Wednesday, December 15, 2010
2632 or 297? Which Streak is Better?
I can hear it now: "oh come on, Favre takes so many hits. He's much tougher than Ripken." I am not bashing Favre for not being a tough guy. Sure he is. However, two reasons why Favre can't match Ripken are as follows. One, the NFL has an insane amount of rules meant to protect the quarterback. If you hit Favre or any other QB the wrong way, you get flagged for it. Yes, Favre does get smacked around a bit, but compared to running backs, lineman, etc., not so much. Secondly, the NFL has the shortest regular season of any professional sport and Favre only had to get himself ready to play once a week. Baseball has the longest regular season and sometimes players have to be ready to play six to seven days a week.
Ripken's streak lasted from 1982 until 1998. That's absurd. The active leader in all of Major League Baseball for consecutive games played in Matt Kemp, and he's only played 204 straight games. To reach Ripken, Kemp has to play another 2428 games (roughly 15 seasons). Not gonna happen. Peyton Manning is not the active leader in consecutive NFL games played with 205. With the rules in place to protect the quarterback, it's not unthinkable that Manning would break Favre's record. Is anyone going to break Ripken's record? Considering only seven players in MLB history have played 1000 straight games and that Ripken has over 500 games on guy in second place (Lou Gehrig) and has more than doubled the number of games for the third place holder (Everett Scott, 1307), I'll go out on a limb and say that his record won't be broken.
Let's not forget that Ripken played one of the toughest positions on the diamond, shortstop, for the majority of the time during his streak. I'll never argue that baseball is more physically demanding than football on a per game basis, but the physical and mental capacity needed to play 162 straight games from April to September is ridiculous, let alone playing 2632 games over 17 straight seasons. Ripken's streak is more impressive, hands down.