Five worst moments in Colorado sports history (inspired by Rox's 17-week Sunday losing skid)
The Rockies should have known it wouldn't be their night when Chris Nelson decided to play "Pin the baseball on the coach's face" with Rich Dauer before the game in a gaffe seen in the background of an ESPN live shot. Then the Rockies' unfortunate play was caught by ESPN cameras -- and the Rox made the kind of dumbfounding history that makes fans want to cancel the rest of the season.
Last night's loss continued a disturbing trend of losing on Sunday and added to the five worst moments in Colorado sports history -- a surprising amount of which come from recent years.
5. Rockies' seventeen-game Sunday losing streak In the team's lone appearance on ESPN this season, the Rockies broke one of their coach's nose, watched two of their best players strike out with the bases loaded (Troy Tulowitzki did it twice) and set a major league record for random awfulness. The Philadelphia Phillies had three different clubs that lost sixteen Sundays in a row -- and since the Rockies couldn't top the Phillies in the playoffs two years ago, they decided to best them at being bad. If the Rockies don't win next week against the Dodgers, it will be a full four months since they last won on Sunday.
4. Avalanche lose 9-1 to Calgary hours after Peter Forsberg retires, again In Forsberg's most recent stint with the Avalanche this past season, he played two road games and then retired just before he was set to make his home debut on Valentine's Day. The rest of the team seemed to take it personally, giving up five goals in the first period. The Avs' went on to the most lopsided loss in team history. To add injury to ass-kicking, Matt Duchene left the game with a hand injury. The embarrassment was the squad's eighth of ten straight losses. They would then win one game before losing another ten in a row. Thanks to this streak of putrid, a team that was expected to make the playoffs finished as the second worst team in the Western Conference.
3. Nuggets win eleven games... in a season If the team hadn't caught on absolute fucking fire by winning two of its last six games, 1997-98 Nuggets would have tied the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers for the fewest wins in an NBA season, at nine. The Nuggets were especially bad in the first half, winning just three of the first 41 games. On average, this team was outscored by nearly twelve points a game. Why so bad? Take a look at the roster. If you remember a single significant play made by anyone on that year's team, I will buy you Nuggets season tickets for next year (Note: Offer void if NBA actually has a season this year.)
2. Broncos lose 59-14 to the hated Raiders: Multiple choice question: In this week six game last season, the Raiders: A) Scored 38 points in the first 22 minutes B) Scored touchdowns eight seconds apart C) Set a team record for most points scored in a single game D) All of the above.
The answer, which you might remember had you not drank yourself into a short coma during the third quarter, is D. On October 24, 2010, Raiders running back Darren McFadden scored four touchdowns and averaged ten yards per rushing attempt. The Raiders racked up 328 rushing yards. And this was a rather mortal Raiders team which finished the season 8-8. The Broncos, however, went on to finish as the second worst team in the league.
Anthony Goldwire played all 82 games for the 1997-98 Nuggets. Here he is in an undated photo wearing a coat that like that season, dominates him.
1. The 1997-98 Nuggets lose 23 games in a row This crap-tastic team makes its second appearance on this list by tying a then-record for consecutive losses in a single NBA season. If not for last year's Cleveland Cavaliers and their 26-game losing streak, the Nuggets would still have a solid case for worst losing streak in NBA history. The streak included losses by 38, 33, 22 and 21 points. This team also posted losing steaks of twelve and sixteen games. The most surprising part of the season was that head coach Bill Hanzlik was not fired halfway through. The least surprising part is that it was his only season as Nuggets head coach.
Honorable Mentions The Broncos' embarrassing losses to the Washington Redskins (42-10) and San Francisco 49ers (55-10) in Super Bowls, the Mike Hampton era and pretty much everything Josh McDaniels did.
More from our Sports archive: "Top 10 ways Josh McDaniels has destroyed the Denver Broncos."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.