Ben Johnson lost a gold medal, Dan Jansen lost a dream, Mike Tyson lost time, Canada lost a legend and Wrigley Field lost some of its charm.
In 1988, losing was as much the story as winning.The Baltimore Orioles, Miami Heat and Columbia University gave losing a whole new dimension.
The NHL lost credibility with a series of playoff blunders, the NCAA lost a champion and all of sport lost because of drugs and scandal.
Losing wasn't always bad, though.
Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, the British ski jumper, turned his last-place finish at the Winter Olympics into a endorsement bonanza.
The big winners of 1988 were the golden girls.
Sisters-in-law Florence Griffith Joyner and Jackie Joyner-Kersee combined to win five gold medals in Seoul, speed skater Bonnie Blair revived America's hopes at Calgary, Steffi Graf won the Grand Slam in tennis and Olympic Gold while Winning Colors became only the third filly to win the Kentucky Derby.
At the Summer Olympics, Johnson blew away the field in the 100-meter dash and set a world record time of 9.79 seconds to beat archrival Carl Lewis.
Post-race testing, however, detected traces of stanozolol, a performance -enhancing anabolic steroid that is banned by the International Olympic Committee.
Johnson, a Jamaican-born sprinter from Canada, was stripped of the gold and the record and sent home in disgrace. Lewis, who also won the long jump, finished second to Johnson in 9.92 and was awarded the gold.
During the Games, 10 athletes were suspended for using banned substances.
The Americans lost a shot at a gold medal in the 400-meter relay when the team was disqualified for a bad baton exchange.
There were some rather incredible losses in the boxing ring at the Olympics.
Anthony Hembrick was disqualified before he even got into the ring because he arrived late for his first bout when the coaches misread the schedule.
Roy Jones, 156 pounds, seemed to have a certain victory over South Korea's Park Si-Hun but was stunned when the referee lifted Park's arm.
America was not without its golden moments, though.
FloJo's racy outfits were only exceeded by her dazzling performances on the track. She won the gold with an Olympic-record time of 10.54 seconds and established a world record in the 200 with a 21.34 clocking.
Joyner-Kersee, who earlier in the year established American records in the long jump and 100-meter hurdles, set a world record in the heptathlon at Seoul and an Olympic mark of 24-31/2 in the long jump.
America also had some success at the Olympic pool.
Janet Evans, 17, won the 400- and 800-meter freestyle and the 400-meter individual relay. She won the 400 in a world record 4:03.85.
For the men, Matt Biondi won five gold medals and Greg Loganis took the three-meter springboard and 10-meter platform.
In basketball, John Thompson's team lost to the Soviet Union 82-76 and had to settle for a bronze.
"It's one of the biggest disappointments of my life," said Danny Manning, who did not score against the Soviets.
While Manning was a bust against the Soviets, he scored 31 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead Kansas over Oklahoma 83-79 for the NCAA title.
Last month, the NCAA placed Kansas on probation for three years for recruiting violations and barred the Jayhawks from 1989 postseason play.
America also had some disappointments at the Calgary Winter Olympics.
Jansen, whose sister died of cancer as the Olympics began, was the favorite in the 500-meter speed skating sprint but tripped and fell on the first turn. Four days, later Jansen fell again in the 1,000-meter race.
Blair, who carried the American flag at the closing ceremonies, won the gold in the 500 meters and a bronze in the 1,000.
In contrast to chilly Calagry, the sports year started out in balmy Florida when Miami beat Oklahoma 20-14 for the national championship and lost a tag for not winning the big one.
Columbia University also succeeded in getting rid of something - the longest losing streak in major college football history.
On Oct. 8, the lowly Lions beat Princeton 16-13 to halt a 44-game losing streak.
For the second straight year, the Denver Broncos were not the best team in the Super Bowl, either.
Washington quarterback Doug Williams threw four touchdowns - all in the second period _ as the Redskins beat the Broncos 42-10.
Just as the Redskins scored a knockout over the Broncos in the Super Bowl, Tyson stopped Larry Holmes in January to defend his undisputed heavyweight title. Tyson also made quick work of Tony Tubbs and Michael Spinks.
On Feb. 7 in Chicago, Tyson married actress Robin Givens and the rest of the year was right out of a soap opera.
The couple's marital spats became frontpage news. Tyson wanted a split from longtime manager Bill Cayton and one paper reported the champion threatened suicide right before he drove his car into a tree. There was a merger with Don King and Donald Trump, a late-night brawl with boxer Mitch Green and a bizarre interview with Barbara Walters.
Tyson broke his hand in the fight with Green and his bout with Frank Bruno has been postponed seven times. But who's counting? It's now set for Feb. 25 in Las Vegas.
In October, the couple filed for divorce but recently have been dating _ or at least seeing each other.
Canada also had a famous couple, Wayne Gretzky and actress Janet Jones.
Gretzky, who led Edmonton to the Stanley Cup against Boston in May, married Jones on July 16.
A few weeks later, the greatest hockey player ever was traded to the Los Angeles Kings.
"The Edmonton Oilers without Wayne Gretzky is like apple pie without ice cream, like winter without snow, like the Wheel of Fortune without Vanna White," Parliment member Nelson Riis said. "It's quite simply unthinkable."
It was also unthinkable that a pitcher could throw 59 consecutive scoreless innings but that's what Los Angeles' Orel Hershiser did.
Hershiser pitched five straight shutouts and then 10 scoreless innings against San Diego to break Don Drysdale's record (of 58) set in 1968.
"I really and truly didn't want to break the record," Hershiser said. "I wanted to stop after nine innings so that two Dodgers would be there on top."
By the end of the World Series, 24 Dodgers were on top thanks to Hershiser.
After upsetting the New York Mets in seven games in the NL playoffs, the Dodgers beat Oakland in five games to win the Series.
Hershiser won Game 7 of the playoffs with a shutout and beat Oakland , 5-2, in Game 5.
Oakland's Jose Canseco, who became baseball's first 40-40 man, hit a grand slam in Game 1 and the A's seemed on their way to the championship many predicted. But a hobbling Kirk Gibson hit a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Dodgers one of the most dramatic victories in Series history.
The Orioles lost hope of playing in the Series by starting the season 0-21, shattering the record of 13 for most losses at the start of a season. They fell two short of tying the all-time record for consecutive losses set by the 1961 Philadelphia Phillies.
"You say, `You're in last place, how can there be pressure?' There's tremendous pressure," outfielder Fred Lynn said during the streak. "It's not a monkey on our backs anymore. It's Godzilla."
Billy Martin lost his job as manager of the New York Yankees for the fifth time and Cincinnati manager Pete Rose lost 30 days in the Reds' dugout when he was suspended for shoving umpire Dave Pallone.
For many baseball fans, it was a dark day in Chicago when the lights went on at Wrigley Field on Aug. 8. The game against Philadelphia was rained out and the first official night game was played a day later against the Mets.
The Orioles can certainly sympathize with the Miami Heat. In their first season in the NBA, the Heat lost their first 17 games to set a record for defeats from the start of a season.
The Heat seem no threat to the Los Angeles Lakers' quest of three straight championships.
The Lakers became the first team since the 1968-69 Celtics to repeat as NBA champs by beating the Detroit Pistons in seven games.
America continued to lose prestige on the golf course as Scotland's Sandy Lyle won the Masters and Spain's Seve Ballesteros took the British Open for the third time.
The U.S. Open remained in American hands as Curtis Strange beat Britain's Nick Faldo. After six years of losing, Jeff Sluman won the 70th PGA.
Foreigners also dominated on the tennis court and none more than West Germany's Graff.
Graff, 19, won the Australian, French, U.S. Opens and Wimbledon to become the first player since Margaret Court in 1970 to win the Grand Slam.
Sweden's Mats Wilander won the Australian, French and U.S. Opens and countryman Stefan Edberg beat Boris Becker for the Wimbledon championship.