Open Mic: Ranking Sports' Top Ten Most Unbreakable Records

Taylor SmithAnalyst IJune 12, 2008

Records in sports represent the pinnacle of achievement for a person or team competing at the highest level of competition in the world.

Records were meant to be broken. However, there are some records in professional sports that may never even be touched again.

10. Prairie View A&M Football's 86 Consecutive Losses

Starting on the most dubious of dubious records, Prairie View A&M's unbelievable lack of success in football deserves a spot. The Panthers lost 86 consecutive games from 1989-1998.

In 1991, the team scored just 48 points for the entire season, while giving up an average of 56...per game to opponents. The previous record for consecutive losses was Columbia University's 44-game streak.

Some team with no foreseeable future should take a shot at this record. It might actually help their attendance if they are struggling to put people in the seats. Hell, if a team was on the verge of losing its 89th consecutive football game, I'd pay to see it.

9. Ty Cobb's .366 Career Batting Average

Ty Cobb's career batting numbers are simply stunning. Cobb's lowest batting average during a single season in his career was .316.

For 22 consecutive seasons, he recorded a batting average of over .320 and set 90 Major League Baseball records during his career, many of which still stand today.

He hit over .380 nine times, over .400 three times, and won the Triple Crown in 1909. He finished his career with 4,191 hits, which now ranks second all-time to Pete Rose. Rogers Hornsby ranks second all-time with a .358 career average, which may also never be reached again. The highest career average for a player that retired within the past 20 years is Tony Gwynn's .338.

8. Nolan Ryan's Seven No-Hitters, 5,714 Strikeouts, and 2,795 Walks

Nolan Ryan has thrown three more no hitters, recorded 1,034 more strikeouts (as of June 12, 2008), and recorded 962 more base-on-balls than any other pitcher in Major League Baseball history.

These numbers are staggering, and while the walks record is somewhat dubious, none of them will ever be broken unless Randy Johnson somehow manages to pitch for about 10 more injury-free years.

While he never won a Cy Young Award and has a career winning percentage of just .526, Ryan is considered by many to be one of the most dominating pitchers in ML history, and most of his overwhelming numbers support the claim.

7. Wayne Gretzky's 215-Point Season

With the way the style of play has changed in the NHL over the years, this record is about as untouchable as any.

During Gretzky's 215-point season, the 1985-'86 campaign, he averaged 2.69 points per game. To put this in perspective, the top two points leaders in the league during the 2007-'08 season, Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, combined for 218 points.

Gretzky also finished his career with 2,857 points, another record that will probably stay safe forever. Mark Messier ranks second all-time with 1,187.

6. Boston Celtics' Eight Consecutive NBA Championships

From 1959-1966, the Boston Celtics won a record eight consecutive championships.

Not only is this an NBA record, but it is a record for a North American professional sports team. Oh, and they also won the titles in 1957, 1968, and 1969. That would be 11 championships in just 13 years.

Red Auerbach coached every title during the streak, during which they met the Lakers in the finals six times. In all, the Celtics have won eight of 10 meetings with the Lakers franchise in the finals, having lost the last two, in 1985 and 1987, respectively.

5. UCLA Men's Basketball's 88-Game Win Streak and Seven Straight NCAA Championships

John Wooden's UCLA Bruins basketball team won seven consecutive NCAA Men's Basketball titles from 1967 to 1973 and won a staggering 88 consecutive games from January 24, 1971 to January 19, 1974.

Interestingly enough, the loss before the streak began and the loss that ended the streak both came at the hands of Notre Dame. For one thing, keeping a college basketball team together for four years these days is nearly impossible with the NBA's early entry rules.

In all, Wooden coached the Bruins to a record 10 NCAA championships in 12 years. No other college basketball team has ever won more than two consecutive titles, and no team has even gone undefeated for an entire regular season since 1976.

4. Wilt Chamberlain

There isn't enough room here to write in-depth about all of Wilt Chamberlain's individual achievements, but here are the are the most impressive numbers.

In the 1961-'62 season, Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points per game. He holds the record for most career 60-point games in the regular season with 32, second place is Michael Jordan...with four.

For his career, he averaged 22.9 rebounds per game. On November 24, 1960, he grabbed 55 rebounds in one game.

Perhaps his most well-known record is his 100-point game on March 2, 1962, against the New York Knicks. Kobe's 81-point game in 2006 is the second-highest total ever. Even Kobe's mark may never be hit again.

Wilt Chamberlain has so many untouchable records that he could probably fill a list to 100 by himself...but this only goes up to 10, and nobody wants to read a list to 100 of anything, so let's move on.

3. Jerry Rice

While Jerry Rice doesn't have the utterly dominating and incomprehensible numbers that Wilt had, the sheer number of NFL records he holds earns him the spot up here at number four.

Rice holds the career NFL records for receptions with 1,549, receiving yards with 22,895 (about 8,000 ahead of second all-time Tim Brown, untouchable), touchdown receptions with 197, yards from scrimmage with 23,540, all-purpose yards with 23,546, and total touchdowns with 208.

Rice caught at least one touchdown pass in 20 straight seasons. He had owned the single-season touchdown receptions record with 22 before the 2007-08 season, but it was broken by Randy Moss.

However, Rice accomplished the feat in just 12 games, Moss took 16. It could easily be argued that Rice would've trounced Moss' current mark had he played in as many games. Like Wilt, there are far too many records that Rice owns to compile into this article.

2. Cy Young's 511 Career Wins

In my profile, I have this as the single most unbreakable record in sports. Well, it probably is, but it goes second because Cal Ripken, Jr. is much more interesting.

Young has 94 more wins than the second all-time, Walter Johnson. Playing from 1890-1911, baseball was obviously much different than it is nowadays.

Of Young's 815 career starts, he threw a complete game in 749. Given the fact that most starting pitchers nowadays start just one of every five games, there is no feasible way for a player to ever come close to this mark and unless Randy Johnson manages to win 12 more games during his career, we may never again even see another 300-game winner, let alone 400...or 511.

Young also owns the record for most career losses...but who's counting. He has the award named after him, who wants to hear about his losses?

1. Cal Ripken, Jr.'s Consecutive Games Streak

This is a record that has a very, very small chance of ever being approached, especially in a day and age in which players can throw out their backs sneezing (Sosa) or ruin their careers trying to carry venison up the stairs (Clint Barmes).

Ripken played in 2,632 consecutive baseball games. That means Ripken played in every Baltimore Orioles game from June 5, 1982, until September 20, 1998. In fact, Ripken played every inning of every game from June 5, 1982, until September 14, 1987.

Until 2007, then-Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada had a streak of 1,152 consecutive games played before having his wrist broken by now-Astros teammate Doug Brocail. Braves' RF Jeff Francoeur had a streak of 370 consecutive games played broken earlier this season.


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