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NEWS | Aug. 7, 2009

The 10 most unbreakable records in sports(pt. 5)

By Airman 1st Class Patrick McKenna Capital Flyer sports writer

Editor's Note: This article is the last of a five part series counting down the 10 most unbreakable records in sports from 10 to 1.

#2 Jerry Rice's 22,895 career receiving yards - Rice holds several other impressive records (1,549 career catches, 208 career touchdowns), but his career receiving yards mark is the cream of the crop.

There are many reasons that Rice's mark will never be broken, but these two sealed the deal for me.

First, Rice stayed remarkably healthy during his 20 years in the National Football League (playing less than 16 games only twice in his first 19 seasons), which is a testament to his ferocious offseason workout regimen. Rice's work ethic was second to none during his career. It seems players these days can't go more than a few seasons without getting hurt or holding out for more money. You can't break records if you're in the trainer's room or pouting in your agent's office.

Second, Rice was fortunate to catch passes from two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in his career (Joe Montana and Steve Young) and play under the tutelage of arguably the greatest offensive mind the NFL has ever seen in Bill Walsh. In this day and age where teams change offensive coordinators more than ESPN changes Monday Night Football announcers, wide receivers aren't able to enjoy that same continuity over a long term basis. But there was a rare case where those same stars aligned for another talented wide receiver, and let's just say, he's not breathing down Rice's neck.

Marvin Harrison had a future hall of famer as his quarterback (Peyton Manning) and the same offensive coordinator his entire career. He also stayed remarkably healthy (missing only 18 games in 13 seasons), and yet he still stands more than 9,000 yards shy of Rice. This record is Rice's forever.

#1 Wayne Gretzky's 2,857 career points
- What is there to say about Gretzky that can't be summed up by his iconic nickname, "The Great One?" No player in the history of American sports dominated the way Gretzky did in his 21-year career.

It was tough deciding between his career points record and his single season points record (215 points) for this number one spot. The latter is an amazing feat that will also never be sniffed. But for the #1 spot on my unbreakable records list, I had to go with Gretzky's career mark because of how mind-boggling the record is.

Over the course of his career Gretzky played in 1,487 regular season games, during which he totaled 894 goals and 1,963 assists.

To put this record into perspective, one needs to look no further than who sits at #2 on the list.

Mark Messier, a fantastic player in his own right, sits behind Gretzky with an admirable 1,887 career points. Yes, that's right, Gretzky has more career assists than the number two man has total points! May I also mention that Messier played in almost 300 more games than Gretzky?

Some might try and make the argument that this record shouldn't be labeled "unbreakable" with young phenoms like Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin off to such fast starts in their careers. I feel confident in saying that while both will have incredibly successful careers, neither of them will finish ahead of Gretzky.

Both players have averaged approximately 100 points a season in their first four years in the NHL. In order for them to even pass Messier to move into second, they'd have to keep up that same pace for the next 15 seasons. Is that possible? Sure it is. Now what if they want to pass Gretzky? Well they'd have to keep that up same pace every season until the year 2032. Much respect to Sid the Kid and Alexander the Great, but they have no shot at passing "The Great One."