bengals’ 5-22 record had been the third-worst against one division in that span. Andy Dalton’s first-quarter interception in the red zone was the first red-zone pick of his career. Tom Brady fell two short of the all-time record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass as he failed to record one in game No. 53. The Pats had won 63 straight games when allowing 13 points or less with their last such loss coming in 2001. Read the rest of this entry →

Rodgers Has A Day, Manuel Shocks Panthers: Week 2 NFL Headlines 1

Posted on September 18, 2013 by Andy Larmand

Week 1 had a lot, but Week 2 might have it beat. There was everything from a weather delay (those 49ers) to four last-second wins, of course some interesting quirks mixed in and who could forget about the Manning Bowl. Here are your Week 2 NFL headlines.

Aaron Rodgers was the top performer in Week 2.

Aaron Rodgers was the top performer in Week 2.

Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass in his 50th consecutive game as the Patriots beat the Jets, 13-10, to open the week on Thursday Night Football, but was also below a 50-percent completion rate for the first time since 2009. He now sits just four behind the all-time record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass. New England forced four turnovers and now have at least one in 29 straight games, the longest since the Eagles did that between 2003-04. The win gave the Pats 12 straight victories over division opponents, which is the longest current streak in the league, according to Elias. The only other time the Patriots began a season 2-0 with both wins by three points or less was in 1999. They won this one despite having more punts (11) than first downs (9) – the first time that has happened in the Bill Belichick era. Julian Edelman had 13 catches, but just 78 yards. That is the third-fewest yards in a 13-catch game in the Super Bowl Era. Brady improved to 6-0 in his career in games played on a Thursday.

Cordarrelle Patterson tied a team record with a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as the Vikings fell to 0-2 with a 31-30 loss to the BearsAdrian Peterson had 100 rushing yards and has just 193 through two games. He had only 144 last year, however. After doing so nine times last season, the Bears scored their first defensive touchdown of 2013 with an interception return from Tim Jennings in the win. Their 10 defensive touchdowns since the start of last year are the most in the league. Devin Hester had 249 kick return yards in the win, setting a new franchise record. Jay Cutler hit Martellus Bennett on a 16-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left in one of four games to be decided in the final seconds. Bennett became the fourth player in Bears’ history to catch a touchdown in each of his first two games with the team.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 335 yards in the first half alone as the Packers got out to a 24-0 lead and topped the Redskins, 38-20. Rodgers finished the game 34-of-42 with a career-high 480 yards – tying the Packers’ record. In so doing, he became the first NFL quarterback to record 480 yards passing and throw four touchdowns with no interceptions since Y.A. Tittle in 1962. James Starks had 132 yards rushing and became Green Bay’s first 100-yard rusher since 2010.  They won their eighth straight home game and their 21st of 22. Washington fell behind 24-0 after two quarters and have now been outscored 50-7 in the first half this season. The Pack now rank second in the NFL with 66 points scored. The Broncos, who are first, have scored 66 points in the second half. Read the rest of this entry →

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