Friday, December 24
The worst games

 We all remember the great games of the century, the game-winning shots and clutch World Series home runs. Ahh, but sports is also about failure. And ineptness. About interceptions and bases-loaded walks. We present the worst games of the century.

10. 1983: Oregon 0, Oregon State 0
If a tie is like kissing your sister, what is tying your rival like? They call this game the Civil War, but neither team came supplied with any ammunition on this day as the rivals "battled" to a 0-0 draw. The dreadful Ducks finished 4-6-1 while the beleaguered Beavers finished 2-8-1.

9. 1912: Philadelphia Athletics 24, Detroit Tigers 2
On May 15, Ty Cobb charged into the stands and attacked a heckler. When Cobb was suspended, his teammates protested by voting to strike. Faced with a $5,000 fine for failure to field a team, Detroit owner Frank Navin had manager Hughie Jennings sign a bunch of local amateurs to play. One player, Ed Irvin, hit two triples in his only major league game. Pitcher Aloysius Travers went all eight innings in the loss, giving up 26 hits.

8. 1953: Arizona 90, Northern Arizona 70
This was one college hoops game to forget. Arizona attempted 51 free throws while Northern Arizona attempted 79. The teams combined to make just 78 (60 percent).

7. 1979: Los Angeles Rams 24, Seattle Seahawks 0
The worst offensive performance in NFL history saw the Seahawks finish with negative seven yards. Yuck. How is that possible? And inclement weather wasn't even an excuse as the game was played in the Kingdome. Even stranger is the Seahawks weren't that terrible, just missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

6. 1998 NBA Finals: Chicago Bulls 96, Utah Jazz 54
Imagine this. You plunk down a couple hundred bucks -- or more -- to see Jordan and friends square off against the Mailman and company. Except you instead witness this display of bricksmanship. Karl Malone shot 8-for-11 from the field but the rest of the Jazz shot 13-for-59. Utah committed 26 turnovers. In fact, this entire championship was like watching paint dry: only once did a team score more than 90 points.

5. 1984: Atlanta Braves 5, San Diego Padres 3
Now, in a perverse kind of way, this game was definitely memorable as it was perhaps the ugliest brawl-filled game in major league history. Atlanta's Pascual Perez drilled Alan Wiggins with the game's first pitch and Padres pitchers responded by throwing at Perez during each of his four at-bats. The game features two bench-clearing brawls, with the second involving several spectators. In all, there are 19 ejections, including both managers (Dick Williams and Joe Torre). Williams was suspended 10 days for the incident, Torre three.

4. Super Bowl XXVII: Dallas Cowboys 52, Buffalo Bills 17
Emmitt Smith
Emmitt Smith and the Cowboys ran all over the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII.
Super Bowl history is littered with blowouts and stinkers but this one topped them all. Not only did the Bills lose their third straight Super Bowl, they did it in disgraceful and inglorious fashion, committing nine turnovers that led to 35 Dallas points. Nine turnovers? In the Super Bowl? And it could have been worse, but Dallas' Leon Lett began showboating near the goal line after yet another Buffalo turnover, costing the Cowboys a touchdown in the final seconds.

3. 1999: Miami Heat 82, Chicago Bulls 49
Welcome to the 1999 version of the NBA, when the games were so routinely lacking in action the league decided to change the rules to spice up the scoring. But this one was the king. The post-Jordan Bulls were just plain awful and never more awful than this game, when they scored a record low 49 points. But at least the Bulls improved -- after scoring 23 in the first half, they scored 26 in the second half.

2. 1969: Florida State 24, Wichita State 0
The Seminoles managed to blank Wichita State in this contest despite fumbling the ball 10 times. How? Because the Shockers fumbled 17 times -- losing 10 of them. The 27 combined fumbles and 17 by one team are all-time "records." The two teams combined for 20 turnovers (17 fumbles, 3 interceptions) -- another record. All-world sloppy, all-century ugly, all-time terrible.

1. 1973: Tennessee 11, Temple 6
Check that score. Check it again. Believe it or not this was a college basketball game, not a college football game. Don Casey, who would later go on to coach the Clippers and Nets, had his Temple team pass the ball back and forth at halfcourt in the championship game of the Volunteer Classic. Tennessee stayed in a zone as both teams refused to change their strategy. The crowd booed but was mostly bored. This game was unequivocally bad because virtually nothing happened. It defied the very purpose of sport.

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