Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trick or Treat: The most horrifying defeats in sports history

No matter which teams you follow and declare your loyalty, I’m sure there is a certain game you can reflect on as one of the most horrific defeats they’ve ever suffered. But just as Stanford and Appalachian State may have shocked the sports world in 2007, their upset victories over highly ranked Southern California and Michigan are mild in comparison to the teams on this list. There's nothing more newsworthy in the sports world than a good paddling. Regardless of sport or public interests in a particular game, if an opponent inserts a boot in your backside, we're going to read about it. A game that held no meaning before it was played, 100 years later can mean so much. And as long as we have guys like myself to blow the dust from history, we get another chance to relive the embarrassment.

(Georgia Tech 222, Cumberland 0)

This movie has many sequels, each revealing different methods of a slow torturous death. But even in the movie, the victims had options, though not fair, which could inevitably save their lives. In 1916, Cumberland College was given an option. Pay $3000 and the football team would be released from a standing agreement to play John Heisman’s Georgia Tech squad. Although the Cumberland football program had been discontinued, the agreement was still in place. Rather than fork over the 3 grand, George Allen assembled whichever able bodies he could find, and Cumberland played the game.

It was the rout of all routs, as Georgia Tech scored 63 in the first quarter, and matched it in the second. Tech rolled to 222 points, without ever throwing a forward pass. They rushed for 1650 yards and 28 touchdowns, doing it all on just 40 carries. Cumberland finished with -96 yards rushing, just 14 passing yards, and 15 turnovers. $3000 dollars was a lot of money in 1916, but this ass kicking was priceless.

(Bears 73, Redskins 0)

It wasn’t exactly 28 days, but in 1940, the Washington Redskins defeated the Chicago Bears 7-3 in a regular season game. 3 weeks later, the two teams met again to decide the NFL Championship. Chicago played the game as if they were alone on the field. Managing just 3 points in the earlier meeting, they jumped out quick to a 21 point lead in the first quarter, before adding another 7 by halftime. The Bears added 45 more in the second half, and the massacre was complete. Down the stretch, officials asked the Bears to run the ball in for the extra points, because too many Footballs were lost in the stands, due to multiple point after kick attempts. This game ranks as the most lopsided victory in NFL history.

(Rangers 30, Orioles 3)

The Warriors isn’t categorized as a horror flick, but one particular New York street gang had their faces painted as if they were prepared to go trick or treating. The “Baseball furies” would chase down their enemies, fully clad in baseball uniforms, and carrying bats to do some clubbing. Last year, the Baltimore Orioles picked a fight with those Baseball furies, jumping in front to a 3-0 lead, before the bats of the Texas Rangers started singing to the tune of 30 unanswered runs. In all, it was 30 runs in a total of 6 innings, an average of 5 per inning, with the onslaught beginning in the 4th. It was the first time in 110 years that a major league team scored 30 runs in a game. The Orioles were the home team, and at the time of this occurence, their NFL neighbors (Baltimore Ravens) hadn’t surrendered 30 points to an opponent in 2 years.

(Lisa Leslie scores 100 points)

Carrie was a loner, doing all the work herself. She left a lasting memory on one high school, and they’d be haunted by the event for years to come. In the same way, South Torrance High School will be forever haunted by the name Lisa Leslie. The senior from Morningside High School never broke Cheryl Miller’s record of 105 points in a game, but she was denied the opportunity. In this game, Morningside High ran out to a 102-24 lead by halftime. Lisa Leslie had 101 of her team’s total first half points. She would finish the night stuck on that number, as South Torrance opted to forfeit the second half of the game. The decision made by the opposing coach to not bring his team back on the floor sparked criticism, But honestly, can you really blame the guy? Both Lisa Leslie, like Cheryl Miller before her, went on to star for the Lady Trojans of USC basketball, and are arguably two of the greatest female basketball players in the history of the sport.

(Slovakia 82, Bulgaria 0)

Thanks to Jason Voorhees, the mask of a hockey goalie has become synonymous with horror. As for the Bulgarian women’s hockey team, they fear the mask, the ice, and anything related to the sport. The Slovakian women defeated Bulgaria 82-0, having 130 shots on goal to their opponents zero. It’s pretty amazing, when you look at the facts. A hockey goal scores as just one point, and there are only 60 minutes in a match. This would mean the Slovakians were scoring at a pace of more than 1 goal per minute. Bulgaria was eventually eliminated from the tournament, having been outscored 192-1 by their opponents.

(Houston 95, SMU 21)

In 1989, the University of Houston had a future Heisman winning QB leading the offense. Southern Methodist was one year removed from the NCAA death penalty that wiped out the football program, and Coach Forrest Gregg had only freshmen and sophomores on the roster. 14 of those freshmen were starters. This game was record setting before the kickoff, with Vegas having the Mustangs as a 59 1/2 point underdog. Though Andre Ware only played the first half, the Cougars set several collegiate records that day. Houston amassed 1,021 yards of offense, with 771 coming from the air. In the first half alone, Ware threw for 517 yards on 41 attempts. A 95-21 victory isn’t nearly the same as the terrible loss suffered by Cumberland. But Houston and their Chainsaw once chopped up another opponent in 1968 (Tulsa), finishing with a final score of 100-6. That victory gave the Cougars the honor of being the last major college program to score 100 points in a game.

From the Empire, to you and yours,
have a happy and safe Halloween.

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