Wednesday, June 23, 2010

JMR's List of the 5 Longest Sporting Events Ever

They probably didn't think that they would have to play each other three days in a row.  But here we are.  John Isner, a 19th seeded! American has battled qualifier Nicolas Mahut to a virtual draw.  It even made the cover of ESPN, something men's tennis has failed to do in years (except when talking about Andre Agassi's drug habits or the rampant betting that occurs in Men's Tennis).  Incidentally, this match has been suspended not once, but twice, because of darkness.

Even though the match winner still has not been determined, almost every record in the history of tennis match play has been broken - number of games, length of match, number of points, longest set, most aces.  In fact, I saw a table of longest matches, and the Isner-Mahut match is longer by 50 PERCENT than the second longest match.  It got me to thinking about what the longest games have been in the five major sports in the U.S.  At first, I looked here for the answers, but decided that that was a little over the top.

1. Baseball.  It wouldn't be baseball unless there were actually TWO records.  One record for most innings and one record for longest game in hours.  In fact the game that holds the record for most innings (26) actually ended as a tie game (Dodgers 1 Braves 1, May 1, 1920).  There is no doubt that Bud Selig used this game as his litmus test when he called a tie in the All Star game 5 years ago.  The longest game in time occured back in 1984 when the White Sox defeated the Brewers 7-6 in a game that lasted 8 hours and 6 minutes.  The fans I'm sure were excited to sit through that game knowing that beer and food were sold out at hour 2 of that game.

2.  Football.  Christmas Day, 1971.  An NFL Playoff Game between the Dolphins and the Chiefs.  The Dolphins eventualy won this game with 7 minutes and 40 seconds gone in the Second Overtime.  The funny thing about this actually was my research.  So many people were condemned for asking such a "stupid" question.  They were scolded that games end up in a tie after the 15 minute overtime.  Followed shortly by the answer given above.   At least three research sites had this string of questions, snarky answers and salty responses.

3.  Basketball.  In a 6 overtime thriller, the Indianapolis Olympians defeated the Rochester Royals 75-73 on January 6, 1951.  A real yawner of a game, if you ask me.  I understand that in the 30 minutes of overtime play, only 23 shots were taken.  23 SHOTS?  How is this entertaining?  By the way, how did the team from Indiana get the name, the "Olympians?"

4.  Hockey.  March 24, 1936.  This is the time of the original 6.  Mud Brunteau scored the game winner for the Red Wings as Detroit defeated the Montreal (soon to be) the Canadiens in the sixth overtime of a semifinal playoff game.

5.  Soccer. (European Football).  Who cares?

So tomorrow, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut will face each other for a third consecutive day.  Neither of these guys will win their second round match regardless, and maybe they don't care.  They just want this to end.  I don't blame them.  As John Isner said at the end of Day 2, "Nothing like this will ever happen again.  Ever."  I hope not, for their sake.

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