Back in 2002, I experienced one of my favorite moments in recent sports history. The Oakland Athletics, the team I love with every part of my being, proceeded to win an American League record 20 games in a row. From August 13 through September 4 of that late summer, our green and gold were on top of the sports world.
Largely led by an amazing month from Cory Lidle in which he gave up merely one run, the streak was saved on a miraculous night when the A's played the Kansas City Royals, ran out to an 11-0 lead only to let it evaporate and then dramatically win it in the bottom of the ninth on a Scott Hatteberg home run. The streak then came to an end in the A's team house of horrors in Minneapolis in the Metrodome. They lost 6-0 that night and the streak was over. That Hatteberg home run...that moment, as well as the A's victory against the Twins in the ALDS, are probably my two favorite A's moments over the last decade or so (that and the Milton Bradley home run to win AN Day).
In case you haven't noticed, there is another professional sports team streaking towards history in its sport right now. The Houston Rockets won their 22nd consecutive game today against the LA Lakers. Now I'm not going to go on and on about the NBA and pretend to have any idea what I'm talking about because frankly I don't. I do know that 22 consecutive wins is quite remarkable no matter what sport it is and that the team should be commended for it.
I am kind of surprised at how much attention it's getting because I remember distinctly when the A's had this streak going that it was not the lead story on ESPN and other sports outlets. Not until the A's actually got to that record setting series against the Royals. Maybe that's just my A's inferiority complex coming out, but I do always feel the green and gold are treated as second-class.
I guess my question is, what is the bigger accomplishment? Granted this is a question that should be asked once the streak of the Rockets comes to a close, but I'm finding it dominating all the sports news right now (that and bracketology). In all the years of baseball, the longest winning streak ever was 26 games (although there was a tie in there) and that was in 1916. The longest streak minus a tie was in 1935. The longest streak in basketball was 33 games and that happened in my lifetime.
So maybe someone who loves basketball and baseball can chime in here. What was the greater accomplishment? The A's winning 20 in a row or what the Rockets are currently doing?