In 1984: Wayne Gretzky, in a victory over the Los Angeles Kings, became the fastest player ever (23 years old) to reach 1,000 points in his career. Gretzky did it in only 424 games, which beat the former fastest Guy Lafleur by over 300 games. Gretzky would score his 400th goal a month later, also making him the fastest to 400 goals. To put Gretzky’s 1,000 points into perspective: The Great One reached 1,000 in only his sixth season. Mark Messier needed 12 years to reach 1,000, Ronnie Francis took 13, and Gordie Howe had to wait 14 years to reach the milestone. They are the three players behind Gretzky on the all-time scoring leader’s list. Today’s current leader, Sidney Crosby of the Penguins, better step it up quick if he wants to break Gretzky’s record. Sid the Kid would need to average 179 points a year, but nobody has scored that many since 1989.
In 1999: Offensive lineman Orlando Brown of the Cleveland Browns suffered a career-threatening eye injury in a game against Jacksonville. Was it an accidental poke suffered in the trenches from a Jaguar’s defender? No, it was a careless toss of the flag by a foolish NFL referee. While flagging Brown for holding, official Jeff Triplette needlessly Elwayed his flag which was weighted with bb’s for some reason — and struck Brown in the right eye. Brown reacted angrily and shoved Triplette to the ground. He was ejected and suspended indefinitely by the NFL. He returned to play for the Baltimore Ravens in 2003 and eventually received a multi-million dollar settlement from the NHL. Triplette was never disciplined for the incident.