What means more, a record obtained during serious competition, or a record pre-planned and staged?
Now, I'm all for picking an obscure Guiness World Record and going after it. I once assisted a friend in setting the world hugging record.
Sports records are a different story though.
By now you've probably heard about Jack Taylor, the Division III basketball player at Grinnell College in Iowa, who scored 138 points in a game Tuesday night.
Yes, that is an all-time NCAA record and yes, it is an atrocity and an embarrassment to basketball.
Here's the thing about records, you're not supposed to plan when they're going to happen. They just happen.
You never know, you can walk into Browns Stadium Sunday and Brandon Weeden can throw for an NFL-record 560 yards against the Steelers. Now granted, that's not very likely, but the point is, you never know when you can go see a record-setting performance.
Taylor's record night was pre-determined and strategically plotted. He was supposed to set the record. Everything was set up just for Taylor to get the record.
First off, Grinnell's opponent, Faith Baptist Bible College, isn't even an NCAA school. They compete in Division II of the National Christian College Athletic Association. That's basically one step above Heidelberg scheduling Calvert.
Also interesting to note, Faith Baptist considered the game an exhibition. Which is in contrast to Grinnell who fully counted the game. Why? Because Grinnell was after records plain and simple and wanted to take full advantage of an inferior opponent.
The game video, which is available for every other Grinnell game, has been taken down from the school's website. Yet one part that has survived includes pre-game warmups, during which the announcers mention Taylor's attempt at the national record in the game.
The game itself was an abomination.
The numbers are the first indication. Taylor had 138 points, the next highest player on his team had 13. He shot 71 3-pointers and 108 shots in the game. The rest of the team, 32 shot attempts. He had no assists and three rebounds - all offensive.
How come no defense rebounds? Because he barely played defense.
According to bloggers who got to see the video before it was taken down, the kid basically didn't cross the half-court line.
I get that Grinnell has a rather unique system. Full-court press all the time, then when you get the ball, take a shot as quick as you can, preferably a 3.
However, usually you keep playing defense for a full possession.
If Faith Baptist broke Grinnell's press, Grinnell basically let them have a quick, easy layup, so they could get the ball back and Taylor could toss up another 3.
There were times where Grinnell would sub in players, specifically to foul a Faith player as quick as possible, so Grinnell could get the ball back with no time coming off the clock.
Grinnell players were passing up wide-open layups, just so they could pass it to Taylor to attempt a 3.
Those who watched the film labeled it "embarrassing." I wish I was able to watch it. Judging from what was reported, I'm sure I would agree.
As for sportsmanship? Pffff.
You got a 50, 60 point lead? Of course, keep shooting. There are records to get. Don't let a something small like class stand in your way.
If there ever was a cause for an asterisk in the record book, this is it. Actually, an asterisk isn't enough. Maybe a giant, bold, black stamp that says "FRAUD."
Records mean the most when they happen in a context of a game, not as silly publicity stunts.
Sad part is, Taylor's record is likely to stand for quite a while. At least until the next time Grinnell gets the urge to schedule West Central Iowa Clown College and wants to get someone to 150.
Tony Maluso is a sports writer for The Advertiser-Tribune.
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