Which sports records were set this decade and will probably never be broken?

I got to thinking about this following a conversation about Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden. Now that Bowden has retired, it seems all but impossible for any coach to ever catch Paterno’s record for Division I-A coaching wins. He has 393 wins now…it’s unfathomable that anybody else could average over ten wins a season for 39 years. JoePa’s record of 44 years coaching at one school–which he also set this decade–looks unbreakable too.

So I was wondering…are there any other sports records that tumbled this decade that will probably never be broken? Paterno’s records are likely the most ironclad of them all, but what else is out there?

I’m tempted to say that Barry Bonds’ career HR record is out of reach, now that the Age of Steroids is winding down and his closest rivals like Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez are likely to come up short. But a better choice is probably his MLB-record 232 walks in 2004. I doubt we’ll ever see a hitter as dominant as Bonds “protected” by such weak hitting as the Giants’ lower order again.

In world sport, I think Muttiah Muralitharan’s career Test wicket record of 792 is going to be untouchable. Despite the Future Tours Programme, I think there will be less and less Test cricket played in the coming years. 792 (or whatever Murali finishes on) is going to be very hard to beat.

Any other nominations out there?

All, or most, of Brett Favre’s records will be untouchable. Unless he shares some of that Live Action Embalming Fluid ™ with Peyton Manning.

Pretty much all the records Bonds set in 2004: .609 on base percentage? Ted Williams is the only guy ever to come within 60 points, and he only did that once. 120 intentional walks? 1.421 OPS? Ruth came within 40 points, once, 80 years earlier. Just crazy.

The homerun record is not safe. There is HGH and other drugs that can do the job. Arod is not through.

120 IBBs, incidentally, is good for 76th on the career leaders list. (I actually expected that ranking to be higher, but still.)

He will need to average 30 HR per year for the next 6 years. He will be 35 next season. He is on the cusp, but his production is going to take a serious hit over the next couple years. It is going to be close.

I saw the title, and one thing came to mind for me.

Not sure if it fits the spirit of the OP, but:


I’m still not clear on the specs, but apparently, the suits that Phelps and others used in Beijing and IIRC a part of 2009, have been retired, citing that the suits essentially turn the swimmer into a speedboat, based on how the water hits and passes by the full body suit.

What about Lance Armstrong’s consecutive Tour De France streak?

The Chinese made great pools . Every venue was built to maximize the speeds and make records. It worked very well.

Most hilarious scandal…

Cy Young’s 511 career wins. Baseball has changed so much that very rarely can anyone reach 300 anymore, and it will be a long time before it changes that much again.

Not this decade, but Cal Ripken’s Iron Man record of 2,632 consecutive games seems unlikely to ever be broken.

The Pats 16-0 regular season a couple of years ago can’t be broken unless they lengthen the season. Their 18-1 final record might fall this year…GEAUX SAINTS!

Hard to believe he set that this decade… it seems so long ago! :wink:

Wow. Cy’s been pitching for a long time.

I doubt if you see a 40 something yr old win a gold medal in swimming like what happened last year’s Olympics with Dana Torres. Unless she comes back in 2012.

I think that Peyton could well break a lot of Favre’s records, if he continues to avoid injury. Looking at the numbers below, if Manning can stay healthy and productive for 5 or 6 more seasons, he certainly stands a chance. Peyton has managed to generally avoid serious injury up until now (that issue with a bursa sac notwithstanding).

Parenthetically, 5 seasons from now, Manning would be 38, which happens to be the age at which many great quarterbacks finally started feeling the effects of age and injury.

Of course, it also depends on when Favre finally decides to hang it up, and means it. :wink:

A few examples:

Passing Yards

Favre is currently at 68,468; Manning is at 49,533. If Manning continues to have 4000-yard seasons (he’s averaged 4149 over the past 5 full seasons), it’d only take him 5 more seasons after this one to surpass 70,000 yards (which’d be enough to surpass Favre, if Favre were to retire after this season).


Favre is currently at 491, Manning at 362. Probably safe to assume that Peyton doesn’t get too many more this season. Five more seasons at 28 TD a season would put Manning at 502 – not unreasonable, as he’s averaged 33 TDs over the past 5 years; if you throw out 2004, when he threw 49, he’s still averaged 29 over the past 4.


This one would be harder for Manning. Favre is currently at 6015, Manning at 4181. Peyton’s averaged 342 completions over the past 5 years. If he can do that for 5 more seasons, he’d only be at 5891; if he could pull off a 6th season at that rate, he’d be at 6233.

Consecutive Starts

Favre is currently at 282, Manning at 189. Assuming they both start all three remaining games this season, that’d put it at 285 and 192. If Favre were to retire after this season, Manning could pass him in Game 14 of the 2015 season.


This may be the one that Favre keeps forever; his combination of longevity and making foolish throws may never be matched.

Favre has, to date, thrown 316 interceptions, while Manning has thrown 179. In order to “catch” Brett, Peyton would have to average 27 interceptions over the next 5 seasons – note that Manning has only averaged 11 interceptions over the past 5 years, and he has only thrown more than 20 interceptions twice (in his rookie year of '98, and in '01).

Some of Michael Schumacher’s Formula One records will be very hard to break; 91 wins and 7 World Championships (5 consecutive).

That’s a good one. The career wins record is going to be particularly hard to break if, as many expect, the F1 season is curtailed in the future.

Good call on the other 2004 Bonds records as well. Somehow the walks record struck me as particularly unbreakable, but his OBP and OPS records are about as likely to stand the test of time.

He’s under contract for eight more years, not six. Of course I realize that every year will take away a little something from his swing, but 23ish homeruns per year over eight years is what he needs.

I think you’re right about that one.

It’s amazing how quickly things changed as the Test Match schedule got fuller and fuller over the years. I remember, as a kid, watching Dennis Lillee take his 310th Test wicket to break Lance Gibbs’ world record. Larry Gomes, c. Chappell, b. Lillee.

That was less than 30 years ago.