- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 27, 2008

SATURDAY’S BEST BET ON TELEVISION

Forget that these teams had a disappointing season: Florida State vs. Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl is still a worthy matchup. 4:30 p.m., ESPN

DOING A NUMBER ON THE RECORD BOOK

Football, the NFL especially, has evolved into a morass of meaningless statistics. Want to know a team’s road winning percentage during full moons when Pluto is inside Neptune’s orbit? You probably can find it.

But Sunday, one number stands out above the rest: 0-16. That will be the Detroit Lions‘ record if they lose, as expected, to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

For perspective, consider the records for single-season futility in the other major sports: The 1962 Mets bumbled to 40-120, which means they won a quarter of their games. At 9-73, the 1972-73 76ers were victorious more than 10 percent of the time. The 1974-75 Capitals (8-67-5) skated to a win in a tenth of their games. Of course, there are the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they played only 14 games and were in their first season.

It’s impossible to say which of these teams is the worst of all time, but this is for certain: The Lions have a chance to play a full season without once outscoring their opponent. Zero wins, 16 losses.

For once, an impressive statistic.

TWT FIVE » WORST OF THE WIZARDS

Although this is an inadequate space to chronicle the Wizards’ fourth-quarter failures this season, here’s a timeline of their worst:

1. Milwaukee Shucks, Nov. 5: Leading the Michael Redd-less Bucks 85-71 with less than 10 minutes left, the Wizards let Milwaukee score 25 points in a little more than eight minutes and win in overtime.

2. Burned in Atlanta, Nov. 19: DeShawn Stevenson nails two long jumpers to give Washington an 87-83 lead with a minute left. A pair of 3s later, Atlanta wins 91-87.

3. Oregon Fail, Dec. 3: A 9-0 run turns a 77-72 deficit into a four-point lead against Portland with 8:32 left. The Wizards make one field goal in the next 7:40. Game over.

4. Deep-Sixered, Dec. 19: Mike James’ 3 with just over 10 minutes left puts the Wizards up six against Philadelphia. Washington makes only five shots and commits seven turnovers the rest of the way.

5. Cavs and Cav-nots, Thursday: Cavaliers go on an 11-0 run in the final 1:33 to rally from an 89-82 deficit. Fouling LeBron - a career 32 percent shooter from outside - on a 3? Unwise.

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