Monday, January 29, 2007

The Longest Winning Streaks In Sports

The Suns' 17th straight win on Sunday was impressive, but, in order to retroactively diminish this accomplishment, let's take a look at some of the longest winning streaks in the history of organized sport. Also, this article will hopefully get me some Google hits somewhere down the road, boobs hot sex webcam free download porn.

Turns out, the Suns have a ways to go - the longest winning streak in NBA history is [fucking] 33 straight wins by the 1971-72 LA Lakers. No one's even close - the Milwaukee Bucks of the previous season won 20 straight en route to a championship season, although the Lakers shattered that record in '72 then knocked the Bucks out of the playoffs. Phil Jackson's '99 Lakers notched 19, though the Jordan era Bulls never ran off more than 18, tied with the '81-'82 Celtics and the '69-'70 Knicks. Also, despite what this confusingly worded article says, the Charlotte Bobcats do not, in fact, crack the top trillion.

Numerically speaking, the shortest record streak of the major professional sports belongs to the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, who won 17 straight in the 1992-93 season. History fails to mention that the Penguins were likely inspired by yours truly attending many of the games during this streak, though granted, I was still of the age where I was buying twist ice cream cones at the games and pretending the vanilla and chocolate ice creams were fighting. Also, bear in mind that in the NOT NEW NHL, or whatever the league was called back then, ties were commonplace - the longest unbeaten streak in NHL history belongs to the '79-'80 Flyers, who were ultimately upended in the Cup Finals by Al Arbour's Islanders. The Islanders also eliminated the '92-'93 Penguins, and my mom yelled at me for throwing a puck at the tv after it happened.

When I looked up the NFL's longest win streak, I expected it to be either the '72 Dolphins or some hilarious olde tyme team that started using the forward pass regularly despite ridicule, so needless to say, I was horrified to be reminded that these guys broke the record a couple years ago with 21. That's all well and good, but how'd they fare in the playoffs?? Really? Whatever.

I recalled offhand the Oakland A's 20-game win streak in 2002 (in the 20th win, they went up 11-0 on the Royals, then gave up 11 unearned runs and still won 12-11). However, the longest winning streak in MLB history actually unearths the olde tyme hilarity I was expecting out of the NFL, namely the feat of 21 straight wins shared by the 1880 Chicago White Stockings and the 1935 Chicago Cubs. The 1916 New York Giants did win 26 straight games, but they technically tied a game in the middle of the streak, which used to happen frequently in baseball's lightless days. Or alternatively, the Giants just weren't fit to tie Chicago's White Stockings.

Looking beyond the four major professional leagues exhumes some even more humorous streaks - minor league baseball's Salt Lake Trappers won 29 straight games, the record for a professional baseball league. Bud Wilkinson's Oklahoma Sooners hold the D-I football record with 47 straight wins, 24 of which came against Yale, and 23 came against William & Mary, but the streak was finally ended by Notre Dame, the other school that existed then. Interestingly, Notre Dame also ended the UCLA Bruins' 88-game record basketball streak from 1971-1974, though perhaps no one will ever top Notre Dame's streak of being indescribably unlikeable, a streak that dates back to around the school's third year of existing.

However, no winning streak in sports will ever top the greatest of the great - The United States held the America's Cup for 132 years! Granted, in a numerical sense, this streak totalled 25 victories, fewer than the Salt Lake Trappers' unforgettable '87 season, but when one takes into account how much preparation and frustration percolated in the years between each Cup race, the majesty of the feat comes into perspective. Also, while I have no knowledge or giving of shit about sailing, I do know that there are probably people who care about it a lot and that some of them live in other countries, so, you know, yeah. Wooo! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Also, even though it's not a winning streak per say, the North Carolina womens' soccer team has won 18 NCAA national championships, and no other school has more than 2. That's way more impressive than the previous paragraph. Forget I said all that crap about sailing.

So, bottom line, no matter what number the Suns stop at, the unique nature of the winning streak achievement will forever hold a sort of special, separate relevance in sports' historical cannon. Also, I just now discovered this Wikipedia Page that says most of what I just said but organized much better. Although only slightly funnier.


Raj said...

You really forgot to define what winning means....For example if you think winning is convincing your fan base that you aren't rebuilding, then the Pittsburgh Pirates have a 13 year winning streak! Or what if winning is proving that you have the most thugged out team, the Bengals just passed the Blazers with 9 arrests in less than 2 years!

Anonymous said...

You should add when talking about the Lakers streak, and how they demolished the Bucks 20 in a row and knocked them out of the playoffs, add that the team that snapped the Lakers 33-game win streak was the Bucks.

T.H. said...

UNC's women's soccer team also has a 101-game winning streak. That's without a tie, which I think are required by soccer rules now.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but we Domers have been unbearable since the day the school was founded, thank you very much. We always knew we were destined to be better than everyone; it just takes a while to get there.

Anonymous said...

The Sioux Falls Storm of the United Indoor Football League currently have won 34 straight games. If they win tonight, 7/14/07, they will have their 2nd undefeated season in a row! Very impressive.