In Number Crunching, we take a look at the stats and records that have caught our attention this month.
We start with a sobering stat from the world of athletics.....
100m Doping Shame
Stat: Of the 50 fastest Men's 100m sprint times ever run, only 15 were run by an athlete NOT banned for drugs or subject to serious allegations of missed or failed drugs tests. All 15 were run by Usain Bolt.
A damning statistic, and perhaps the greatest shame is that convicted drug cheats don't just ruin their own careers, they also implicate and raise questions about the performances of those who do run clean.
Stats such as the above, and documentaries like Icarus, the exposing of the systematic doping of Russian athletes, makes it increasingly hard to trust any athletic performance these days. Even Usain Bolt.
In a sport where it is vital for an audience to believe what they see, each failed drug test diminishes that trust further and spoils the fun for everyone.
Ronaldo Breaks The All-Time Goalscoring Record
Record: Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored more official career goals than any other footballer in history. His 760 goal tally overtakes the previous record of Austria-Czech legend Josef Biscan (759).
Comically, within hours of his record-breaking goal against Napoli being scored, the Czech FA mysteriously found an additional 62 goals than had previously been reported, saying "the History and Statistics committee of the Czech FA counted all the goals scored by the legendary Josef Bican and we can declare he scored 821 goals in official matches."
Either way, Ronaldo deserves the utmost respect for his relentless pursuit of more goals.
Not a goal that typically gets mentioned, but for me this header for Manchester United against Roma perfectly illustrates the two defining traits that make Ronaldo the player he is. Sheer power and athleticism.
For reference, Messi currently sits on 719 goals, and is two years younger. The race is on.
The Gabba and Anfield - Two Fortresses Breached In A Week
In the space of 48hrs, two proud and longstanding home records were broken. Where do they stand in the history books of all time home winning streaks? And how much has COVID impacted the end of these runs?
Until losing the 4th Test to India, Australia had been undefeated at the Gabba in Brisbane for 31 Test Matches, last losing there in 1988.
Australia's streak at the Gabba is the second longest undefeated run by a test team at one ground. The record is 34 by Pakistan at Karachi, covering a staggering 45 years.
Until losing to Burnley, Liverpool were 68 games unbeaten at home in the Premier League, stretching back to April 2017.
This is the second longest unbeaten home run in Premier League history, behind Chelsea, who remained unbeaten for 86 home games between February 2004 and October 2008.
An important factor to consider and something that can't be underestimated, is the absence of any crowd at Anfield and a heavily reduced one at the Gabba, when both of these recent runs were broken. 25,000 fans in the kop-end belting out You'll Never Walk Alone, or a hostile and refreshed Gabba crowd getting stuck in to the young and inexperienced Indian side, and the tasks become that much harder.
Both fine performances by the visiting side, particularly by India, but they certainly had an easier ride than those that came and tried before COVID took the crowds away.
Perhaps the finest home record run of all-time involves Jose Mourinho, who across more than nine years and 150 matches, remained undefeated at home in league football as manager of Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid. Mourinho was simply a master at engaging with his fans before and during a game and calling on them when his team needed them most 150 games of football! Let that sink in.
Tiger’s Dominance At His Peak
The recent news that Tiger will miss a number of upcoming tournaments after undergoing back surgery had us digging through the plethora of mind-boggling Tiger stats from his peak. One that stood out to us was this:
72 players, including Tiger, had 100 or more rounds in Majors from 1997 to 2013. The best cumulative scores to par in that group of 72 were:
- Tiger Woods -126
- Steve Flesch +125
- Phil Mickelson +128
Tiger was a mighty 251 shots better than the next best over the period.
Take a moment to enjoy his Top 10 shots on tour.....
The Longest Range Goal Ever Recorded
On January 21st Newport County goalkeeper Tom King scored the longest range goal ever recorded in a competitive football match, with a strike of over 96.01 metres.
Michael Phelps’ Golf Record
Michael Phelps broke many records as an Olympic swimmer, but he also holds a very fine golf record.
In 2012, Phelps holed a putt of 159 feet at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. for the longest putt ever televised.