Fans of sporting events are known to be so committed to their team that they will endure years of poor performance, shell out big money for season tickets, sit through horrible weather to watch an event, and wear their team’s colors on every possible occasion.
Sometimes fans also have to be prepared to wait. And wait. And wait.
We know that chess games can be slow, like the one that went on for more than 20 hours, but one doesn’t usually associate action sports and video games with patience. Despite the fact that these games require fast action and quick moves, they all hold the distinction of becoming feats of endurance in certain situations.
Spectators of the 2003 college football game between the University of Arkansas and the University of Kentucky started watching the game at 7:00 pm on November 1. To see it end, they had to stick around to the next day. The game ended at 12:01 am on November 2, 2003, becoming the longest game in NCAA Division I-A history. The game lasted 4 hours and 56 minutes. This game also set an NCAA record for the most points scored in a game. Arkansas scored 47 points in overtime, breaking their own record of 41. Both teams combined for 86 overtime points, six more than the 2001 seven overtime affair.
That football game was nothing, though, compared to the June 22, 2010 Wimbledon Championships first-round Men’s Singles match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. The match began at 6:13 pm, and was suspended at 9:07 pm, due to darkness. It resumed the next afternoon at 2:05 pm, and once again was stopped at 9:09 pm, as darkness fell. The next day it began again at 3:40 pm, and came to an end, finally, at 4:47 pm on June 24, after 11 hours and 5 minutes of play. In total, the men played 183 games in the match.
In the world of baseball, the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings, two teams from the Triple-A International League, played the longest game in professional baseball history. It started on April 18, 1981 at 8:25 pm. It lasted 33 innings, with 8 hours and 25 minutes of playing time. The first 32 innings were played April 18-19 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and the final 33rd inning was played June 23, 1981. Pawtucket won the game, 3–2.
In 1951 basketball fans had their chance. On January 6 the Rochester Royals played against the Indianapolis Olympians in a game that would end after six overtime sessions, with the Olympians winning, 75-73.
Stephen Shanabrook earned his place in history on June 14-19, 2010 by playing 643 consecutive games of tenpin bowling. At 134 hours and 57 minutes, he holds the world record in this category.
If sports isn’t your thing, you might be interested in knowing that the longest videogame marathon playing Minecraft lasted 35 hours, 35 minutes and 35 seconds. Joseph Kelly earned this distinction on October 10-13, 2015.
Not to be outdone, four students from Warrnambool in south-west Victoria, Australia decided that they wanted their own world record. They played Mario Kart games for 35 hours and 46 minutes, earning them the Guinness World Record for “longest video game marathon playing a racing game.”