The most impressive streaks in sports

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Cal Ripken Jr. started 2,632 consecutive games over the course of 17 MLB seasons.

Baylor is undefeated, and if the Lady Bears win the NCAA championship, they would be the first team (men's or women's) to go 40-0. What is the most impressive streak in sports?

No one is as perfect as Cal

By Adena Andrews

I've missed classes, birthdays, games, work, funerals, births, tests and weddings. Perfect attendance in life is impossible, but don't tell Cal Ripken Jr.

The fact that the average person can't think of something they've been present for their entire life is a testament to the greatness of Ripken's 2,632 consecutive games-played streak.

Ripken's streak spanned 17 seasons from May 30, 1982, to Sept. 20, 1998. These numbers are extra impressive because of the daunting MLB schedule of 162 games scheduled over 178 to 183 days, with less than 24 hours rest between games at times. This means no time to recuperate from injuries, which are inevitable. Ripken's ability to play through sport's toughest schedule earned him the nickname "Iron Man."

Looking at Ripken's streak makes me feel bad for all the times I missed class to hit the beach or skipped work for a mental vacation. I tip my hat to you, Cal.

Don't discount the women's game

By Jane McManus

Unfortunately, when I think of a women's team creating any kind of milestone in college sports, I immediately jump ahead to those who say it doesn't matter because women's college basketball isn't competitive.

Pat Summitt is the only coach in NCAA history with 1,000 wins. UConn has the longest winning streak in the NCAA. Now Baylor could add its own impressive feat this season.

Is it possible that if this record is set, it gets to be celebrated?

I hope that if the Baylor women are able to accomplish this, it doesn't get torn apart by people saying anything a women's team does shouldn't count.

It counts. If they can complete the task.

Favre's dangerous reality sets the bar

By Melissa Jacobs

Before he became infamous for retirement flip-flopping and inappropriate text messages, Brett Favre was sports' ultimate iron man. Favre holds the record for most consecutive starts in the NFL, with 297 over more than 18 seasons. It is an amazing feat considering what he faced.

Imagine being a quarterback for a second. To some degree you are the target on every play. You are more vulnerable than any other position. A takedown of you is a feather in the cap for the drooling beasts on the other side of the line.

And Brett Favre's reality was more dangerous than that.

As discovered recently, there was a bounty on him, the idea of which was to injure him and knock him out of action. Even lifelong Favre haters developed a soft spot for the then-40-year-old as he was brutally rushed by the Saints during the 2009 NFC Championship Game.

Favre may be a lot of things, but weak he is not. For his efforts to persevere from Sept. 27, 1992 to Dec. 13, 2010, Brett Favre is my streak hero. He always will be -- there is no way his record gets broken. Not in today's NFL.

Squashing all comers

By Amanda Rykoff

I know I'm expected to say Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak represents the most impressive streak in sports. Admittedly, it was the first thing that popped into my head when asked the question. Last year, DiMaggio's still unbroken major league-record hitting streak celebrated its 70th anniversary. And nobody has come close to touching the Yankee Clipper's accomplishment (Pete Rose had a 44-game hitting streak in 1978 and Paul Molitor had a 39-game hitting streak in 1987).

But the Trinity College squash team's 252-match winning streak -- which just ended in January -- is my out-of-left-field choice. Yes, that is correct -- 252 consecutive matches, including 13 straight national championships. The Bantams had not lost a squash match since 1998 until Yale defeated them Jan. 19. To put this into context: Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" topped the charts the last time Trinity lost a match. That was a long time ago.

Others might point to the UCLA men's basketball team winning 88 consecutive games under John Wooden or the UConn women's 90 straight victories, but Trinity's streak truly stands alone. I can't imagine another team winning as many consecutive matches or national championships as the Bantams. If they do, the soonest we'll be talking about them is 2024.

Impressed by the unimpressive

By Sarah Spain

John Wooden's UCLA Bruins won an impressive 88 straight games, while the UConn women's basketball team set an all-time record with 90 consecutive victories. Cal Ripken Jr. earned the nickname "Iron Man" for his incredible run of 2,632 consecutive games played, while Brett Favre was the Iron Man of the NFL, making 297 straight regular-season starts.

Impressive? Absolutely. But no streak is more impressive than the Chicago Cubs' streak of 103 years without a World Series win. That's not only a record for the game of baseball, but it's the longest title drought in all of professional sports. You may argue that more than a century of failure qualifies as the least-impressive streak, but you can't argue this: No streak has ever left a greater impression.

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