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76ers fail to break a record set by the ’76-’77 Buccaneers

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Just as the 1972 Dolphins supposedly do every year when the NFL’s last undefeated team loses, the members of the 1976-77 Buccaneers may want to pop the champagne.

Saturday night’s win by the Philadelphia 76ers means the Buccaneers still own a share of the longest losing streak in the history of North American professional sports. Those expansion Buccaneers lost the first 26 games in franchise history, and the 76ers had lost 26 straight games until they beat the Detroit Pistons on Saturday. The Bucs’ streak of futility had been matched before (the Cleveland Cavaliers also suffered 26 straight losses in 2010-11), but it has still not been topped in the NFL, NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball.

It’s fitting that the Bucs retain their place in history, because they really were an extraordinarily awful football team. An offense that featured quarterback Steve Spurrier (pictured) was so awful that they were shut out 11 times during that 26-game losing streak. The defense could rarely keep games close; 22 of those 26 losses were by more than a touchdown.

Those Bucs also contributed one of the great lines an NFL coach has ever uttered. After a 21-0 loss to the Bengals, coach John McKay was asked what he thought of his team’s execution. He answered, “I’m in favor of it.”

But the expansion Bucs, as terrible as they were, began to build quickly once they finally won. After starting 0-for-26, the Bucs won their last two games in 1977, improved to 5-11 in 1978 and made it to the NFC Championship Game after the 1979 season. It didn’t take long for the Bucs to build themselves into a good football team. They’ll just always be remembered for how many they lost at the start.

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12 Responses to “76ers fail to break a record set by the ’76-’77 Buccaneers”
  1. wrathofgodzilla says: Mar 30, 2014 7:06 AM

    Could you imagine how big that John McKay line would be in the twitter age? It would have blown up so fast haha. Classic.

  2. greymares says: Mar 30, 2014 7:07 AM

    It’s fitting that the Bucs retain their place in history, because they really were an extraordinarily awful football team.———————————————————————————————–and now are again.

  3. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Mar 30, 2014 7:10 AM

    The Philadelphia 26ers

  4. deenice810 says: Mar 30, 2014 9:24 AM

    As a lifelong Sixers fan thank you Detroit.

  5. lgbarn says: Mar 30, 2014 9:30 AM

    The ’76 Bucs didn’t have the benefit of free agency either so that’s really not a fair comparison.

  6. kd75 says: Mar 30, 2014 9:42 AM

    Only took them 30 years to win a Super Bowl…

  7. jayovalentine says: Mar 30, 2014 4:01 PM

    They have 1 Super Bowl win just like the Seahawks. Both Championship teams were built similar. Tough defense, strong run game & average QB. And took Seattle 30 years to win anything.

  8. bucsfanpc says: Mar 30, 2014 4:02 PM

    It may have taken the Buccaneers 26 years to win a Super Bowl but it has taken Seachickens, who also entered the NFL in 1976, 38 years to win their first
    championship. So, don’t trash the Bucs too much.

  9. ariani1985 says: Mar 30, 2014 4:41 PM

    What about green bay losing in the first round year after year. Record soon?

  10. jayquintana says: Mar 30, 2014 5:05 PM

    Apples and oranges, no?

  11. ravensbob says: Mar 30, 2014 5:25 PM

    26 losses in NFL is much bigger than 26 loses in nba.

  12. stewart09 says: Mar 31, 2014 2:18 AM

    almost 2 seasons without a win and the first team they beat the saints their head coach got fired after the loss, for a NBA team to get close to that they would have to lose almost a 100 games in a row.

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