Top 10 Unbreakable Records in Major League Baseball


Organized baseball in this country dates back to the late 1800s. And pretty much every milestone possible has already happened.

Clinching a World Series on a walk-off home run? It’s happened twice. Hitting two grand slams in one inning? You bet. Father and son duo blasting back-to-back home runs? Check. Hitting a bird with a ball mid-pitch? Also, check.

But some records manage to standout above the others. They’re so monumental, so insurmountable, that not only will they never be broken, but they’ll never even be challenged.

These are those records.

10. A club winning 117 or more games in a single season

Winning 100-plus games used to be a common occurrence in baseball. But since the beginning of the 2000s, teams regularly surpassing the century mark has tapered off.

Only 12 teams have won 100 or more games in the last 15 years, with a majority of those coming thanks to the loaded New York Yankees, who topped 100 wins four times between 2000-2010.

Three teams won 100-plus games each in 2002 and 2003, but we haven’t had multiple teams win 100 or more games since 2005 — which was also the same year St. Louis won 105 games, the most the sport has seen this millennium.

Considering that 95 years passed between the Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners each winning 116 games in a single season, and that the most a team has a come close to tying them was still two games shy, it will probably be another nine decades before we see another team come close to 116 wins.

9. Hank Aaron’s 2,297 career RBI

Not too long ago, Hammerin’ Hank held the record for two of baseball’s Triple Crown categories: home runs and RBIs. And if not for Barry Bonds and BALCO, he’d still be the home run king.

Aaron’s 2,297 total RBI over 23 seasons doesn’t get as much press as his home run record, despite the fact that only three other players (Babe Ruth, Cap Anson and Alex Rodriguez) managed to bring in 2,000-plus runs.

A-Rod — mathematically — could catch Aaron. Rodriguez has averaged 46 RBI over the last three seasons. But he’ll need to bring home about 200 more runners over the next few years to surpass Bad Henry.

But let’s face it, Rodriguez’s numbers are more juiced than a mojito. Seeing his name among the top 5 in RBI leaders only stirs sordid memories from the game’s most tainted era.

8. Ichiro Suzuki’s 262 hits in a single seasonbaseball5

Ichiro was born to hit. The man simply knows how to get on base. He is the ideal lead-off hitter, possessing the ability to reach safely through either finesse or power hitting.

And in 2004, during his fourth season with the Mariners, Ichiro made history. He logged 262 hits to break George Sisler’s single-season record of 257, which stood for nearly ninety years.

No one has come close since. Well, except for Ichiro.

He’s the only active player in the top 25 on the all-time single-season hits list. In fact, he pops up twice: In 2001 — during his rookie year, no less — when he belted 242 hits and again in 2007, when he racked up 238.

Only a handful of players over the last 30 years even appear in the top 50. Wade Boggs had 240 hits in 1985 with the Boston Red Sox. Don Mattingly had 238 for the Yankees in 1986. And Minnesota’s beloved Kirby Puckett peppered 234 hits in 1988.

What further distinguishes Ichrio is the way he’s sustained such impressive hitting. During his first 10 years with Seattle, Ichiro never got less than 200 hits in a season.

We’ll never see another player like him.

7. Pete Rose’s career hits record

While Ichiro may have taken the mantle from Pete Rose as this era’s best hitter, Rose’s longevity will never be duplicated.

The 17-time all-star smashed 4,256 hits during his 24 major league seasons, breaking legendary outfielder Ty Cobb’s record of 4,191 in 1985. The record couldn’t have fallen in a more storybook-like fashion, as Rose captured it in Cincinnati while playing for his hometown Reds.

To top it off, Cobb and Rose are the only members of the 4,000 hits club.

6. Nolan Ryan’s 5,714 career strikeouts

For some reason, Nolan Ryan’s career strikeout total isn’t remembered as well as other historical baseball numbers. Maybe because 5,714 doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily as 61 or 714.

During his 27-year career, Ryan lead the American League in strike outs nine times in three different decades, even topping the National League in strikeouts in 1987 and 1988.

Similar to the all-time home run records, A.J. Burnett C.C. Sabathia are the only active players in the top 50 on the career strike outs list. And both are in the twilight of their careers and more than 3,000 strike outs shy of Ryan.

Ryan also fanned 383 batters in 1973. While that mammoth feat is only good for eighth place on the all-time single season strikeout list, it was the most any player fanned in one year since 1900.

5. Ricky Henderson’s 1,406 career stolen basesbaseball11a

If Ricky Henderson got on base, pitchers were in trouble. Henderson was going to steal second — and maybe even third.

Henderson’s dedication to baserunning was nothing short of remarkable. He stayed in immaculate shape despite 25 seasons in the majors. His work ethic paid off in 1998, when at the age of 40, Henderson lead the majors in steals for the 12th time in his career, swiping 66 bases.

The drop off between Henderson and Lou Brock — the second-most prolific baserunner in MLB history — is staggering. Although Brock played six fewer seasons, he’s nearly 500 bases behind Henderson.

Ichiro, Carl Crawford and Jose Reyes are the only active players among the top 50 career stolen base leaders. Combine their career totals and they’re still short of Henderson by more than 400 steals.

So short of these guys finding some P.F. Flyers, this record isn’t going anywhere.

4. Pitcher Denny McLain’s 31-win season

Pitch count? Pitchers in the 1960s didn’t need no stinking pitch count. Sometimes they threw 10-plus innings just for a win in July. Other times they threw all nine innings in a 10-run blowout.

Either way, pitchers of yore stayed in games longer and threw more than they do today. In the 1960s and 1970s, it was just as commonplace to see a pitcher with 20 or more wins — and double digit complete games — as it was to see a player in the 1990s blasting 60-plus home runs.

Several theories try to explain why it’s rare in the post-steroids era for pitchers to win more than 20 games. Fewer starts, strict adherence to the pitch count and advanced scouting often are cited as the primary reasons.

The closest anyone’s come to replicating McLain’s magical season with Detroit in 1968 was Steve Carlton and Bob Welch, both of whom won 27 games in 1972 and 1990, respectively.

A handful of pitchers have won 24 games since then, including Detroit’s Justin Verlander in 2011. But it’s safe to say that this record isn’t going anywhere soon.

3. New York Yankees’ five straight World Series titles

Consider this: since 1960, only four teams have won back-to-back World Series titles.

And only two teams pulled off the three-peat: Oakland (1972-74) and New York (1998-2000). Cincinnati and Toronto also won back-to-back championships in 1975-76 and 1991-92, respectively, while the Yankees also captured consecutive titles in 1961-62.

Incredibly, New York managed to reach a fourth consecutive World Series in 2001, but the Yankees eventually fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks in seven games.

All of the aforementioned champions were very special teams. They were loaded with talent, had incredible luck, and in some cases, benefited from an extremely short postseason.

After the players’ strike in 1994, MLB restructured its playoff system. Each league was divided into three divisions – East, West, and Central – and allowed one wildcard team. Now, instead of just the League Championship Series decide the pennant, an extra three-game series was added: the best-of-five Divisional Series.

Since the implementation of the new postseason in 1995, which was changed again in 2012 to include a second wild-card team, only Philadelphia, Texas, and the aforementioned Yankees have appeared in consecutive World Series. The Phillies went 1-1 in their two appearances while the Rangers went 0-2.

And in today’s world of professional sports, where winning a championship often sparks the mass exodus of talented players, it seems highly unlikely that a club could keep a corps of talented players together long enough to capture six consecutive World Series titles.

2. Barry Bonds’ four straight MVP awardsbaseball4

Consecutive MVP winners aren’t that rare in baseball. But to have four seasons like Bonds had in the mid-2000s will never happen again.

Taking into account that Bonds was abusing Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs), it’s unfathomable to think that someone can tear off five seasons in a row all worthy of MVP honors, especially when you realize that only eight players outside of Bonds have three or more MVPs — none of which they won more than two years in a row.

And if someone did, it’s likely that they’d be even more juiced up than Bonds ever was.

After Bonds’ retirement in 2007, it appeared that Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols might eventually catch him in total MVPs. Pujols won three MVPs in a span of six years with the Redbirds, capturing back-to-back honors in 2008-09.

But since Pujols’ departure to the Angels, his numbers have declined significantly. The same goes for A-Rod — the only other player to win three since MVPs in the last 10 years.

It appears that Bonds’ record seven MVP awards, are safe, if not tainted.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers win five consecutive ROTY awards

Talk about catching lightning in a bottle.

In the 1990s, the Los Angeles Dodgers were responsible for bringing up some of the best young talent of the decade. And the organization was rewarded handsomely for it, as a Dodger received the National League Rookie of the Year Award five straight times between 1992-96.

First baseman Eric Karros kicked off the streak, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1992. Catcher Mike Piazza followed him in ’93; then came outfielder Raul Mondesi. After Mondesi it was pitcher Hideo Nomo – the first while outfielder Todd Hollandsworth rounded out the streak when he captured the award in 1996.

While this core nucleus helped the Dodgers reach the playoffs in 1995 and 1996, it also ushered in the notion that Japanese players could have a major impact in the majors. Nomo’s accomplishments paved the way for other Japanese pitchers like Yu Darvish, Hideki Okajima, and Daisuke Matsuzaka, as well as for all-stars like Hideki Matsui and Ichiro.

Honorable Mention

Major League Baseball has countless records that will never be broken. Several were too absurd to make this list. They include numerous pre dead-ball era and dead-ball era pitching feats: most wins in a season, 59; total wins, 511; and most complete games in a season, 75.

Others worth mentioning are the most All-Star Game’s played (Hank Aaron, 25), Ty Cobb’s .366 career batting average, the 1899 Cleveland Spider’s 101 road losses, and the league’s longest hitting streak — which stands at 56 games and was set by the immortal Joe DiMaggio in 1941.

Curtain Call: Historic Movie Theaters & Drive-Ins of Arkansas

For a state as small as Arkansas, its residents have been blessed over the years with an abundance of unique movie houses and drive-ins. This pictorial-essay highlights some of the more regal theaters that graced Arkansas’ down towns and roadsides from the roaring 1920s to the New Millennium.

100 Things I Hate About College Football

Editor’s note — This article was originally written for Yahoo! Voices in September 2013. It has been reprinted here with the author’s permission.

Gene Wojciechowski’s ode to college football is a great read. The only problem is that it’s written as a love letter; he was (mis)guided by his emotions.

And don’t get me wrong, I love college football.

But let’s be realistic about this. While Wojciechowski does point out that college football has its shortcomings, simply giving them a passing mention isn’t enough.

As the Summer of Manziel has shown, it’s astonishing how college football has weathered so many scandals without serious blemish. The players and even the sport itself seem practically untouchable.

So why would someone who claims to be a fan find so many reasons to hate a sport they care so deeply about?

In hopes of fixing it, of course.

Wojciechowski got a lot of things right in his article. College football is an awesomely inspirational sport that’s uniquely American.

But it’s time to stop looking at it through rose-colored lenses.

Why? Here are 100 reasons.

1. I hate universities that make football a priority over education.

2. That in my home state of Arkansas, the football coach makes more than the medical school’s Chief of Surgery.

3. I hate the over-commercialization of the game.

4. Naming rights.

5. That places like TCF Bank Stadium and Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium exist.

6. Fields with corporate stains on them.

7. The sheer number of bowl games. We’re up to 35 and counting.

8. 6-6 teams qualifying for a bowl.

9. And that nearly all the bowl games have names that sound like advertising slogans.

10. I hate that winning the Heisman Trophy has become a beauty contest.

11. Tim Tebow finishing as a Heisman finalist in 2008, while Graham Harrell missed the cut.

12. The stigma toward defensive players. If Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh couldn’t win one, what hope is there?

13. The fact that there are 125 schools competing in the FBS this year and no player outside of the Power Six has a chance to win the Heisman.

14. Stadium expansion while the rest of campus crumbles.

15. And the belief that having a bigger stadium equates having a better team.

16. Houston Nutt. We put up with this guy for a decade. How?

17. I hate pay-for-play proponents.

18. Writers who claim the NCAA treats [football] players like slaves.

19. Senior seasons. And the stigma that comes with it. Because in today’s game it usually means the player has no football prospects after college. Either that, or he’s a reserve.

20. The players who don’t care about the tradition or the pageantry of college football.

21. Knowing that they wouldn’t stick around campus any longer than they already have to.

22. I hate the BCS. Even now that it’s gone. I hate, hate, hate it.

23. Remember in 2003, when Oklahoma lost in the Big 12 Championship Game but still got to play in the BCS Championship Game?

24. Or when the Sooners got in again the next year instead of Auburn, and got thrashed by USC?

25. An inept and out of touch NCAA.

26. That high-profile schools and players often escape harsh punishments.

27. Terrell Pryor, Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, and Solomon Thomas playing in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.

28. Also, we are two years removed from the Nevin Shapiro scandal at Miami (Fla.). Remember that? I guess a handful of suspensions was enough to satisfy the NCAA.

29. People who feel sorry for Joe Paterno and Penn State.

30. That for a few months, the fate of Penn State’s football program and Joe Paterno’s legacy was more talked about than Jerry Sandusky’s victims.

31. I hate that the Southwest Conference, one of college football’s premier leagues for more than 80 years, collapsed.

32. And the domino effect of conference realignment that it started.

33. West Virginia being in the Big 12.

34. Syracuse moving to the ACC.

35. Missouri joining the SEC instead of Florida State or Clemson.

36. The idea of Connecticut, South Florida, and Tulsa all being in the same conference.

37. I hate that most teams schedule an absolute dog on homecoming.

38. The fact that Florida hasn’t played an out of conference opponent on the road in nearly 25 years.

39. Indiana being a football-member of the Big 10.

40. That schools have cut down on playing in neutral site locations across their state.

41. Alabama and Auburn moving the Iron Bowl out of Legion Field.

42. Ole Miss and Mississippi State moving the Egg Bowl away from Jackson, Miss.

43. I hate the kitschy announcers.

44. Gary Danielson and Verne Lundquist.

45. Pam Ward.

46. Brent Musberger.

47. Bob Griese.

48. This guy.

49. Can’t forget Mark May and Lou Holtz, either.

50. I hate that the Oklahoma-Texas game changed its name to the “Red River Rivalry.”

51. That Arkansas and Arkansas State won’t play each other.

52. The SEC crackdown on cowbells at Mississippi State games.

53. Boise State’s “Smurf Turf.”

54. Eastern Washington’s red turf.

55. The University of Central Arkansas’ alternating purple and gray turf.

56. I hate the ridiculous number of terrible uniform combinations.

The Maryland Terrapins have got to be the worst offenders.

57. People who think Bedlam is a premiere rivalry game. C’mon, Oklahoma holds an 75-17-7 all-time advantage. The Sooners only lost one game between 1967 and 1994.

58. AP writers who give No. 1 votes to undeserving teams.

59. The terrible officials that permeate every conference.

60. The terrible officiating that seems to haunt every big Arkansas game.

61. I hate how ESPN only gives intense coverage to the established programs.

62. The completely undeserved hype a high-profile program gets if it starts the season 2-0.

(Looking at you, 2009 Miami Hurricanes.)

63. And remember when good coaches used to stay at one school for an extended amount of time?

64. I hate that fans are dissuaded from storming the field.

65. That it happens too often now.

66. And that you might get arrested if you do it.

67. Oh, and the SEC will levy a serious fine against your school as well.

68. I hate that a pizza and a coke at Razorback stadium costs more than $20.

69. That Arkansas made student tickets harder to get.

70. Let’s not forget, they also stopped guaranteeing students seats.

71. And U of A’s eagerness to build a new practice facility while the campus runs out of space for its students.

72. I hate the “facilities arms races.”

73. Which happen while a majority of college students and athletes of less popular sports wallow in debt that will haunt them the rest of their lives. (Marble floors imported from Italy, are you kidding me?)

74. The people who believe football players “go pro” in something outside the world of football.

75. The people who believe a majority of college football players are “student athletes.”

76. And people who think the football players live in a dorm and eat in a cafeteria similar to anything like that of a normal student.

77. That students are forced to move their cars from student lots before game day and have to pay out of pocket to park it somewhere else. (Often far from their dorms.)

78. That Matt Leinart got to play one more season at USC because he took Ball Room Dancing as his only class.

79. Athletes who get free (expensive) textbooks and sell them back at a profit.

80. That Arkansas’ beautiful video replay board has most of its picture obscured by AT&T ads.

81. I hate how football players are treated differently than their fellow student athletes.

82. When authorities look the other way when a member of the football team is involved in a quagmire.

83. Case in point: Michael Dyer.

84. Coaches who get a slap on the wrist.

85. Jim Tressle at Ohio State.

86. And that Tressel actually believed Pryor’s promise that he would return for his senior season.

87. The rap sheet for Urban Meyer’s players.

88. And many (Leach), many others.

89. The depressing notion that steroids might have infiltrated the college game.

90. I hate that the Arkansas-Texas rivalry is dead.

91. And the Hogs will no longer play LSU at the end of the season.

92. Instead we’ll play Missouri. The Hogs have played the Tigers five times. Five. Now it replaces the LSU game. Yippee.

93. Even though I won’t miss LSU’s Les Miles mispronouncing Arkansas.

94. This pass interference call against Arkansas in the 2010 Florida game.

95. That Bobby Petrino will coach a major Division I team again.

96. The fact that the immortal Bear Bryant (an Arkansas native) potentially was taking a job in Fayetteville when World War II broke out.

97. Coaches who abandon their schools because of an oncoming scandal. (Looking at you, Pete Carroll and Chip Kelly).

98. Razorback fans who think winning a national title makes or breaks the season. (We’ve only appeared in three SEC Championship Games since leaving the SWC in 1991)

99. That tons of scholarships go to football, leaving the rest of the athletic programs to fight over the scraps.

100. And lastly, I hate that there are so many egregious problems with a sport I love so dearly.

10 Plausible NFL Conspiracies


With the 2014 NFL season upon us, Enter the Razorback decided to take a different approach in covering kickoff week. The list below profiles  some of the league’s most noteworthy — and plausible — conspiracy theories.

10. Jimmy Hoffa was buried under Giants Stadium

The infamous union activist disappeared in 1975, around the same time construction was underway on Giants Stadium. Based on accounts from hitmen allegedly involved with Hoffa’s death, they dismembered his body before dropping the remains inside a concrete drum located at the construction site. Mythbusters investigated the rumors and came up empty. But if Hoffa’s body wasn’t there, how else do you explain Jerry Rice’s fumble in the ’86 playoffs?

9. Dome teams pump in crowd noise

Now that domed stadiums are ubiquitous across the NFL, accusations that teams pump in artificial noise have increased tenfold. Numerous coaches and players complain about the nuisance, which dates back to the late 1980s when the Minnesota Vikings’ Metrodome drew unwanted attention for its ear-splitting cheers.

More recently, the Indianapolis Colts, were charged with pumping in noise during the 2007 season. Despite the peculiar sounds coming through fans’ TV screens, the Colts were cleared of any wrongdoing on the dubious explanation that it was a technical glitch inside the RCA Dome.

8. Pro football is rife with Adderall abuse

nfl-conspiracies-2The Seattle Seahawks have taken the brunt of negative headlines regarding NFL players testing positive for Adderall. The drug, which is primarily used to treat attention deficit disorders and narcolepsy, can also serve as a “cognitive enhancer.” It’s become a popular supplement for players looking to gain an “edge” on game day.

Recent busts involved two of Seattle’s high-profile defensive stars, Bruce Irvin and Richard Sherman. Both players took Adderall looking for the upper-hand over the competition. Trying to deflect attention, Sherman claimed that “half the league uses Adderall.” A ominous statement for sure, but there have been a significant number of suspensions tied to the use of similar amphetamines over the last five years.

7. Does the NFL “hate” the Oakland Raiders?

Talk to any Raiders fan and you’ll hear endless stories about how the NFL has a grudge against Oakland. And evidence suggests that Raider Nation has a legitimate gripe.

For starters, there was a well-known rivalry between longtime Raiders owner Al Davis and former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle. There were endless stories (usually one-sided) that Rozelle did everything in his power to undermine Davis, which culminated in a heated legal battle when Oakland tried to move to LA. But Davis didn’t make things easy. The abrasive owner drew the ire of the NFL in the late 60s, when he spurred a bidding war between the rival leagues. There’s also the issue of the 1983 NFL draft, when the Raiders failed to land John Elway and Davis blamed it on meddling by league officials.

More recent accusations have been hurled thanks to the infamous “Tuck rule” and examples of questionable officiating that have hindered Oakland’s success.

6. Super Bowl III was fixed

nfl-conspiracies-3It would be a travesty if the biggest upset in NFL history was actually a well-crafted ploy to drum up support for the AFL-NFL merger. But over the last four decades, Super Bowl III has been the target of several conspiracy theories, namely that it was rigged.

Colts fans often point to the bizarre interception(s) thrown by quarterback Earl Morrall, as evidence of foul play. Morrall, who was the MVP of 1968, missed a wide-open Jimmy Orr, who was waving his hands in the end zone late in the first half. Former Colts players have chimed in as well, claiming that the New York Jets needed to win to keep the AFL afloat. Bubba Smith, Baltimore’s Pro Bowl defensive end, possibly referring to the looming merger, that there was too much money at stake for the Jets to lose.

There’s also allegations that Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom bet against his own team and that Jets quarterback Joe Namath was urged by the mafia to throw the game.

5. The NFL orchestrated the “Blackout Bowl”

The Baltimore Ravens put a stranglehold on the San Fransisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. And with the Ravens leading 28-6 early in the second half, a Baltimore victory seemed to be little more than a formality.

Then the unexpected happened.

The Louisiana Superdome suffered a power outage, resulting in a 34-minute delay. The break revitalized the 49ers, who scored 17 unanswered points. San Fransisco’s incredible comeback turned the game from a blowout into a nail-biter. This sudden shift in momentum kept the NFL from losing viewers, and thus billions in advertising dollars — or so one theory says.

While Baltimore held on for a thrilling victory, current and former Ravens players contend the NFL was plotting against them. Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis said the blackout happened to make the game more competitive; meanwhile, teammate Terrell Suggs claimed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell used “parlor tricks” because of a personal bias against Baltimore.

Other theories cast a large net of blame, citing everyone from irate New Orleans Saints and 49ers fans, to Bane and Beyonce as the true culprits.

4. LA is just a bargaining chip

When the Raiders and Rams departed Los Angeles in the mid 1990s, the possibility of SoCal recouping a pro football team has been a never-ending saga of letdowns. It seems every other season a well-established franchise is on the brink of moving to LA.

Usually, the threat is spurred by the team wanting a new stadium (with a lot of help from the taxpayers). Over the past decade, cities routinely caved and agreed to help fund new facilities. But do these stadium deals really just serve to keep teams in their original or current cities. In fact, what if moving to LA is just a threat that owners agreed could be used to hold cities (and their taxpayers) on the hook for construction expenses?

Some writers are convinced the NFL has left LA for good. Empty threats from owners (the last franchise to relocate was the Houston Oilers, which moved from Houston to Nashville in 1997 to become the Tennessee Titans), the NFL’s unapologetic plans to put a franchise in Europe and Goodell’s reticence to commit a team to the region give this theory credence.

3. Spygate was worse than we thought

nfl-conspiracies-5Not long after Goodell took over as commissioner, news broke in fall 2007 that the New England Patriots had videotaped the New York Jets’ signal calls during a recent game. Those who viewed the tapes said it gave the Patriots an unfair advantage, but the real news stemmed from complaints that the Pats had been videotaping their opponents for years, including the St. Louis Rams’ practice ahead of Super Bowl XXXVI, which New England won.

Since the NFL destroyed the notes and videotapes associated with Spygate not long after its investigation, some have charged the league with covering up rampant cheating by the Patriots. Another theory says that the scandal is more complex. Supposedly, this type of behavior is so widespread that New England coach Bill Belichick sent Goodell tapes from other teams videotaping their opponents’ practices. The commissioner, fearful to clamp down on systemic cheating, chose only to punish New England and protect the NFL’s image.

2. The ’99 Browns were “set up to fail”

In 1995, the NFL expanded to 30 teams when it added the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars. Both teams quickly found success, reaching their respective conference championships the following season. Their meteoric rise — unprecedented for expansion teams — allegedly rankled owners of more established clubs. So when Cleveland regained a franchise in 1999, established NFL owners conspired to curb the Browns’ efforts to field a competitive team.

The theory, postulated by former Cleveland sports writer Terry Pluto, is one of the most well-researched entries on the list. Backed up by loads of peculiar evidence, which includes numerous examples of roadblocks the Browns faced thanks to the league’s other owners, the theory’s implications are startling. It serves as an explanation as to why the Browns have struggled mightily since rejoining the NFL. And while it doesn’t totally absolve the Browns of their failures since returning to Ohio, it certainly explains some of their early hurdles.

1. Who was New England’s “man in the trench coat”?

NFL fans would have a hard time recognizing the New England Patriots in their formative years.

Known as the Boston Patriots for the first decade of their existence, the club only made one playoff appearance between 1960-1970. The Pats wouldn’t appear in a Super Bowl until the 80s, and nearly 20 more years would pass before they became one of the dominant franchise of the modern era.

One thing those early Patriots teams did have going for them was sterling fan support. Playing inside the constricted confines of Fenway Park, fans were often right on top of the action. It wasn’t uncommon for fans to stand along the sidelines during a game or pat players on the back near the team benches. And in 1961, one fan took advantage of that unfettered access, helping the Pats pull off a much-needed victory.

The unknown fan, identified only by his trench coat, was standing directly behind the opponent’s end zone during the game’s waning minutes. With New England leading the Dallas Texans 28-21 late in the fourth quarter, the Texans were threatening at the Patriots goal line. But as Dallas’ Cotton Davidson dropped back to pass, the overzealous fan sprinted onto the field and deflected the ball. As soon as the ball hit the turf, the crowd stormed onto the field.  No one, not even the officials, realized what happened until the film was reviewed nearly a week later by coaches.

The gentleman became known in Patriots lore as the “man in the trench coat.” Rumors were rampant that the fan was actually Patriots owner Billy Sullivan, who was often spotted in a similar trench coat. Sullivan embraced the publicity, never denying the rumors.

The War At Home

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Criticism of the militarization of local police forces is commonplace in the post-9/11 world, but the issue has been amplified by the recent events in Ferguson, Mo.

In the wake of a controversial shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer, the small town of about  20,000 has been besieged by riots, looting and instances of police brutality. While neither the protestors or police can be exonerated for their behavior over the past month, one take away has been the perplexing amount of military equipment utilized by law enforcement.

As various media outlets reported, Ferguson police responded to the riots with snipers, combat vehicles and a general approach toward protestors — peaceful or not — as enemies of the state.

In Arkansas, a state vastly similar to Missouri regarding culture and race relations, would an similar police response occur? In light of the equipment that the authorities have at their disposal, it’s a chilling thought.

New York TimesThis website, which emanates from a frightening report by the New York Times about the proliferation of military-grade equipment in several police precincts across the country, allows users to research the various hardware used by law enforcement, and is sortable by state and county. Arkansas, a state with just over 2 million people, possesses a shocking array of firearms and vehicles that seem more appropriate on the battlefield.

For example, Pulaski County, home to the state’s largest and most metropolitan city, Little Rock, owns several weapons that seem excessive for urban crime. Amid the usual provisions like firearms, utility trucks, and flash lights, police have a grenade launcher, a mine-resistant vehicle and a combat/assault/tactical vehicle. According the website, the total value of those three items — designed specifically for modern warfare — are valued at just north of $1 million.

Even the rural counties aren’t immune. Randolph County has a cargo plane. Baxter, Faulkner, and Mississippi Counties each have an “observation helicopter.” Meanwhile, Benton County, which has 160,000 fewer people than Pulaski County, has two mine-resistant vehicles.

Police simply being in possession of this equipment doesn’t mean they’ll use it. But like John Oliver noted on Last Week Tonight, the dissemination of military-grade weapons, combined with untrained police units, make for a volatile situation.