Our down-home dynasties

It is easy to take persistent athletic greatness for granted. Certainly this was the case for New York Yankees fans who watched the franchise win 16 of the 26 World Series played from the mid-1930s to the early 1960s.

Winning seemed their birthright, until a 15-year dry period followed the 1962 championship.

Two modern-day dynasties have emerged in our own backyard in an age when it is tougher to sustain dominance. In professional sports, great athletes are free to take their skills to the highest bidder, not true in the days of the old Yankee dynasties. In college sports, the competition to sign top athletes is fierce.

Yet the University of Connecticut women’s basketball program and the New England Patriots football franchise have managed to remain at or near the top of their games for a long time.

On Thursday we were again reminded that winning cannot be assumed. UConn lost on the road to a Baylor team whose bigger post players dominated under the basket.

The loss snapped a 126-game regular season winning streak dating to 2014. Incredible. But then again, UConn also holds the longest college basketball winning streak ever — 111 games — a number that includes NCAA tournament games. And there have been a record 11 championships, all since 1995.

Meanwhile, about 60 miles northeast of the Storrs campus sits Foxboro, Mass., home to the Patriots, who continue to do the impossible. The Patriots have won four of the last seven American Football Conference Championship games — and appeared in all seven! Win one more game and the Patriots will make it an eighth straight AFC Championship appearance, extending its franchise record. Their 10th straight playoff appearance is another record.

The Patriots have won two of the last four Super Bowls, adding to their total, now five, second only to the six won by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And the list goes on.

In time, normality will return. With each year the competition increases in women’s college basketball. At age 64, most of UConn coach Geno Auriemma’s coaching and recruiting days are behind him. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is 41; coach Bill Belichick, 66.

But it isn’t over yet. Enjoy this while it lasts and never take it for granted.

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Managing Editor Tim Cotter, Staff Writer Julia Bergman and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments

Stories that may interest you

Cutting the red tape on a growing craft beer industry

What the changes have in common is that they respond to the stated concerns of those in the industry, keeping necessary safeguards in place but eliminating restrictions that did not make sense.


To protect health, slow climate change, let coal fade away

One big bonus to encouraging a transition away from coal would be curtailing air pollution that causes heart and lung disease, asthma, bronchitis and other ailments.


Curb that enthusiasm over Big East return

No one is offering a good explanation as to what is to become of the football program, which was the motivation for leaving the Big East in the first place.


TRENDING

PODCASTS