Wednesday, July 4, 2012

So this summer has at least ONE basketball record worth noting.

Forget LeBron James -- I only just realized that he got his title in a strike-shortened season, making it a fluke like the time Anthony Dilweg was a starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.  (Remember Anthony Dilweg? He was the 1988 ACC Player of the Year, the MVP of the 1989 Hula Bowl, and holds the Duke single-season passing record.  He started 9 games for the Packers in his best pro season.  Ah, fame, your caress so fleeting...)

Anyway, LeBron's single title puts him in rare company with other highly-touted, potentially unproductive people like St. Peyton Manning, and while you're free to make your own judgments about him, be careful lest you incur the wrath of Slate sports writer Josh Levin by daring to say that one's achievement on the field might possibly have to do with one's personality, and/or that one might measure the true worth of an athlete by how many championships he's won.  Levin's article makes the usual points about how championships don't determine merit and/or how we can't confuse LeBron's failures to win a championship in anything but a shortened season with characteristics that LeBron may or may not have, and in both of those points LeBron is wrong.

Team sports being team sports, yeah, individuals can't win championships unless the right team is put around them.  But true athletics are measured by objective criteria.  That's why track and field is a better sport than rhythmic gymnastics, and why things like ice skating have compulsories: art is subjective.  Sports are not.  Argue all you want about who's a better quarterback, Dan Marino or John Elway.  Elway has two Super Bowl rings, Marino does not, and that's how we settle that debate.  There's no way to tell, really, whether Joe Montana was so good that he made everyone else better around him or whether everyone else was so good that Joe Montana was made better by them (other than, perhaps, that Jerry Rice made everyone around him look better, and so that was a rare combination), but the fact remains that Joe Montana won a bunch of Super Bowls and so we remember him and place him on a level far above other quarterbacks of that era, like Anthony Dilweg.

Could you make an argument that Anthony Dilweg was actually a better quarterback than Joe Montana? Sure.  But you could also argue that gravity repels objects or Higgs Bosons exist.  You can argue anything.  You'd be wrong, but you could argue it.

So LeBron got his title just like Peyton got his and that doesn't mean anything because it was strike-shortened and/or against Rex Grossman, but let's set that aside and note the point of this post, which is that there was actually a MAJOR BASKETBALL ACHIEVEMENT just this past week and it's getting little notice:

Dan Loriaux, who held the world record for most 3-point shots made in a minute (25), this past week broke the world record for most 3-point shots made in 24 hours, completing over 10,0000 over the past weekend, and losing a toenail in the process.

(I don't know how that happened; I just wanted to warn anyone who might be tempted to try to beat this record, beware of toe-related mishaps.  Have you ever lost a toenail? It's gross.  It turns all black and gray and just hangs out for a while before dropping off.  Sick.  I lost one once when a crab bit me in Florida when I was a kid.  True story.) 

Dan's three-point record isn't on the Guinness site yet, but it should be recognized, and also not confused with the world record for the fastest three point turn in a car (14:01 seconds, set by Freddie Flintoff, who set fourteen records in a one-day period.)

I wasn't able to actually find out what the most world records broken in one day was; this site suggests it's either 30, or 100.  But that's not Guinness, which is the only one that matters, right?


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