One of the most sacred streaks, in my own little sports universe, continued Sunday night.
It’s a streak sports fans have probably heard touted on ESPN when North Carolina and Clemson match up at the Dean Dome on the hardwood, but a little streak that might slip by the national media because its importance lies in local lore and tradition, not in the national spotlight.
Since 1926, the Tar Heels have never lost to the Tigers at home – 57 consecutive wins that stand as the single- longest home win streak over a program in collegiate and professional history.
For many fans, the streak might not matter, but to UNC fans, the streak is only second in importance to the program’s 13 consecutive Sweet 16 appearances.
In Georgia, many of our sports programs have those same streaks — or streak busters — that help define their programs. Whether we’re counting rivalry wins, bowl appearances or postseason participation, Georgia’s athletic history is steeped in streaks that are beyond reproach. Bulldogs' lucky number Now, I’m not one to believe in luck or lucky numbers. Maybe it’s because I’ve never had any, but the positive twists of fate that seem to make the lives of many have never found fortune for me.
However, Georgia Bulldog fans may claim to have a lucky number – seven.
Twice in Georgia’s history, the Bulldogs have pulled off consecutive seven-game win streaks in their rivalry contest against Georgia Tech.
The Bulldogs accomplished the feat first from 1991-1997, beating the Yellow Jackets by an average score of 29-15.
That's an impressive streak in its own right, much less in a rivalry match-up described as "Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate," where your opponent spends the majority of thes season waiting for the end-of-year battle.
The feat was matched again from 2001-2007, when the Bulldogs once again rolled off seven consecutive wins after Georgia Tech answered the Bulldogs’ previous streak with a trio of wins.
The Bulldogs’ closest game in the streak came in a 15-12 victory in 2006, narrowly edging the Yellow Jackets at home. Georgia Tech entered the game ranked 15th in the nation and
jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but Georgia scored 15 second-half points and snagged a game-clinching interception on Tech’s final drive to seal the win.
Georgia is currently working on what could be its third “Lucky 7” streak, having won the last five in a row dating back to 2009.
The Bulldogs' lucky number doesn’t just stop with Tech, either. Georgia has posted a pair of seven-win streaks over rival Florida, winning the first seven games of the series from 1904-1927 and again from 1941-1948. Georgia came within a game of equaling the feat from 19781983, but fell a game short, losing to the Gators 27-0 in 1984. Tech goes streaking While the Bulldogs may have the upper hand headto-head, the Yellow Jackets are in the midst of their own impressive streak – even if they have to share it with their rivals.
The Ramblin Wreck has totaled 17 consecutive postseason bowl appearances, fourth all-time behind Florida State, Virginia Tech and Florida.
During that time, the Yellow Jackets have posted a 6-11 mark, last winning the 2012 Sun Bowl over South- ern California. The Yellow Jackets won back-to-back bowls to start their streak in 1997, coming out victorious in the Carquest Bowl and the 1999 Gator Bowl, and again won consecutive bowl contests at the 2004 Humanitarian and Champs Sports Bowls.
Florida State leads the bowl appearance streak with 32 consecutive bowls, with Virginia Tech trailing with 21 consecutive appearances.
Florida’s streak of 21 consecutive bowls ended this past season.
The steady play of the Yellow Jackets may not always show up in the postseason, but it keeps them in contention, a model of dependability that few programs can emulate.
The Yellow Jackets’ current streak of 17 consecutive bowl appearances has been matched by the Bulldogs, who have gone 12-5 in the postseason during that same span. Braves keep rocking Moving from the amateurs to the professionals, the Atlanta Braves hold one of the most impressive streaks in a sport where numbers are everything.
From 1991-2005 (excluding the 1994 strike-shortened season) the Braves reached the postseason a league-record 14 times, a streak that has been threatened, but not matched in baseball history.
The New York Yankees came close in 2007, but fell an appearance short, and no other team has come within nine appearances of the Braves. Three different teams hold records of five consecutive postseason appearances. The Yankees match the feat twice from 1949-1953 and again from 1960-1964, so it appears that Atlanta’s streak is safe – for at least another decade.
During that time, Atlanta appeared in eight consecutive League Championship Series and reached the World Series five times, winning it all in 1995.
This is a streak that is near and dear to me. As a young baseball fan, the Braves were my closest team and having the opportunity to watch them Friday nights on TBS was a can’t-miss family event.
I’m not sure which streak lasted longer – the Braves’ postseason streak or TBS squeezing in "Dinner and a Movie" after the broadcasts. Streak busting The Falcons end the streak list, fittingly, by ending a streak.
Beginning in 2009, Saints quarterback Drew Brees began building a streak, one that ended Nov. 25, 2012, against the Falcons.
Brees had thrown a touchdown pass in 54 consecutive games, eclipsing former Baltimore Colt Johnny Unitas’ streak of 47 games set in 1960.
But, on a Thursday night, the Falcons handed the Saints their seventh loss of the season, while intercepting Brees five times. Brees connected on 28 of 50 passes in the game for 341 yards, but couldn’t find one of his receivers in the end zone, ending his touchdown streak.
The victory moved the Falcons to 11-1, helping Atlanta clinch the NFC South division.
The Falcons’ five interceptions was a career-high for Brees, as the Saints fell 23-13.
Records are made to be broken, but for sports fans, your team’s records are priceless.