MARCH 13 OFF THE MARK COLUMN — MARK SPENSLEY, CO-PUBLISHER
As sports fans, we are all obsessed with streaks, both winning and losing. Sometimes we may even dwell on the losing streaks more.
The Chicago Blackhawks just had an amazing streak to start the season come to an end. They started the season by winning their first 21 games. The Hawks actually record-breaking streak was scoring a point in 24 straight games to start the season.
I watched the game they lost the other night against the Colorado Avalanche. The Blackhawks were outskated, outmuscled and looked
Blackhawks’ amazing streak ends dog-tired. Give credit to the Avalanche for outplaying the Blackhawks that night.
There have been some amazing streaks out there in the sports world. Some of my favorites include Cal Ripken’s streak of 2,632 consecutive games started, Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak and Brett Favre’s 297 straight games played.
My all time favorite streak is the nine straight national championships won by the Dan Gable coached Iowa Hawkeye wrestling team. The streak earned the wrestling program being named one of the top sports dynasties of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated.
Some other great streaks include NHL player Doug Jarvis, who started 964 consecutive games. Then there is Edwin Moses, who ran the 400-meter hurdles and raced 122 straight races without a loss. Number 123 ended when he tripped over the first hurdle.
Also impressive is the Spurs reaching 15 consecutive post-seasons, Richard Petty’s 18 straight seasons with a win, Johnny Unitas throwing a TD in 46 straight games and the UCLA Bruins consecutive win streak of 88 straight men’s basketball games.
Most impressive and probably the one streak in sports that will never be duplicated: Glenn Hall’s 502 consecutive complete games in goal, a NHL record.
Of course, the downsides to streaks are the negative ones. Here are a few: In 1990, Chris Dudley went to the free throw line 18 times in one NBA game and missed all but one and missed 13 in a row at one point.
The Winnipeg Jets hold the NHL record for 30 straight winless games. During their streak they lost 23 times and had seven ties.
And the Cleveland Cavaliers hold not just the longest consecutive losing streak in the NBA but also the number two and number three spots. In 2010-2011 they lost 26 straight games. In ’81-’82 they lost 24 straight games and again in ’82-’83 they lost another 24 straight games. Now that’s a losing streak.