Multiple Sports: Top 10 Current Team Streaks
We are constantly analyzing sports on the basis of streaks.
Most people focus on how many games in a row their team has won, or how many consecutive playoff appearances their team has.
This list focuses on the most prolific current team streaks that have lasted multiple seasons.
So for example, you won't find UCLA's unbelievable streak from the 1960s or the New York Yankees' run of consecutive World Series.
You also won't find the Cubs anywhere on this list because they still make the playoffs and have winning seasons. It is more remarkable when a team cannot make the playoffs or even have a winning season.
I wanted to keep this current because, let's be honest, we live in a world where, "What have you done for me lately?" supersedes anything historical.
So enjoy, and as always, feel free to let me know if there are any that you felt I missed or ones that you would have ranked differently.
10. UConn Women's Basketball: 4 Consecutive Final Fours
To be honest, this is extremely impressive because it is extremely diffiicult to make one Final Four, let alone four straight.
What slightly takes away from the greatness of this streak is that women's basketball lacks multiple powerhouses. There are no more than five major contenders every year.
Also, every year UConn gets the top women's basketball players out of high school, so they should continue to win every year.
With that being said, if a men's basketball team made four consecutive Final Fours in the age of constant media coverage, it would be the most talked-about sports story day-in and day-out.
9. Michigan Ice Hockey: 21 Consecutive NCAA Tournament Appearances
Say what you will about hockey and whether or not it is boring, but college ice hockey is the game at its purist form.
First off, only 16 teams make the NCAA hockey tournament every year; not 68.
Secondly, nearly half of those spots are filled by teams that win their conferences. So if you don't win your conference, it is nearly impossible to make the tournament.
Yet, Michigan has done this for 21 consecutive years.
Growing up in Pittsburgh, I was treated to the greatness of Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, amongst others as a kid, and I wanted to continue to watch greatness when I went to college, which led me to the University of Michigan.
If you have never seen a game at Yost Ice Arena, I suggest you put it on your bucket list. It is right up there with going to a Duke/North Carolina basketball game.
As one of the lead supporters of Michigan hockey during my years there (my friends and I brought a Swedish flag to games to support Swede Carl Hagelin and a Texas flag to support Texan Chris Brown), I brought numerous friends that could care less about Michigan hockey to games that all agreed that it was one of their best sporting experiences ever.
Plus, there is no better home ice advantage in hockey than the "See ya" chant. I would type the words on here but I don't want to risk offending anyone.
8. Kansas Men's Basketball: 22 Consecutive NCAA Tournament Appearances
Much has been written about Kansas basketball, as it seems they always struggle come tournament time (read: VCU).
The fact of the matter is, they have had more consecutive opportunities to struggle than any other team in college basketball.
The last time Kansas missed the NCAA tournament was 1989, due to a rules violation that stemmed from illegal benefits allowed by then-coach Larry Brown (Kansas won the championship in 1988).
Overall, Kansas may be underwhelming come tournament time, but they have put themselves in position to win more often than the rest.
7. Cincinnati Bengals: 20 Consecutive Seasons Without a Postseason Win
If you need one reason why the Cincinnati Bengals have not won a postseason game since 1990, look no further than the fact that I had to click through four pages of pictures to find an on-field picture of their players.
Putting that many personalities consistently on one team, or having so many players with off-the-field problems, does not generate winning (unless you are Charlie Sheen).
Yes, the Bengals have won multiple AFC North titles, but the fact of the matter is that they cannot turn that into playoffs wins.
That's why they will always be, as the great Myron Cope would put it, the "Bungles."
6. Florida State College Football: 29 Consecutive Bowl Game Appearances
This is remarkable considering Michigan's 33-year streak ended during my tenure at Michigan, so you really get to learn how difficult it can be to make it every single year.
Yes, Florida State has had some scandals during their time, but what school hasn't? They remain a consistently winning program every year.
Don't look for this streak to end any time soon either. With the plethora of star athletes that come out of Florida, FSU should have a top-10 recruiting class every year.
Plus, how hard can it be to sell going to school in Tallahassee with thousands of hot girls everywhere?
5. San Antonio Spurs: 14 Consecutive Seasons Making the Playoffs
This could also be named consecutive 50-win seasons (with the exception of the lockout year).
It's remarkable that the Spurs have been able to be this consistently great over the past 14 years, especially when you consider that they have won four NBA championships in that time period (I'm talking to you Dallas).
The Spurs show no signs of slowing down (except for Tim Duncan) and they continue to retool, as they appear to be one of the favorites to win the NBA title again come June.
4. Indianapolis Colts: 9 Consecutive Playoff Appearances
This also, like the Spurs streak, could be labeled as nine consecutive 10-win seasons.
The really telling stat about the Colts' current streak of making the playoffs, is that the next closest streak in the NFL is three years.
It appeared for much of last season that the Colts' luck had finally run out, but as we should have learned by now, you can never rule Peyton Manning out.
The only reason that the Colts aren't higher is that they only managed to win one Super Bowl during this time period, while the Patriots managed to win three and the Steelers won two.
With that being said, the most likely stopping point to the Colts' streak seems to be the NFL lockout.
3. Kansas City Royals: Playoff Absent Since 1985
25 years. That's a long time (longer than I have been alive).
Losing loves company, unless you are the Kansas City Royals.
According to their website, they did have a winning record in 1989 (92-70), but failed to reach the playoffs due to finishing second in their division and a lack of wild card spots at the time.
The only saving grace for this streak, and why it is not No. 1, is that the Royals won the World Series in 1985, which puts numerous teams behind them in that department (Cubs, Indians, etc.).
2. Detroit Red Wings: 19 Consecutive Playoff Appearances
If I wrote this list tomorrow, it could read "20 Consecutive Playoff Appearances."
The Red Wings have operated in a number of different environments. No salary cap. Tight salary cap. Terrible Michigan economy. You name it, they have encountered it.
But one thing remains constant: They continue to win and make the playoffs.
No team in hockey retools better than the Red Wings. The New Jersey Devils had the second-longest streak in the NHL at 13 seasons, but that appears to end this year.
What makes the streak even more remarkable is that the Red Wings have won four Stanley Cups and have been to the finals a total of six times.
They appear again to be on a collision course for at least the Western Conference finals.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates: 18 Consecutive Losing Seasons
As great as winning feels, losing feels a thousand times worse, and no one knows that better than us Pittsburgh Pirates fans.
Call if the Curse of Barry Bonds or call it idiotic management/ownership, but the Pirates hold the longest consecutive losing streak in sports history.
To put this in perspective for those of you who may complain about this being No. 1, I have not seen the Pirates have more wins than losses since I was four years old. FOUR!
The day Barry Bonds left for millions of dollars and the Bay Area, so did our hopes and dreams.
We have suffered through numerous ridiculous plans, the promise that Chad Hermanson, Kris Benson, Derek Bell, Jeromy Burnitz, Joe Randa, Bryan Bullington, John Van Benschoten, Danny Moskos, etc. would all be the future of the team, and all that has happened is that the team continues to lose.
The young Pirates look like they have great potential with players like Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata and top prospects like Tony Sanchez, Stetson Allie and Jameson Taillon.
The reality of the situation is that the Pirates are a horror movie that plays on repeat each and every year.
I honest to God have come to terms with the fact that the Pirates may not have a winning season in my life.
But I still continue to follow, root, hope and pray, which is the reality for many sports fans.
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