Will Top Records Continue to Fall?
This is an argumentative piece written by Jordan Artzy and Pablo Rosero. Jordan Artzy writes in negation while Pablo Rosero writes in affirmation.
What constantly fascinates sports fans alike is the fact that seemingly impossible human feats continue to be challenged everyday. Whether it is John Ross’ incredulous 40 yard dash, or Russell Westbrook’s 42 triple-doubles, top records in sports will continue to be shattered. Or will they?
Affirmative by Pablo Rosero
“Life is true to form; records are meant to be broken”- Mark Spitz,1950.
Whether it’d be Hank Aaron’s homerun record or John Stockton’s assist record, records are meant to fall: it’s just a matter of time. The year 2017 alone has seen the fall of various records that everyone thought would last forever.
Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash record fell to University of Washington’s John Ross III at the 2017 NFL Combine and was a shock to everyone. Adidas even offered an Island (Yes an ISLAND) to whoever could top CJ2k’s 40 yard dash time in Adidas (Ross did it in Nikes). Russell Westbrook also dethroned Oscar Robertson’s 55 year run with the most triple-doubles in an NBA season. This begs the questions of will records continue to fall?
The answer is yes.
Through the decades we have seen athletes become bigger, stronger, and more athletic. You have a 6’8 260+ pound LeBron James being able to do everything a point guard can with the vertical of a long jumper, and the body of a football star, while being the Albert Einstein of Basketball. While many former stars say that today’s players could not produce back then, it’s hard to fathom such an idea. While I agree that the athletes of yesteryear were more skillful, the fact is that when you have a bowling ball who can run a 4.4 40 yard dash, it’s hard to imagine anyone stopping him.
In the last Olympics, two of the greatest athletes of all time showed why they have earned this title and trumped further records. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and United States Swimmer Michael Phelps continued their historic runs in the Olympics as they continued to shatter records.
While all the credit is being given to the athletes, let’s not forget that without modern medicine they would not be able to break these records. Science has advanced to the point where a player could get hurt and still come back and perform at a high level. Back then a initial torn ACL would’ve been a career ender, now guys have two or three and still have a somewhat productive career.
In large part yes, records will continue to fall in this era and the era after due to athletes becoming bigger,stronger,more athletic, and smart, and increased longevity of a career cause by modern medicine.
Certain records to keep an eye out for is the all time points record in the NBA by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar which, if he keeps his current pace for the next 4 years, LeBron James is near breaking, the all time 3-point record by Ray Allen which Steph Curry is on pace to break, and the NFL single season rushing record which Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott could break behind that monster Offensive Line.
Negation by Jordan Artzy
When you analyze the history of the greats, you view legends like Bill Russell with 11 rings, Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points, and even the Miami Dolphins’ perfect season. Many players and teams have inched near these feats, but some of these records are simply unable to be broken. The records placed by the legends of sports are their legacy and make them immortal to the current (as well as future) athletes of the world.
A prime example includes Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points in a game. This record will stand the test of time merely due to the fact of Wilt’s dominance in the NBA. The only player to come near Wilt’s feat is Kobe Bryant with his stellar 81 point game. Other players have come close, but the next amount of points in a game are still held by Chamberlain with 78 and 73 points. Even the current superstars of the NBA don’t believe they will ever be able to drop more than 100 points in one game. Players in the NBA simply cannot even fathom dropping 100 points due to the competitiveness of sports today, and simply the desire to keep the late Wilt’s lasting legacy.
While I do agree with the fact that humans are not yet at peak performance, many of the records accomplished back then are simply too difficult to accomplish with the sheer competitiveness of professional athletes. Major professional sports organizations such as the NBA, NFL, and MLB contain a large array of superstars making it hard for one player to dominate. Back then, one would likely agree that players like Jerry Rice, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Wayne Gretzky were at the forefront of each’s respective sport. Today, however, the same cannot be agreed upon do to the large competitiveness amongst positions in sports. But what does this have to do with breaking records? Well let’s look at David Fizdale’s comment after his game against Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder.
“We held him from getting a triple-double, so take that, Russell Westbrook.” said Fizdale after the matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder April 07, 2017.
While Fizdale was clearly joking, it does show that there is a certain competitiveness in the NBA to keep a player’s legacy in tact.
There are hundreds of records being broken by the top athletes of the decade, but the magnitude of some records held by the greats are simply too difficult to conquer. Numbers placed by the greats have the possibility of being broken, but not in a foreseeable future.