Open Mic: Sports' Greatest Accomplishment

Ryan Senior Writer IJune 13, 2008

When thinking up the what achievement I would choose, the flood gates of my mind opened up. Even sports I don't typically follow came to mind.

The Chicago Bulls of the '90s winning six titles in eight seasons with Michael Jordon winning Finals MVP all six times.

Emmit Smith breaking Walter Payton's all-time rushing yardage record.

Wayne Gretzky's 50 goals in 39 games nearly won me over.  But it's another accomplishment that Gretzky achieved which made me write this. And there are 2,857 reasons why I decided upon this.

Gretzky's career mark for points is without a doubt the most incredible thing a single athlete has done in sports.

Consider this: he played 1,487 career regular season games, averaging nearly two points per game over his 20 year career.  That is absolutely mind boggling.  Needless to say, he left the NHL as the all-time leader in goals, assists and points, amongst 62 records he held or shared.

Even more incredible, if you stripped away his 894 career goals, he would still be the career points leader over the second place Mark Messier by 76 points.  For you math whizzes out there, that's an ungodly 1,963 assists putting him at a shade under an assist and a half a game for his career.

He dominated everyone despite being knocked for not being the biggest guy or the best skater out there. What he lacked in physical skills, he made up for with the greatest hockey IQ ever and an unparalleled vision.

Not only are the numbers staggering, but that kind of production may never be seen again, no matter how talented the player. The game has changed since the days when Gretzky was running rampant. Players are bigger and faster and coaches focus more heavily on defense.

Simply put, he did things no one in SPORTS has done. Period. Exclamation point.

This is just another reason why the Great One's accomplishment was the greatest.