The Iron Athletes who have endured the most consecutive matches

On Tuesday, Vegas Golden Knights winger Phil Kessel set the National Hockey League record for back-to-back games at 990. He joins one of the athletes known for their longevity.

The 35-year-old, who will outshine Keith Yandel, has played for five teams in his 16-year career in the National Hockey League. He won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

These are the players who hold the title of Iron Man across sports.


Iron Man: Cal Ripken Jr.

EffectPlayed 2,632 matches

who surpassed him: Lou Gehrig (2,130 games)

Ripken’s pursuit of the Gehrig tag is the gold standard for these records because it requires the Ripken to never take a day off on long travel, for a daytime game after a night game or, you know, to take a break. Ripken, who played his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles, played more than 8,200 runs.

A person born on the day the streak began in 1982 would have been a licensed driver in most states when it ended in 1998.

Anyone nearby? The Atlanta Braves played first DB player Matt Olson in 296 consecutive games. Last season, he was one of only two players to make 162 regular season games.


Iron Man: AC Green

EffectPlayed 1192 games

who surpassed him: Randy Smith (906 games)

With the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s, Green was the best player on the team—he led the Lakers on the boards for six of his eight seasons in Los Angeles. He won three NBA championships with the Lakers, and also played for the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Miami Heat.

Greene’s line, which began in 1986 and ran through 2001, spanned parts of four different presidential administrations.

Anyone nearby? Michael Bridges, the 26-year-old young striker, is about 800 games behind Green. In an era when NBA players have been planning for some time, Greene’s streak may last for a while.


iron woman: Aja Wilson

Effect: 98 games and counting

Wilson has played pretty much non-stop since entering the league with the Las Vegas Aces in 2018. In that time she won two Top Players titles, played in four WNBA All-Star games and won the 2022 WNBA title.

This number only counts WNBA games. Wilson played one season with the Red Wolves in Shaanxi (China). She has also played in two editions of the Basketball World Cup and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, winning gold medals in all three events.


Iron Man: Brett Favre

Effect: 299 games and 297 consecutive starts.

Punter Jeff Feagles played in more games (352), but Favre was recognized as the NFL Ironman. Favre, who started with the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings, is one of four QBs to have started 200 or more consecutive games.

During 297 starts, Favre played with a variety of injuries, such as separated shoulder, sprained ankles, tendonitis and broken bones. He kept the streak alive by playing the day after his father’s death. In that match, he threw four touchdown passes in the first half.

Anyone nearby? This record is one of the few QBs that Tom Brady doesn’t own. However, Brady is the active leader of the QB Championship which starts at 93. As for the non-centre quarterback, 36-year-old long-haired snapper JJ Jansen has played in 216 consecutive games.

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