The Mystics Are Losers Of Note

The Mystics Are Losers Of Note

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We at Typing Abattoir No. 16 have a clear bias toward and penchant for teams that Costco-fail—repeatedly, and in bulk. We have adopted the Ottawa Senators, the Detroit Pistons, the Washington Wizards, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets, the Chicago White Sox, and we always leave room for the New York Mets, though that is largely a snarky homage to Comrade Roth’s self esteem. We gravitate toward losing by the metric ton because, well, that’s who we are. Terrible people with a smile as cover.

It is time to lock in on the Washington Mystics, and this is not an easy leap because our staff is largely populated by WNBA stans—mostly of the New York Liberty for geographical and pachydermatous reasons, but with some Las Vegas Aces heretics mixed in because we are also shameless frontrunners.

But the Mystics have attracted our attention by starting the current season a sprightly 0-12, and it may be time to expend more attention their way. They are not yet close to the league record of 20 consecutive losses (Tulsa in 2011) and this pales in comparison to the Pistons’ 28-gamer back in November and December of last year, but there’s something magnetic about the mathematical construction “0-.” This could, and we say this nervously, become a thing.

The reason we hesitate, though, is that unlike most genuinely awful teams, the ‘Stics don’t get routed. Other than a 101-69 hammering in Seattle to the resurgent Storm, they have been in the argument until the end. Their margins of defeat are representative of a team ready to make a move: by five, seven, nine, two, three, Storm, six, 11, 17 (to league-leading Connecticut), eight, two and five. The last four have been in the Commissioner’s Cup, which you have not paid any attention to because you’re all about Caitlin Clark and not about Cathy Engelbert.

The point is that Washington is nearly always on the verge of breaking their losing streak, yet never quite manage it. By contrast, the Pistons’ margin of defeat during their streak was nearly twice that of the ‘Stics, and Ariel Atkins, Jade Melbourne, and Myisha Hines-Allen are definitely more fun to watch than any of the Pistons were—at least they were Sunday in a 93-88 loss to the Libs.

The problem comes in knowing how much time to invest in this losing streak if it is always close to being broken. When do we adopt the ‘Stics as we have the Sens, ‘Stons, Wiz, Jags, Jets and Sox—as epic losers primed and ready for our dimestore mockery? As a staff, we are covered atop the standings, and Clark is her own madhouse industry, but how much more losing must the ‘Stics do to get our daily attention?

We cannot rely solely on Comrade Theisen’s unabashed fondness for Stefanie Dolson to carry Washington’s water. We need turbo-losing. We need them to run the rest of the month because that will get them to 19, one short of the league record. We want to approach the 21 straight the Orioles began with in 1988. We need them to lose more than the 18 the 76ers managed at the start of their epic 10-72 season. Not because we dislike the ‘Stics, or even notice them that much either way. We want to love them in the only idiom we truly understand, which probably says more about us.

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