It Took A Global Pandemic
Lou Gehrig played in 2,130 consecutive games before the streak was ended by illness. Later, the record was broken by Cal Ripken, Jr. some six decades later, with 2,632 consecutive games. The Ripken record came over 16 seasons. It ended when he voluntarily pulled himself from the lineup on the last game of a season.
Brett Favre started 297 consecutive games at quarterback, for three different teams over 18 seasons. That streak was broken due to injury.
Another pretty amazing streak came to an end yesterday, after more than 27 years…U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley had made it for every single floor vote in the Senate since July of 1993, a record 8,927 straight votes. He surpassed the old record nearly 5 years ago. The last time he missed a vote, it was because he was in Iowa with then-President Bill Clinton, touring flood damage. And as he pointed out to me once, he had a pretty good streak going up to that point, too…so were it not for that one day in 1993, the Grassley streak easily would have been close to four decades, with thousands of more votes cast.
But the 87-year-old could not overcome a positive COVID-19 test yesterday, and the streak came to an end. Of greatest concern, of course, is the Senator’s health…and as he noted, no streak was worth risking making others sick.
But it tells you something about good old fashioned Iowa work ethic. They pay you to do a job, so you show up and do the job…no excuses, no skipping days for convenience, no conveniently being unavailable to vote on a touchy subject.
A pretty good example to follow, regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum. And I’m sure the Senator is thinking more about casting his next vote and starting a new streak…with an eye toward topping his old record. And why not? He’d only be 114 years old then.