The Best Seasons In Professional Sports History
By Nick Greene
With one more win, the Golden State Warriors will surpass the 1995-'96 Chicago Bulls to post the best regular season record in NBA history: 73-9. As they stand on the cusp of this monumental feat, here are some other high marks across the world of professional sports.
The same year the Chicago Bulls set the NBA record with wins in a season, the 1995-’96 Detroit Red Wings broke the NHL’s single-season record with 62 wins (record: 62–13–7). Astonishingly, Detroit failed to make the Stanley Cup Finals after the Colorado Avalanche upset them in the Western Conference Final.
While that Red Wings team surpassed the 1976-'77 Montreal Canadiens total of 60 wins, the 132 points tallyed by that Habs team (record 60–8–12) is still an NHL record. That year, the Canadiens outscored their opponents 387-171.
1906 Chicago Cubs // Wikimedia Commons
The 1906 Chicago Cubs' 116-win, 36-loss season still stands as the best record in MLB history. That mighty Cubs team lost to South Side rivals the White Sox in that year’s World Series, proving the ball club had a knack for excruciating futility long before the curse of the Billy Goat.
The 2001 Seattle Mariners managed to tie that Cubs team for wins when they went 116-46. Because of the longer 162-game season, their win percentage of .716 is behind the Cubs’ .763 mark set in the 152-game 1906 season.
The 95 points earned by the 2004-'05 Chelsea squad is the highest single-season total in English Premier League History. That team won 29 games, the most ever in a single season. The previous year, Arsenal won the league while going undefeated (26 wins, 12 draws), but their points total was five shy of the mark Chelsea would set the following year.
In Spain’s La Liga, the highest-ever points total was set by Real Madrid in 2011-’12, when they finished with 100 points (32 wins, 4 draws, and 2 losses). Both record-setting Chelsea and Real Madrid teams were managed by José Mourinho.
In Europe’s other top-tier league, Germany’s Bundesliga, the 2012-’13 Bayern Munich squad’s 91 points is an all-time record. That will go unmatched for at least one more year—even if the current Bayern Munich team wins all their remaining matches, they will still finish one point shy of the mark set by the 2012-'13 squad.
The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team to win the Super Bowl without losing a single game during the regular season. Their record, Super Bowl included, was 17-0. Members of that Dolphins team still pop champagne as soon as modern NFL squads threatening to break the record lose their first game. Mercury Morris and company had to wait all the way to the Super Bowl in 2007 to uncork the bubbly—the New England Patriots fell to the New York Giants at the final hurdle, marring their attempt to become the only 19-0 team in NFL history.