Redefining Record Players

January 20, 2022

All Time Records are special.  Well, unless you are Tom Brady.  He handles more records than a mustached DJ in the late 1970s.   We will get to Tom’s Time Stamps later on in this article.  

 I have been fortunate in my lifetime to see almost every career record in sports broken.   Some more prominent than others.  I remember being at Riverfront Stadium Labor Day weekend as a six-year-old as Pete Rose closed in on Ty Cobb’s all time hit record.   I was eating at the Town Tavern (not what you think it is), a few days later, in my hometown with my parent when Rose got 4192 against Eric Show.   I didn’t understand what it meant at the time, but almost 40 years later it will likely last throughout my lifetime.  

I remember being in the living room of our house with my roommates in college when Mark McGwire hit #62 against the Cubs at Busch Stadium.   And then 3 years later watching, with the same guys, a year after I graduated as Barry Bonds repeatedly broke the record he set in his previous at bat.   Then 6 years later working in Huntsville as Bonds passed Hank Aaron en route to 756 career home runs.   Baseball’s most hallowed records shattered in less than a decade with all due respect to Cy Young’s 511 wins (unbreakable).  

As far as coaches go, I was working in Huntsville when Bobby Knight caught and passed John Wooden only to have Mike Krzyzewski pass his former coach and mentor a few years later.  

Kareem Passing Wilt (1984), Gretzky passes Howe (1989), Saban passes Bear Bryant (2021) all are memorable and special. 

So why don’t we care about records anymore?   Or at least not as much as we used to?   See Tom Brady.  Every game he plays a game he sets a new record.  No matter what he does.  I understand that football records aren’t near and dear to us other sport’s highest marks, but Brady’s numbers now are entering interstellar space.  He is the human equivalent of Voyager 1.   All Time Yards, All Time Post-Season Yards, All Time TDs, All Time Post-season TDs, All Time Super Bowl Appearances and Wins, All Time Super Bowl MVP Leader, All Time Games played by a QB.   The only record that he doesn’t hold is career games by a player. That belongs to Morton Anderson with 382.  Brady has played in 318 games, so he is 64 away.   He probably won’t get there but don’t hell him that.  That’s just 3 ½ years away.  

He has become the greatest to do anything in any sport in American History.  Can any athlete come close to anything he has done and continues to do?  I can think of only one.  

Barring injury, sometime in April, LeBron James will catch Karl Malone for second all-time on the NBA’s All time scoring list.      And late next season with his 38.388 point he will catch and pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer.  But here is the story that isn’t being told.   Later this season Lebron James will record his 10,000th  Career assist.  

 Putting him behind only Magic, Mark Jackson, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Jason Kidd and John Stockton.  By playing three more season’s he will end up only behind Stockton on the career list.    He and Oscar Robertson are the only two players to be in the top 10 career scoring leaders and assist leaders.   Lebron will be #1 and #2 in each category.  

The moral of the story.  Enjoy Brady and James.  Enjoy them now.  This will all be over in the next 5 years.   I look back on Mike Tyson, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Jerry Rice and think about what they mean to their sport and what I would play to watch any of them just one more time.   We have two legends still playing.   Enjoy them.  

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