View Full Version : Records will fall with longer campaign

05-27-2009, 11:16 PM
There’s no animosity emanating from Charlie Hennigan. He talks about his single-season pro football records – long since smashed in the NFL’s 16-game schedule – and would rather cheerfully retell a few stories than lament a seemingly undercut era.

There was the time he walloped Fred “The Hammer” Williamson with an uppercut in the middle of a play, just to let the punishing defensive back know he wasn’t going to be intimidated. There was the way Hennigan, an All-Pro wideout for the Houston Oilers of the AFL, used to gleefully drag unsuspecting cornerbacks and safeties over lumps and potholes in less than pristine fields. And of course, there was the record-setting production: his 1,746 receiving yards in 1961 (which stood for 34 years) and his 101 receptions in 1964 (which lasted until 1984).

Both of those records, staggering for their era, eventually were wiped away by the NFL’s regular-season expansion to 16 games in 1978. And with the league presumably headed toward another expansion, those same feats are likely to be further deflated.

“It’s OK,” Hennigan says now. “I’m not bitter or anything. They stood for a long time. They weren’t going to stand forever.”

Hennigan, who was finally nominated this year for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is one of countless stars who have seen their accomplishments dim as the NFL game has changed and moved forward. The 16-game slate has bumped his and many previously unassailable numbers from the 14-game era down the line. Now, with an 18-game slate likely to be negotiated and passed by the league’s owners in the next year, many single-season records are poised to be rewritten.

Dan Marino’s impressive single-season passing-yardage mark of 5,084 is poised to drop quickly, much like Joe Namath’s mark of 4,007 yards did shortly after the NFL went from 14 games to 16 in 1978. Now Namath’s record sits at 72nd overall, buried under an avalanche of passing numbers that have spun north like the wheels of a slot machine.


05-28-2009, 11:21 AM
Never even heard of this guy. WHo broke his record of over 1700 yards in a season? I assume that it must have been Jerry Rice.