Congratulations to Geno Auriemma, his staff and the UConn women. To win 89 straight games anywhere, anytime, against anyone, is a remarkable accomplishment. I just wish we were not into comparing. Their perfromance stands alone. Auriemma summed it up quite well after yesterdays game: I don’t want my team to compare themselves to anyone, UConn coach Geno Auriemma said afterward. I’m not John Wooden and this isn’t UCLA. This is Connecticut and that’s good enough. UCLA men’s win streak stands alone, it was a different era and in many ways a different game than today’s game. Saturday I watched the last quarter of the California State high school football championships open division. De La Sale High School from Concord California won, in a dominating win over Servite High School. They are as well coached as any football team at any level that I have ever seen. De La Sale has the distinction of winning 156 straight games! A remarkable accomplishment, that did not occur by chance or by playing weak competition. But I heard a coach here in Florida denigrate their streak saying that if they played in Florida they would never have even had an undefeated season. How stupid!
Why can’t we just honor and recognize the accomplishments for what they are- excellent performances that demand commitment, dedication and focus. Great teams and great athletes are great because they play the best, you can’t be the best by playing weak schedules and inferior opponents. If you look at winning streaks and great champions over time you will see that they did play the best competition available, that is a mark of the champion. UConn has sought and played the best, as did UCLA and De La Sale. Remember the essence of competition is to strive together with.
As an endnote: A remarkable feat that has been overlooked in the all the conversation about streaks is Jim Steen’s Kenyon College men’s swim team that has won 31 straight NCAA Division III National Championships!