This Day in Failure, February 22
2011: The California Institute of Technology’s men’s basketball team defeats Occidental College 46-45, ending Caltech’s streak of 310 consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference losses — a string of futility that inspired a documentary (Quantum Hoops), and the Failure magazine feature Seasons Change. The Beavers’ next-most-recent win came versus the University of La Verne on January 24, 1985, one of a mere four SCIAC victories over the course of four decades.
2009: For the second time in less than three years, guards at Korydallos Prison — a maximum-security facility in a suburb of Athens, Greece — allow inmate Nikos Paleokostas to escape via helicopter, the getaway vehicle having been hijacked by accomplices at nearby Athens International Airport. Paleokostas escaped the prison for the first time in June 2006, only to be recaptured several months later.
2008: Republican Rep. Rick Renzi (Arizona chairman for GOP presidential candidate John McCain) is indicted on 27 counts of extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other crimes in an Arizona land swap scam that allegedly helped him collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs.
1989: Rock duo Milli Vanilli wins a Grammy award for Best New Artist. Later it is revealed that neither Rob Pilatus nor Fabrice Morvan sang on the group’s debut album.
1983: Marcos Hocevar (Brazil) loses every point during the second set of his first round match against Bill Scanlon (USA) at the WCT Gold Coast Classic in Del Ray, Florida. By winning all 24 points, Scanlon is credited with having achieved a “golden set,” the only men’s professional tennis player to have accomplished this feat.
1980: In the greatest upset in the history of hockey, the Russian hockey team is defeated by the U.S. Olympic team by a score of 4-3 at Lake Placid, New York.
1932: The dirigible Akron breaks free from its mooring while being undocked at Lakehurst, New Jersey, and its tail fin repeatedly smashes into the ground causing extensive damage. Fourteen months later, the Akron encounters thunderstorms and severe turbulence off the coast of New Jersey and crashes in the Atlantic Ocean. Read more about the Akron’s repeated mishaps.