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Jan. 4, 2012

Breezing past the records

by Janvi Raichura, Online News Editor
Records are made to be broken. The excitement and thrill of breaking someone else's record, especially a long-standing record, is almost unmatched by any other feeling in the world. Records are momentary goals to strive for and surpass. New Orleans Saints (13-3) quarterback Drew Brees has rewritten the record books three times in a single season, surpassing many records held by present (and future) Hall of Famers.

This Sunday, Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's 28 year old record of single season passing yards. Courtesy of WTOP.com
This Sunday, Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's 28 year old record of single season passing yards.
Drew Brees finished the NFL regular season with a record of 5,476 single season passing yards, breaking former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino's record of 5,084 single season passing yards. Marino's record stood unchallenged for 27 years. He also broke Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning's 2010 record of 450 completed passes, with a new record of 468 completed passes.

And what about breaking your own record? Brees did that too with a 71.6% pass completion rate, breaking his 2009 record of 70.6%. Although extremely impressive, breaking your own record doesn't necessarily have the same satisfaction, because it only means you have improved, while breaking someone else's record means you are truly better than everyone else.

Consider Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic swimmer in history, with 16 Olympic medals over his career. Phelps also holds seven world records, three individual and four relay. If Phelps were to break one of his three individual records, consider how much impact it would have. Technically, all Phelps did was to swim faster than he had at an earlier meet, which is ultimately the goal of swimming anyway. If someone else were to beat Phelps and set a new record, that would be awesome because they swam faster than the fastest recorded time in the world. But Phelps breaking his own record is just a really hyped up version of saying Phelps' swimming improved, while changing a few numbers in the records books.

Phelps already knows he is the best in that particular event, so breaking his own record and setting a new one probably isn't as exciting. However if someone were to break Phelps' record, it would be more gratifying because they have proven that they are better than the best. Breaking your own record is just improvement, which is expected in any sport. Breaking someone else's record is proving you are the new best.

Brees should be thoroughly congratulated for leading his team to an overall victorious season and for breaking two individual records, but it is important to note that one of the records Brees broke was his own - which is not nearly as impressive as breaking Dan Marino's single season passing yard record. Breaking his own record just signifies that he improved, while breaking Marino and Manning's record proves that he is better than both of them. No matter what, this year will go down in the record books for Brees and it will be interesting to see if he can lead his team to a Super Bowl win with his immense talent.



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  • pain to read on January 4, 2012 at 6:28 PM
    nice content and all but...

    "...that would be awesome because"

    was this written by a 6 year old?
    • Anonymous on January 6, 2012 at 11:31 AM
      Thank god someone else agrees with me. I think the writing standards need to be raised.
      • wow on January 11, 2012 at 4:46 PM
        if you think so, why dont you join? i think theyre accepting applications soon.
  • Anonymous on January 4, 2012 at 7:59 PM
    I don't think we should discount from people breaking their own record. The fact that the hold the record itself is amazing, and breaking it should be looked at making the record even more amazing. If you look at many long-time record holders, such as Roger Maris in single season home runs, later to be broken by Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire, we see that he really only had one breakout season, we see that to repeat remarkable seasons is near-impossible, and being able to break your own record is better, if not the same value as breaking another's record.
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