20 Years of Losing – in Political Terms

As you may have gathered, I’m a huge Pittsburgh Pirates fan. I don’t typically write about sports on my blog, but I couldn’t let the momentous passing of the worst losing streak in the history of North American sports pass without some sort of commemoration. On Monday night, the Pirates beat the Rangers and clinched their 82 victory of the year, ensuring themselves their first winning season since 1992. So not to bore you non-baseball fans out there, I thought I’d put it in political perspective to see just how long their losing streak was. (Come to think of it, I might bore more people talking about politics. Oh, well.)

Their losing streak started in October of 1992 when they lost the National League Championship Series in a heart-breaking fashion in game seven.

At that time, billionaire Ross Perot was campaigning to be president.

A month later, Bill Clinton was elected, but Monica Lewinsky wouldn’t become a household name for another six years.

The World Trade Center in NYC would be attacked for the first time about a year later.

1994 – The Republicans took over Congress in overwhelming fashion.

1996 – Clinton was re-elected for his second term.

By the end of the 1990s, the Federal Government was running a yearly budget SURPLUS! Now doesn’t that seem like forever ago!

2000 – We all broadened our vocabulary by learning what a “hanging chad” was. Thanks Florida. And the presidency was decided by the Supreme Court. And why not? CNN couldn’t make up its mind on its own about who won.

2001 – 9/11

Then came Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Iraq some more, then Bush’s re-election in 2004. Then the surge two years later.

The bubble burst. Housing foreclosures and economic downturn. Don’t forget stimulus. I was in Malaysia and got a check from the government. ??? I thought that was bizarre.

2008 brought our first African-American president.

Record deficits. More record deficits.

Obamacare.

Iraq withdrawal. More with Afghanistan.

John Roberts ticks off conservatives.

The never-ending election of 2012.

Then 2013. The end of 20 losing seasons. Politics can once again be pushed aside, allowing American’s bloodiest sport (politics) to finally once again (for me) take second fiddle to America’s purest sport.

Their losing streak lasted 6 election cycles – 4 presidents – two censuses – the deaths of three presidents (Ford, Nixon, Reagan). (And don’t forget the Internet explosion – Thanks, Al Gore.)

Finally put to rest. 2013.

What a year!