Remembering Oberlin’s 1990s Football Dynasty – The Oberlin Review


Editor’s note: All quotes are fake and not from real interviews. The game statistics, however, are 100% true.

Last fall, I wrote an article trying to figure out if Oberlin sports teams were as bad as everyone thinks. After extensive research, I’ve found that these perceptions are only half true – not thanks to the football teams of the 1990s. Yet gridiron teams of that era are the closest thing to a sports dynasty this school has ever had, so I took the time to catch up with some of the players and coaches who played a role in a truly historic period of Oberlin football.

From 1993 to 2001, Oberlin football had one of the most impressive runs in organized sports history, losing 40 straight games, beating Thiel College by one point and quickly losing another 44.

An offensive player from the 2001 team who topped the initial 40-game streak losing 44 games recounted the team’s historic accomplishment.

“We knew it took tremendous effort from the greats who came before us to lose 40 games,” he said. “Going out there, losing a 41st game in a row and breaking that record was going to be tough. As an offensive unit, we knew we had to be a little more careless with the ball and miss a few extra blocking assignments to get the job done.

For the first three quarters of the record game against Pomona-Pitzer College, the Yeomen were caught sleeping. They carried a 14-7 lead going into the final period.

“I looked at the scoreboard and felt a hollow in my stomach, and immediately went to my teammates to motivate them to turn it around,” said one defensive player.

The player’s words had an impact as Oberlin’s defense gave up 18 points in the fourth quarter, which was enough to secure a 25-21 loss, despite a late error from Oberlin’s offense resulting in a Yeomen touchdown.

While the 2001 team dodged a few close calls early in the season to secure the longest losing streak in Oberlin football history, its streak was finally over. On October 20, 2001, the Yeomen defeated Kenyon College, stopping the historic run. One of Oberlin’s coaches was disappointed to see the streak end but has a good attitude about it 20 years later.

“We were sad to see [the streak] end, but I’m proud of what we’ve achieved,” he said. “I also want to pay tribute to Kenyon, who has since become one of the best programs in the country for racking up losses.”

The most recent losing streak of more than 20 games by an NCAC team came from the Kenyon Lords, who lost 26 games in a row from 2016 to 2018.

Oberlin football is still losing a lot of games these days, but the team’s long-standing tradition of being one of the worst sports teams on the planet may be fading. He went 1-9 last season, with four of his losses decided in the single digits. It’s unclear whether the current coaching staff has the skills to come close to the 44-game losing streak set by the Yeomen two decades ago.

A current third-year linebacker expressed frustration with the team’s new tendency to win one or two games each year.

“Obviously there are guys who shouldn’t be playing for a school like Oberlin that has such a rich tradition of losing,” he said. “I miss tackles, forget plays and do my part, but I definitely have teammates who belong to a place less serious about losing, like Ohio Wesleyan


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