Over the next few weeks in three separate installments, we’ll be going back throughout sports history, discussing all of the eye-opening and jaw-dropping blowouts we found along the way.
Let’s begin with a more recent one, shall we?
When the Ottawa Senators lost Game 5 of the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference Finals 7-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Sens should not have been too embarrassed. Well why’s that, you ask? Only because they were hardly victims of the worst blowout in NHL history.
Instead, such a record belongs to the 1944 New York Rangers. On January 23, 1944 in Detroit, New York was shutout by the Red Wings 15-0. That’s right, the final score was 15-0! Including a hat trick by Detroit’s Syd Howe, Murray Armstrong, Carl Liscombe and Don Grosso found the back of the net as well—each of whom scored twice. Bill Quackenbush, Adam Brown, Mud Bruneteau, Harold Jackson, Ken Kilrea and Flash Hollett each added a goal apiece. OUCH!
Then again, blowouts occur all the time in sports. And while none of them are events to be proud of, only the really large differentials are games worth really trying to forget. For instance, let’s talk about the National Football League. Even in this current era, teams can lose badly. Let’s say by 20-30 points. It’s not all that rare. But when the difference in the score moves past the 40-50 range, then you’re talking about reaching the record books.
The worst beat down from one team upon another took place in 1940. Worse yet, it was the league’s Championship matchup. Advancing to that final game were the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. Here we had another shutout, but this final score will make your jaw drop: 73-0. This is like the University of Alabama picking on Western Kentucky or something. The Bears were benefactors of the 70-plus points—which included eight offensive touchdowns as well as three interceptions for scores.
The scoring onslaught began in the first quarter with a 68-yard romp by Bill Osmanski. Joe Maniaci included a 42-yard run to pay dirt for the game’s third score. The great Sid Luckman tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Ken Kavanaugh to make the score 28-0 at halftime. Then, the real fun would begin. In the second half, let’s just say there would be no come-from-behind victory like the New England Patriots pulled off against Atlanta last season.
Instead, Chicago opened the third quarter with the first of three pick-sixes—the first coming from Ken Kavanaugh who ran in from 30 yards out. George McAfee and Bulldog Turner made the other two interceptions for touchdowns. Henry Clarke kept the wipe out going with a 44-yard touchdown romp in the fourth quarter. Then, Gary Famiglietti and Clarke again closed out the scoring—making it the largest margin of victory and most points scored in a title game in history. Those marks still stand today and will probably never be broken.
Professional players are not the only ones who enjoying the waxing of a team. Going back to 1916, Georgia Tech University established a scoring record that will absolutely never be broken. On October 16, Georgia Tech took the field against tiny Cumberland College. Unfortunately, prior to the season, the school had eliminated football from their athletics program. But officials from Georgia Tech would not permit the Lebanon, Tennessee school to cancel the game. Thus, Cumberland had to throw together a team to take the field.
The end result was not just humiliating, it seemed unbelievable. The final score? 222-0. No team will ever even come close to scoring 100 points in the lifetime of anyone reading this article. Thus, 200 seems downright fictional. But it happened. The box score was just silly. The Yellow Jackets scored 32 touchdowns. 32! They did all the scoring on just 29 offensive plays and did it without throwing the ball. Instead, 501 yards rushing while averaging 17.3 yards per run.
How many yards did Cumberland gain? Negative 28 (-28). First downs? GT finished with 20, Cumberland not a single one. Suffice to say, we’ll never see something like this on a football field again.
As indicated, blowouts can occur in any sport. In boxing or Mixed Martial Arts, it would be a knockout where a fighter can’t get to his feet or is out cold. On the field and courts of other sports, it’s all about points. Come back next week for more, why don’t ya?
And in the meantime, check out Harv Aronson’s website!