Modern Records That Won't Be Broken

Phil Plantier

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I mentioned this last night, but Tom Brady’s career stats in the Super Bowl (attempts, completions, yardage and TDs) have to be on a short list of modern records that will never be broken. In each category his career totals are more than the #2 and #3 guy on the list combined. He now has the #1 and #2 yardage games in SB history.
I'm not keen to join the "Belichick suxx0rs at GM/Defense" hot take threads, so let's take a step or two back and each suggest a record that we think won't be broken. Let's set the time period as post-1981.

And, since I started, I'll nominate the easiest one: Jerry Rice's 22,895 receiving yards. Higher than the rushing record. It's unlikely someone will come within 5,000 yards of it.
 

BigSoxFan

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I'm not keen to join the "Belichick suxx0rs at GM/Defense" hot take threads, so let's take a step or two back and each suggest a record that we think won't be broken. Let's set the time period as post-1981.

And, since I started, I'll nominate the easiest one: Jerry Rice's 22,895 receiving yards. Higher than the rushing record. It's unlikely someone will come within 5,000 yards of it.
Brady:

1. 5 SB wins as starting QB
2. 8 SB appearances as starting QB
3. 7 straight conference championship game appearances as starting QB

Simply too hard to do in this day and age.
 

DJnVa

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Brady:

1. 5 SB wins as starting QB
2. 8 SB appearances as starting QB
3. 7 straight conference championship game appearances as starting QB

Simply too hard to do in this day and age.

These can all be broken in next 365 days.
 

Hoya81

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For ignominious records I submit the following :
Farve’s 336 career interceptions and 166 career fumbles. No active player is within 100 ints or 50 fumbles of either record.

The single season interception record is 42 by George Blanda for the 1962 Oilers in only 14 games. Post ‘81, the highest is 35 by Testaverde for the ‘88 Buccaneers. I doubt we see anyone break 30 ever again.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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Unless there are significant rules changes that favor the defense, Paul Krause's record of 81 career interceptions will never be broken. I thought both of the Woodsons (Rod and Charles) had a shot, but neither came very close. I dont think anyone else will ever even get that close.
 

InstaFace

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It's not in the time horizon we're discussing, but Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak and Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game, I feel confident in saying will stand for all time, unless the game evolves to a point unrecognizable to those of us watching in the current era. And, ya know, brief but bizarre anomalies like Johnny Vander Meer in 1938.

In 1981-present, some that come to mind:

- Kerry Wood's game score of 105
- Mariano Rivera's career ERA+ of 205
- Hakeem Olajuwon's 3,830 career blocks is 16% more than Mutombo. He averaged 3.09 per game, though, way ahead of Mutombo (2.75), Kareem (2.57) and Ewing (2.45), who are the only top contenders who had Olajuwon's longevity at the position. Mark Eaton and Manute Bol kept his pace, and David Robinson nearly so, but were a number of years behind in games played. It could stand for many decades given the pace at which shooting is improving faster than rim-guarding.
- Serena Williams has won major championships 18 calendar years apart (1999 USO and 2017 AO). She also simultaneously held all 4 major titles twice, though each time she was only able to defend 1 of them (Wimbledon).
- The Bills losing 4 super bowls in a row, if you want to get semi-farcical about what's a "record". But if Favre's interceptions and fumbles are in-bounds, then you've got all sorts of negative stuff.
 

Kliq

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I always thought Hack Wilson’s 191 RBI season has had remarkable durability. Even as offense as exploded and slugging stats demolished, that record has stood the test of time. The offensive style of the 1930s (bunch of singles hitters revolve around one Wilson/Gehrig/Greenberg/Foxx slugger) hasn’t returned to the game.
 

Ralphwiggum

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In addition to the Super Bowl numbers, Brady owns all of the post-season marks for the QB counting stats and nobody is ever touching any of those (and obviously he still has a chance to extend many of these). This is based off of his 37 games started, which is a record. Manning’s 27 is the 2nd most ever by a QB. Roethlisberger is the active leader behind Brady at 21 and Joe Montana started 23 playoff games. So for context let’s look at what a QB would have to do to get to Brady if he started 25 career post-season games, which would place him 3rd all time amongst QBs.

Passes completed: Brady 920, Manning is 2nd at 649. Roethlisberger (age 35) is the highest active player behind Brady at 422. A QB who starts 25 career post-season games would have to average 37 completions per game to catch Brady.

Passes attempted: Brady 1464, Manning 1027. Rapist at 646 is the active leader behind Brady. With 25 post season starts you’d have to average 58 attempts per game to get to Brady.

Touchdown Passes: Brady 71, Joe Montana has 45. Aaron Rodgers at 36 (age 34) at is the active leader behind Brady. Ben has 30. With 25 post season starts you’d have to average 2.8 TDs per game (that is a 45 TD regular season pace over the course of 25 games a number only exceeded 6 times in NFL history).

Passing Yards: Brady 10,226, Manning 7,339. Active leader is Ben at 5,256. With 25 post season starts you’d have to average 409 passing ypg to get to Brady.
 
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mauf

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These things are hard to predict. Norm van Brocklin’s 554 passing yards in a single game (in 1951) looked unassailable for decades. When the rules changed in 1978, only one other QB had thrown for 500 yards in a game. Now, the record still stands, but with the changes to the sport, it has to be one of the most vulnerable records in major professional sports. I’ll be surprised if van Brocklin still holds the record a decade from now.

But this is fun anyway, so I’ll play. Give me Emmitt Smith’s 18,355 career rushing yards. Kareem Hunt just became the first player ever to lead a 16-game NFL season in rushing with fewer than 1,400 yards, so the trend is against any would-be challenger. Frank Gore is within shouting distance, but he won’t get there. No other active player has a snowball’s chance.

Edit: If we’re including sports besides football, Cal Ripken’s consecutive games played streak is the obvious answer, with Wayne Gretzky’s single-season and career scoring marks not far behind.
 

SumnerH

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Edit: If we’re including sports besides football, Cal Ripken’s consecutive games played streak is the obvious answer
When SI ran an article on this in the 1980s, they picked Gehrig's consecutive games played streak as #1 with Dimaggio's hit streak at #2. They even cited Ripken as the then-current frontrunner, but he still needed some absurd number of games played to match Gehrig.
 

grimshaw

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In 1981-present, some that come to mind:

- Kerry Wood's game score of 105
- Mariano Rivera's career ERA+ of 205
Scherzer had a 104 just two years ago. The way k rates are sky rocketing with players going for the downs at record paces, I wouldn't be shocked if this record is broken.

Not that it will end better than Rivera's, but Kimbrel's current ERA+ is 222. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kimbrcr01.shtml
Though you may be looking at the non-ball park adjusted stat?
 

BaseballJones

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Scherzer had a 104 just two years ago. The way k rates are sky rocketing with players going for the downs at record paces, I wouldn't be shocked if this record is broken.
Do you think that the analytics people will change formulas for pitchers given how times have changed in terms of strikeouts? Kind of like era+ adjusts for the league and ballpark contexts, if a pitcher gets 10 strikeouts in an era when 5 strikeouts is a lot, that's different than getting 10 strikeouts in an era when 11 strikeouts happens all the time.
 

Kliq

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Hard to see someone right now catching Rickey Henderson in career steals right now.

Richard Petty’s 200 career wins is as unassailable as Cy Young’s 511.
 

reggiecleveland

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It's not in the time horizon we're discussing, but Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak and Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game, I feel confident in saying will stand for all time, unless the game evolves to a point unrecognizable to those of us watching in the current era. And, ya know, brief but bizarre anomalies like Johnny Vander Meer in 1938.

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I think the 100 point game is in jeopardy with the three point line. I think a guy would need 60 at the half to do it, but in late season game a hot guy vs a tankathon roster could get close. But, other than Kobe I am no sure a guy exists to shamlessly cast up enough shots to get there.

the 56 game record is one I want to see broken, but I doubt pitchers will face condemnation for walking a guy the way they did in Sacred Joe's day. With te current atmosphere where everyone is a HR hitter I doubt we will see people get to 30 very often.
 

SumnerH

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With te current atmosphere where everyone is a HR hitter I doubt we will see people get to 30 very often.
30+ is more common post-1995 than before that. There are 55 streaks of 30+ since 1876; 15 of them are post-1995.

So overall it's .38 streaks/year, but since 1995 it's .68 streaks/year.
 

millionthcustomer

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Wilt Chamberlain also had 55 rebounds in 1960 - no one has come even close since the 60's, with the closest being Moses Malone's 37 in 1979.

With the way the game is played today, I can't see anyone coming close to that.
 

InstaFace

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I think the 100 point game is in jeopardy with the three point line. I think a guy would need 60 at the half to do it, but in late season game a hot guy vs a tankathon roster could get close. But, other than Kobe I am no sure a guy exists to shamlessly cast up enough shots to get there.

the 56 game record is one I want to see broken, but I doubt pitchers will face condemnation for walking a guy the way they did in Sacred Joe's day. With te current atmosphere where everyone is a HR hitter I doubt we will see people get to 30 very often.
Wilt got there with, reportedly, his teammates eagerly feeding him the ball on fast breaks and basically every possession. It was a team focus to have him put up a ridiculous, monster number. Kobe got 81 on a night when everything was falling but even so only shot 60% from the field, and the whole team only had 18 assists so he was trying to do it all without much help. I think a serious threat to that number would have to come from a center who could score at will, like prime Shaq but with good enough FT% that he isn't routinely hacked, and where his teammates' offensive focus is based wholly on getting it to him in the post like Wilt.

BTW, fun with numbers: Wilt has 6 of the top 11 single-game scoring totals in NBA history, 12 of the top 19, and 23 of the top 41. Wilt has:
- 9 of the 14 games with 58 points
- 8 of the 12 games with 59 points
- 3 of the 12 games with 60 points (Kobe has 2, nearly a decade apart)
- 6 of the 13 games with 61 points
- 6 of the 9 games with 62 points
- 2 of the 6 games with 63 points
- 0 of the 3 games with 64 points
- 3 of the 4 games with 65 points
- The only 66-point game, all 4 of the 67-point games, and 1 of 2 68-point games.

On that list of top-115 single-game efforts (57+ points), here is the leaderboard for who appears most often:

52: Wilt Chamberlain
7: Michael Jordan
7: Kobe Bryant
4: Elgin Baylor
3: Rick Barry
2: Lebron James
2: Allen Iverson
2: Russell Westbrook
2: Purvis Short
2: Dominique Wilkins

That makes a pretty strong case for how unbreakable the record is.
 

SumnerH

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Wilt Chamberlain also had 55 rebounds in 1960 - no one has come even close since the 60's, with the closest being Moses Malone's 37 in 1979.

With the way the game is played today, I can't see anyone coming close to that.
Which is why the thread is limited to modern records. If you open it up to all-time, things like Old Hoss Radbourne's 59 wins in a season are far bigger locks than most of the stuff in the thread.
 

Kliq

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Wilt’s most unassailable record is in ‘62 he averaged 48.5 minutes per game for the season. Think about that.
 

SumnerH

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Some of us still think of the 1960s as modern
In the context of sports records, I think it's fair to consider the pre-3-point-line era as pretty starkly different from the modern game. I'd make a similar cutoff with the DH in baseball.

The NFL has more frequent and gradual rules changes, but football also seems to have altered itself in a similar timeframe (plus or minus); Dan Marino was playing a game that differed in degree from today, but Unitas was playing one that differed in kind. 1974 and 1978 seem to have had significant rules changes paving the way for a more passing-oriented league, but again the NFL rules are muddier and there's not as clear a cutoff point.
 

biff_hardbody

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Bobby Orr's 139 points in a season for a defenseman and, though not a record per se, Bobby Orr winning the Art Ross as the league leader in scoring as a defenseman (he's the only Dman ever to win the Art Ross and he did it twice!).
 

curly2

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Scherzer had a 104 just two years ago. The way k rates are sky rocketing with players going for the downs at record paces, I wouldn't be shocked if this record is broken.
Especially in the era of tanking. The Marlins will be godawful this year, and Scherzer, Strasburg and Syndergaard all should get several starts against them.
 

InstaFace

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In the post-1981 constraint, I think I like the suggestion of Gostkowski's 478 consecutive PATs made, more than any other (non-joking) idea here, including Mariano Rivera's career 205 ERA+. They're not moving those attempts back to the 2-yard line, and the record will surely stand until they do.
 

reggiecleveland

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30+ is more common post-1995 than before that. There are 55 streaks of 30+ since 1876; 15 of them are post-1995.

I wonder if teams trying to get offensive players at all positions means, even with fewer guys with hit totals as their main assest the fact middle infielders and catchers are much better hitters than pre 95 explains that trend. Still the rise in strikeouts makes it hard to imagine a guy getting to the 40s or 50s
 

mauf

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The NFL has more frequent and gradual rules changes, but football also seems to have altered itself in a similar timeframe (plus or minus); Dan Marino was playing a game that differed in degree from today, but Unitas was playing one that differed in kind. 1974 and 1978 seem to have had significant rules changes paving the way for a more passing-oriented league, but again the NFL rules are muddier and there's not as clear a cutoff point.
The 1978 rule changes were the big ones and are the most logical breakpoint for dividing the modern and pre-modern eras (though some would argue for the AFL-NFL merger 8 years earlier).

I don’t think the DH rule changed baseball as profoundly — though the change to the mound in 1969 probably made some old pitching records unassailable. (Even when the pendulum swings back to pitching and defense, no one is going to touch Koufax’s non-adjusted 1963-66 numbers.)

I think you’re right about hockey and basketball — they weren’t even the same sports prior to the 1970s.
 

FredJones

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Brady:

1. 5 SB wins as starting QB
2. 8 SB appearances as starting QB
3. 7 straight conference championship game appearances as starting QB

Simply too hard to do in this day and age.
Brady also took the regular season all time wins record this year, leaving him with the other win records as well:
1. 196 regular season wins (Favre and Peyton in second with 186)
2. 223 total wins (Peyton in second with 200).
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Football_League_career_quarterback_wins_leaders]

Brees and Big Ben are both 70 games behind the total wins column, and no other active quarterbacks are within 100.

The consistency required to even sniff getting close to Brady in these stats is incredibly daunting.

The closest QB under 30 is Russell Wilson at 29 with 65 regular season wins and 73 total wins. He's basically out of contention already, needing to average 13 wins per year over 10 years to get to 195 wins regular season wins.
 

Reverend

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It is kind of amazing how equipment has driven changes in football, hockey, tennis, but a sport where only the shoes have changed may be the most different.
I wonder if that’s why—fewer limiting factors.
 

SumnerH

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I am not getting this one either and I have had my coffee. Kentucky and memphis have both been to the final four before Calipari arrived.
His first time, not the institution’s. The joke wouldn’t work, otherwise.

EDIT: Calipari went to the Final Four for his first time with UMass. But then the run was stripped, so he technically hadn’t been to the Final Four. So then he went to the Final Four for the first time (for the second time) with Memphis. But that was also stripped. So then he went to the Final Four for the first time (for the third time) with Kentucky.
 
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