This Day in Failure, December 21
2008: The Detroit Lions are routed by the New Orleans Saints 42-7, becoming the first NFL team to start a season 0-15. By virtue of getting outscored by a combined 176 points at home on the season, the Lions smash the previous NFL record of 146, set by the 1981 Baltimore Colts.
2008: During a press conference following an NFL game between the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints (won by the Saints, 42-7), Detroit News sports columnist Rob Parker asks Lions head coach Rod Marinelli if he wishes his daughter had married a better defensive coordinator, referring to the fact that Marinelli’s defensive coordinator, Joe Barry, is also his son-in-law. Parker is widely criticized for his query and resigns from his position at the newspaper two weeks later. Meanwhile, both Marinelli and his son-in-law are fired following the conclusion of the Lions’ 0-16 campaign, the first 16-game winless season in NFL history.
2003: The Detroit Lions are defeated by the Carolina Panthers, 20-14, establishing a new NFL record of 24 consecutive road losses.
1972: After two of their fellow survivors successfully reach civilization, fourteen passengers from a violent plane crash in a remote area of the Andes Mountains in South America are rescued. Authorities had called off the search nine weeks earlier, assuming that no passengers survived the accident. The story would inspire the book and movie Alive.