Open Mic: My Four Greatest Sports Accomplishments
In the world of sports, we all talk about how great a team is or how horrible someone's performance was. Whether we're talking about Tiger's dominance in the 2000 US Open or the Lakers 34 game winning streak, sports gives us a chance to witness something that is unprecedented. That being said, here are some of my thoughts on memorable sports accomplishments.
4) Pete Rose's 4256 Hits
For someone who is a pretty good liar, Rose was an even better baseball player.
Everyone talks about how he never bet on baseball, but I'm willing to bet that his 4,256 hits will not be touched anytime soon. Yes, he had more at bats and played in more games than anyone in baseball, but that makes it more remarkable.
Rose averaged 177 hits a year for his 24 seasons and 10 seasons of 200+ hits. To put that in prospective, Ichiro would have to AVERAGE 209 hits a season for another decade just to tie the hit king.
Want to go with someone younger? Let's talk Albert Pujols. As of now (at the time of this writing) he's averaged 178 hits per season. He would have to continue that pace for 15 MORE seasons to catch Rose (he would be 45 years old during the 2023 season). Today's players have to deal with more specialized pitching, smaller ballparks, and more travel than Rose dealt with which makes this feat more astonishing.
3) Miami Dolphins Perfect Season 1972
This is the part of the article where Mr. Die Hard Pat fan will tell me how the Patriots passed the Dolphins by going 18-0. Last I checked, the winning percentage of an 18-0 team is the same as one who went 17-0. Now an 18-1 team's winning percentage is actually LOWER than one that went 17-0 (just in case Patriot fans didn't know).
It's simple ladies and gentlemen, the Patriots falling one game short of perfection just shows how hard it is to run the table in the NFL. While many will say the 1972 Dolphins didn't have the toughest of schedules to deal with, they still had to play the bulk of their season without QB Bob Gresie due to his broken leg.
Their running game was the strength as both Larry Czonka and Mercury Morris ran for 1,00 yards (they had more rushing yards then passing that season). Even after the Dolphins went 14-0 and knocked off the Browns in the divisional playoffs, they were ON THE ROAD for the AFC Championship Game versus the Steelers (they rotated who hosted year after year until the 80's). While many teams have tried, all have failed in their attempt to become the second resident in Perfectville.
2) Chicago Bulls 72 Win Season in 1995-96
They had MJ and Scottie, Rodman and Phil Jackson, Kerr and Kukoc, and everyone knew that the Bulls were the team to beat in the 1995-96 season. Little did ANYONE know that beating the Bulls this season would be easier said than done.
The Bulls started off hot going 10-1 and winning 23 of their first 25, THEN they reeled off 18 in a row to go 41-3. Then they hit their low point of the season, winning ONLY 19 of their next 24 to be 60-8 heading into the final 3 weeks of the season. Win #70 (breaking the 1971-72 Lakers record of 69) came on April 16th against the Bucks.
They ended 72-10, rolling their way eventually to their fourth championship. Good luck finding a team in today's NBA with the star power, chemistry, and good fortune to get themselves close to what the Bulls did. ( Side-note: The Bulls went 15-3 in the playoffs to finish with 87 total wins, the most all-time in NBA history) Only four letters apply here: G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time)
1) Wilt Chamberlain's 100 Point Game
No matter if it's AVERAGING 50 points a game or being the only man in NBA history to the league in scoring, rebounding, AND assists in different seasons, Wilt The Stilt was by-far the most dominant offensive force in basketball history.
All the records, all of the statistical numbers total in sports pale to the single greatest achievement in sports history: the night Wilt Broke 100.
In the 1962 season, Wilt was at the apex of his offensive dominance averaging 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds per contest for the Warriors. No single game was proof of that than the night he scored 100 points on the New York Knicks in 1962 in Hershey, PA.
Wilt was 28-32 from THE FREE THROW LINE and a mind-boggling 36-63 from the field to total his 100 points as the Warriors beat the Knicks 169-147 (top that Phoenix and Golden State) in front of only 4,124 people. What makes it so mind-blowing is the fact that Chamberlain in the first few minutes of the game had more points that both his teammates AND the Knicks.
Make with it as you wish, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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