You’re no good, you’re no good, you’re no good, baby you’re no good. I’m gonna say it again. You’re no good, you’re no good, you’re no good, baby you’re no good. -Linda Ronstadt
Public Service Announcement: Ok, here we go! These New Jersey are bad. These New Jersey Nets are awful. Atrocious. If you say it loud enough, you’ll always sound precocious. Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay! It’s official. With the loss last night, the New Jersey Nets established an NBA record with their 18th straight loss to begin the season. But they’re not intent on just the NBA record. Oh, no. They have much grander schemes in mind. They want the longest start-of-season losing streak for any club in any of the four major North American team sports. They want to catch the Baltimore Orioles who lost their first 21 games in 1988.
Ahh, 1988. Sherman, set the way back machine. Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States. The popular American cult television comedy Mystery Science Theater 3000 makes its debut. Greg Oden is born. Adorable Adrian Adonis dies. George Michael’s Faith is on the radio and Rain Main is playing at the local Bijou. And oh ya, the Baltimore Orioles are playing some of the most God awful baseball the game has ever seen.
Going into the 1988 season, the Baltimore Orioles had very low expectations. Very low expectations indeed. They had just lost 95 games. They had just finished 13th in the American League. They had just ended the 1987 season losing 42 of their final 56 games. To remedy that situation, GM Frank Robinson returned only 11 players from the previous season’s opening 24-man roster. To no avail. From day one of the 1988 season, all of Baltimore’s lowly expectations were to be realized.
On opening day, starter Mike Boddicker was hit hard. Very hard. Come on and rock me Amadeus. Amadeus, Amadeus. The Orioles were rocked by the Milwaukee Brewers, 12-0. Rocked in front of a then-franchise-record 52,395 disappointed fans at Memorial Stadium. It got no better.
What followed was a dreadful run of 20 more straight losses. A distasteful, deplorable, dispicable run of 20 more straight losses. Egads man! What followed were calls of condolences from then president Ronald Reagan. What followed were calls from priests and psychologists offering spirutual and emotional guidance. The Baltimore Orioles were garnering the same national attention the New Jersey Nets are garnering today. It got so bad, Tony Kornheiser wrote, yes wrote, “This must be what Qaddafi meant when he warned us not to cross The Line of Death. You end up in Birdland.” It got so bad, he wrote, “What a shame for Jon Miller. Having him broadcast these O’s is like forcing Rembrandt to paint houses.” He wrote a lot of stuff. I assure you, none of it was good.
Ace, Mike Boddicker, was getting shelled. Have bat, will travel, Freddy Lynn, coudn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag. Hitting machine, Eddie Murray, was hitting, but he was not happy doing so. All three Ripkens appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the photo was used in an emblematic fashion to symbolize frustration at the team’s struggles. Ultimately, Sr. was fired promptimg this from Jr.: “I’ve let my father down. We all did.” No sports fans, life in Baltimore was not good.
For 20 years the Orioles were one of the best organizations in baseball. Oh, how the mighty had fallen. How emabarrassing. But take heart Orioles fans, this black mark may soon be erased. Yes, take heart Orioles fans, here come the Nets!
[pro-player width='455' height='260' type='video']http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlZD22YbHoY[/pro-player]
Peace out homies. Six two and Even!