Hockey fans have had to live without their beloved games for months, but the stalemate has finally been broken. But is there such a thing as too much hockey? What happens when a sport stops being a friendly competition, and turns into a grueling endurance test?

For Listed this week we recount some of the biggest wastes of time in modern sports history.

6. HOCKEY: Detroit Red Wings vs. Montreal Maroons (March 24, 1936)

Only two games in NHL history have come close to the two-hour mark and both ended with a single goal. At 116 minutes and 30 seconds a semifinal match between Cup defenders the Montreal Maroons and the Detroit Red Wings holds the league record for its sixth overtime period, besting the previous record holder - Bruins vs. Maple Leafs in 1933 - by 12 ass-numbing minutes.

The 0 - 0 stalemate was finally broken by forward Modere “Mud” Bruneteau, who “took a whack at it,” scored, and let his teammates go home to sleep for a week.

5. BASKETBALL: Indianapolis Olympians vs. Rochester Royals (January 6, 1951)

Basketball is a fast-paced game that rarely lends itself to extended play. But one rare match between the Indianapolis Olympians and the Rochester Royals went an astonishing six overtime periods, keeping the most dedicated fans in their seats for almost four hours. And they were not particularly exciting hours - only 23 shots were taken in all of overtime. The Olympians eventually won by a single basket.  

To stop games from dragging on until the player’s knees turned to dust and keep fans from filing out en masse, as they did that night, the 24-second shot clock was introduced three years later.

4. BASEBALL: Pawtucket Red Sox vs. Rochester Red Wings (April 18, 1981)
Baseball has never felt the need for speed, but at more than eight collective hours a Triple-A match between Pawtucket and Rochester must have seemed like a Kafkaesque nightmare to players and spectators. After 32 innings the game was suspended, at four a.m. on a Sunday morning, as players were becoming delirious from exhaustion and cold.

The game resumed on June 23, the next scheduled match between the teams. It lasted for all of 18 minutes. Pawtucket’s Dave Koza finally hit another run, ending the longest baseball game in the history of long baseball games.

3. BOXING: Andy Bowen vs. Jack Burke (April 6, 1893)

The longest legally sanctioned fist fight in recorded history went down in New Orleans, between potential lightweight champions Andy Bowen and Jack Burke. Both were vying for the title (and $2,500) after the retirement of reigning champ Jack McAuliffe.

The match ultimately took seven hours and 19 minutes - 111 thee-minute rounds - after which Burke had broken all the bones in his hand. Both fighters considered retiring after the match but continued; Bowen was killed in the ring in a fight against George Henry “Kid” Lavigne a year later.

2. ULTRAMARATHON RUNNING: Takahiro Sunada (June 21, 1998)

An “ultramarathon” could be anything over the standard marathon length of 42.195 km; various greater distances are undertaken with varying degrees of rest.

For the purposes of our list perhaps the greatest nonstop ultramarathon was undertaken by Japanese runner Takahiro Sunada, who ran 100 km in six hours and 13 minutesin 1998. For some perspective, I got winded just typing that out.

A closer look at the ultramarathon:

1. TENNIS: Nicolas Mahut vs. John Isner (June 22 - 24, 2010)

At a collective 11 hours and five minutes the 2010 Wimbledon Championships between American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut set a new record for the sport, beating the previous record holder - a 2004 French Open match - by almost four hours.

This is arguably the most impressive entry on our list, if only because tennis is rarely acknowledged as the intensely demanding sport it is. Mahut and Isner played against each other for longer than most players participate in entire tournaments; John McEnroe  called their astonishing stamina - though games were spread over two days and allowed the players some measure of rest - “The greatest advertisement for [the] sport.”  

0 Comments | Add a Comment
*Your Name:
*Enter code:
* Comment: