The Ohio State men’s basketball team and the Cleveland Cavaliers both won on Dec. 18.
Since then, OSU is 14-0. The Cavs are 0-25.
Following Cleveland’s NBA-record 25th consecutive failure Monday night against Dallas, the top trending tag on Twitter was #lasttimethecavswon.
Twitterers worldwide united to douse Clevelanders’ open wound with dash after dash of salt. According to the social media universe, the last time the Cavs finished on top: George Washington was president; the continents were one giant landmass called Pangaea; there was no such thing as Twitter; and we didn’t have to hide our kids, wives or husbands.
In reality, the last time the Cavs won, the victory snapped a 10-game losing streak.
In reality, the last time the Cavs won, the Cavs held the NBA mark for longest stretch of futility. Wait a second.
Yes, the Cavs topped — er, bottomed — their own streak. The Cavs lost 24 consecutive games over the 1981–82 and 1982–83 seasons.
The last time the Cavs won, owner Dan Gilbert preferred Times New Roman, not the all-caps Comic Sans he used in his post-“Decision” letter berating LeBron James.
The last time the Cavs won, Manny Harris and Samardo Samuels, players earning major minutes for the Wine and Gold, were rotation afterthoughts.
The last time the Cavs won, there wasn’t enough ammunition to add yet another chapter to the never-ending novel chronicling Cleveland sports pitfalls.
The sad thing is, the last time the Cavs won, the bitter reality had yet to bite down on the franchise and its desperate fans. Sure, the Cavs were no longer an elite team without LeBron.
But perhaps the worst team in NBA history? That wasn’t on the radar.
The last time the Cavs won, there was still an iota of optimism somewhere near Lake Erie.
Losing 25 in a row at anything screams pathetic.
Even Derrick Rose — or whoever is taking his exam — could guess on 25 multiple choice questions and get one correct.
Every blind squirrel finds a nut, but for the Cavs, those acorns seem ever elusive.
The Cavs have sunk so low they’re like a penny at the bottom of the ocean, waiting for a blind swimmer to fish them out.
Pundits are preparing for the streak to end this week, eyeing Cleveland’s home contests against the lowly Detroit Pistons tonight or Los Angeles Clippers on Friday or Sunday against Washington, 0-25 on the road.
Is that really what this franchise has come to? Putting all of its eggs in one basket, hoping for one streak-busting win to take the pressure off and make the Cavs the furthest thing from SportsCenter’s radar?
Should they fall to Detroit on Wednesday, the Cavs’ spell would trump all other major professional sports losing streaks. The Philadelphia Phillies lost 23 straight games in 1961 and the Washington Capitals and San Jose Sharks hold the NHL mark with 17 consecutive defeats in 1974–75 and 1992–93, respectively. Topping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 26-game slide from 1976 and 1977 would put the Cavs at the summit of Mount Losemore.
I doubt this is what Gilbert had in mind when guaranteeing his franchise would win a title before LeBron’s would.
My how fast the mighty have fallen.
The door to a promising future has frozen shut. It’ll take years of fortuitous pingpong ball bounces to thaw it.
Should the Cavs win a game this week, Cleveland can breathe easy for the time being. But there will still be about 25–30 games left on the team’s schedule — plenty of time to whip up a new streak of futility.