That was close, wasn't it?
Our run at the record for most consecutive 100-degree days ended Thursday at 40, only two shy of the record set during the summer of 1980.
They say records are made to be broken, but our Joe DiMaggio of weather records lives on. Even though we had to, ahem, sweat that one out this summer. Some records don't need to be broken, and one involving consecutive days of extreme heat falls into that category.
There are sports records like that, too. So as Dallas-Fort Worth starts all over on another attempt at the 1980 heat record, here is a list of sports records we would just as soon remain unbroken.
.217 Lowest batting average, season: 1972. In their first season in Arlington -- and with lifetime .344 hitter Ted Williams as their manager -- the Rangers hit a major league-worst .217. Next worse in the American League were the Baltimore Orioles, 12 points higher. The Rangers finished the season 54-100 and in last place in the six-team AL West, 381/2 games behind the Oakland Athletics. The Rangers have not come close to matching their offensive woes of '72. Their next-worst team batting average was .249 in 1982.
43 Most games out of first place: 2001. The 2001 Rangers finished 73-89. We have certainly endured worse seasons -- including 100- and 105-loss seasons in the first two years in Arlington -- but never have the Rangers finished further from first place than when the '01 team ended up 43 games behind the Seattle Mariners. Only three weeks into the season, the Rangers were 51/2 games out. They never got closer than that. They were 10 out on May 2, 21 out by the end of May and, when the All-Star Break arrived, 28 games back. Even the wild-card race offered no hopes of a postseason, with the Rangers winding up 29 games behind the Oakland Athletics there. The countdown to Dallas Cowboys training camp got an early start that summer.
11-71 Most losses, season: 1992-93. It's bad enough that the Mavs won only 11 games in their worst season ever. But don't forget that they had a 7-14 record over their final 21 games. They were 4-57 before that closing "hot" streak and still had a single-digit win total with two games left in the season. Richie Adubato was fired as coach after a 2-27 start. He was replaced on an interim basis by Gar Heard, who had a 9-44 record. The '92-93 Mavs had losing streaks of 12, 15 and 19 games. They won back-to-back games twice. For a little perspective on just how bad a 71-loss season is, consider that over the past three seasons the current Mavs have a combined total of 84 losses.
62 Most points allowed by an opponent: Dec. 20, 2005, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers. It was only Bryant's career high for a month -- he scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors - but then again, Bryant played only the first three quarters against the Mavs. He scored 30 points in the third quarter alone. When he left the game, Bryant had outscored the Mavs 62-61. In 33 minutes, he was 18 of 31 from the field, made 4 of 10 3-pointers and was 22 for 25 at the free-throw line. The Mavs lost 112-90.
11 Most times shut out, season: 2003-04. We have been fortunate that the leanest of the franchise's lean years came as the Minnesota North Stars. But the Dallas Stars did match the franchise record for shutouts that had been established in 1974-75. The Stars' offense wasn't that horrible that season. They finished 20th out of 30 teams in scoring with 2.4 goals per game, and Bill Guerin was ninth in the league in scoring with 34 goals. Plus, the Stars still finished fifth in the Western Conference and advanced to the playoffs, where they were eliminated in the first round in five games -- but avoided being shut out.
13 Consecutive years between playoff victories (Dec. 28, 1996-Jan. 9, 2010). Yes, we're spoiled around here. The Detroit Lions are at 19 consecutive seasons without a playoff win -- and counting. The New Orleans Saints didn't make the playoffs until their 21st season and didn't win a playoff game until their 34th season. But these are the Cowboys, and a 13-year gap is a long, long time, even between Super Bowl victories. After defeating the Minnesota Vikings in the wild-card round after the 1996 season, the Cowboys lost six consecutive playoff games before beating the Philadelphia Eagles 34-14 on Jan. 9, 2010.
15 Most games lost, season: 1989. You know that old belief that if a team wins only one game but if it's against its biggest rival, its fans will be happy? Phooey. The Cowboys' lone victory in 1989 -- the first season with owner Jerry Jones and coach Jimmy Johnson -- came in the ninth game, 13-3 on the road against the Washington Redskins. A 3-1 preseason record lifted fans' expectations too high. A 28-0 loss at the New Orleans Saints to start the season proved a sign of bad things to come. Five of the team's first six losses came by at least 17 points. That season marked the first time in Monday Night Football history that the Cowboys didn't play in the Monday night spotlight. In a 1-15 season, that wasn't such a bad thing.
-13 Coldest game-time temperature: Dec. 31, 1967 at Green Bay Packers. This, of course, is one of the greatest games in NFL history -- the 1967 NFL Championship Game known as the Ice Bowl. Temperature at kickoff was minus-13 degrees with a wind chill of 48 below. As if the air wasn't cold enough, Lambeau Field's new turf-heating system didn't work, leaving the field a sheet of ice. Bart Starr's late quarterback sneak for a touchdown gave the Western Conference champion Packers a 21-17 win over the Eastern Conference champion Cowboys. There has never been a colder game in the NFL, and even coming off the heels of 40 consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures, not even minus-13 is a record that should be broken.
David Thomas, 817-390-7697