Worst losing streaks in Chicago pro sports history

Congrats to the Chicago White Sox, who last week ended their franchise record 14-game losing streak.

Whew … that was brutal.

But don’t feel too bad, Sox fans. You’re in good company with your fellow Chicago pro teams.

This week’s High Five looks at the longest losing streaks for each of the city’s major professional franchises — the White Sox, Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks and Bulls.

What’s scary about this list is the recency of most of the streaks.

5. The Blackhawks, 13 in 1951

Wish I could tell you more about this group, but just know they were bad. In the six-team NHL in the 1950-51 season, the Blackhawks finished last with 36 points — 25 behind fifth-place New York — and had a minus-109 goal differential.

Strangely, the Hawks won seven of their first 12 games and were near .500 midway through the season.

The Hawks, however, went winless in 21 games from Dec. 17 through the end of January, and then ended the season with 12 straight losses. While there were three one-goal defeats, there were also 10-2 and 12-2 losses.

A loss to start the 1951-52 campaign made it 13 straight before they finally won.

4. White Sox, 14 in 2024

Ah, memories.

Not that we need to rehash what went wrong for the White Sox the last few weeks, but it was a little bit of everything.

The White Sox went into the season in tank mode, having unloaded much of their talent including ace Dylan Cease. Injuries struck key players such as Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jimenez.

There were three one-run losses, including two gut-wrenchers against the Cubs when the Sox had leads of 5-0 in one game and 5-1 in the other.

The White Sox have the worst record in baseball for many reasons, so I guess they’re bound to have some bad streaks. But this happened to be historically bad.

3. Bears, 14 in 2022 and 2023

In 2022, the Bears were 3-4 after a win over the Patriots. Then the bottom dropped out, and kept dropping deep into the 2023 season.

Nearly a full calendar year went by without a Bears victory. They lost 10 straight in 2022, finished 3-14 and “earned” the No. 1 overall draft pick they traded to the Panthers for D.J. Moore and a ton of draft picks.

The Bears started the 2023 season with four more losses, capped by the brutal 31-28 defeat to Denver where the Bears blew a 28-7 lead late in the third quarter.

2. Bulls, 16 in 2001

Who could forget the Tim Floyd era? Let’s just say the man who replaced legendary coach Phil Jackson struggled mightily.

The Bulls started the 2000-01 season 3-24. Somehow, their worst stretch was yet to come. Between Jan. 8 and Feb. 6 they lost 16 straight games. There were a few close ones in there, like a triple-overtime defeat to Charlotte, but they mostly kept getting pounded.

Elton Brand and Ron Mercer had decent seasons, but there were way too many Dalibor Bagaric’s and Steve Goodrich’s on this roster.

1. Cubs, 16 in 1996 and 1997

No, Cubs, no!

This group had franchise legends Ryne Sandberg, Mark Grace, Sammy Sosa and Shawon Dunston, but also some really bad pitching.

The Cubs lost the final two games of the 1996 season and then the first 14 in 1997. The streak would’ve been 21 straight if not for a walk-off win in 1996 that snapped a stretch of four straight losses.

That 1997 campaign was the last for Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray, who died in early 1998. Bet those first 14 games were doozies on WGN.

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