Too much success can be bad
It’s an argument that sports fans have been debating for a long time.
Is there such a thing as being too successful?
It’s an argument that flies opposite of the American Dream. The feeling is that the more success a person or company has, the better.
But in the world of sports, too much success can be a problem. And I’m not talking about the New England Patriots.
Take the Connecticut women’s basketball team as an example.
Coach Geno Auriemma’s team has now won 100 games in a row and still counting. If they hadn’t dropped a game to Stanford a couple of years ago, the streak would be a mind-boggling 140 in a row.
But the real truth of this accomplishment is that UConn is doing it with the best talent available.
Auriemma, who appears to view his opponents with a mixture of bemusement and disdain, is also a very good coach.
But UConn doesn’t merely defeat its foes, it demolishes them. And that serves as a warning to all who would threaten its status.
The late, great John Wooden had the same thing going at UCLA a half-century ago.
Wooden, the master strategist, also had the best players at his disposal.
All-time greats like Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Bill Walton, etc. made the job all that much easier. His teams won 10 straight NCAA titles in a row and 88 games in a row.
The negative thing about long winning streaks is that the opposition gets tired of being whipped on.
In UConn’s case, there are only a handful of women’s programs in the country that even have a slim chance of beating them.
After a while, all those beatings start to take a toll.
Of course, the answer to combat this is obvious: recruit better players.
That’s the course the Golden State Warriors have taken.
By signing Kevin Durant away from Oklahoma City last year, the Warriors appear to have one worthy foe to get through for a NBA title.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, with LeBron James on hand, are realistically the only other team that will mount a challenge.
And with 30 other teams in the league, that makes for a lot of tedious games on the schedule.
Watching the forlorn New York Knicks take on the Sacramento Kings isn’t worthy of tuning in on.
That’s why the NBA is sinking in the TV ratings. The same could happen in the already shaky NCAA women’s hoops game.