Archived Story

Not every record is made to be broken

Published 9:59am Friday, December 28, 2012

By Ed Bailey

They say that records are meant to be broken, but a closer look at all of the hallowed marks, facts and figures in the sporting world makes me question if that saying is really true.
Some I might look at and say, “How is this still standing?”
I look at others wondering how that particular benchmark of excellence was even reached. With Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson threatening one of the most highly regarded records in sport history, I began to take a closer look at all the historic standards set by great athletes past and present.
I’m going to share a few of them with you and elaborate on why that particular record (or records) need not worry about its (or their) long-term health.
100: When this number is mentioned, most sports fans and pundits immediately think of the man known as “The Big Dipper,” Wilt Chamberlain.
Playing in an era where he was head and shoulders better than everyone not named Bill Russell, Chamberlain was one of the most dominant offensive players ever.
Those talents never showed themselves as greatly as they did when he amassed 100 points in a single game. In this day and age it’s a struggle for some TEAMS to get 100 points in a NBA game. What are the chances that a single player can do it (that isn’t in high school at the time it’s done)?
Kobe got closest when he netted 81 points a few years, ago but with today’s gamesmanship, I think the century mark of basketball can get nice and comfy in its perch.
Almost any record held by Wayne Gretzky: Whether it’s 894 goals in a season, 92 in a season, 215 total points in a season (goals plus assists), nine MVP awards, you name it, chances are the best to ever lace up the skates in the NHL has the high mark.
They called him “The Great One” for a reason, you know? Anyway, his records are untouchable simply because those who could threaten them either don’t play anymore or are so far behind that their careers would end by the time they got into striking distance. If they got into striking distance that is …
Longest plays in NFL history: The longest a pass or run play can go is 99 yards. The longest any play can go (such as a interception return or missed field goal return) is 109 yards. So by default, these records actually can’t be broken. However, these records can most definitely be tied and a couple times, they have been. Still, it’s the epitome of an unbreakable record when you think about it.
The Iron Man Streak: Cal Ripken Jr. played 2,632 consecutive games (over 16 straight MLB seasons) without a day off despite sickness, injury, or any other fathomable setback.
To put this in perspective: assuming a five-day work week with no holidays, personal days, sick days or anything like that, this equates to the average person working over 10 straight years without an off day (or seven straight  for those with seven-day work weeks).
I’m not sure anyone can touch that sort of dedication and frankly, luck. I don’t see anyone in Major League Baseball staying healthy long enough to even touch that streak.
I’m sure there are many others, but to me, these will most assuredly stand the test of time.
Now if you’ll excuse me, Peterson’s chase of Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record still looms.
My weekend consists of possibly witnessing history, and here’s hoping yours is a good one, too.
Bailey is sports editor for The Outlook.