A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Student Life

Breaking world records

3…2…1…start!  As Kobe’s finger hits the button on his stopwatch, Benton plunges his head into the hottub.  Kobe anxiously waits for his head to pop up; He know he won’t last long. He waits and waits as the clock gets near a full minute when his head finally pops up, gasping for air.  We both break out in laughter realizing that breaking these records, or even coming close, would not to be easy.

   It all started with Matthew “Megatoad” Kai Stonie.  Known as Matt Stonie on YouTube, he uploads videos of himself eating insane amounts of food in a ridiculous time frame.  we have been watching him for almost four years, but We never considered how hard it would be to attempt one of his challenges. With this in mind, we started with an idea to try to attempt a few world records, but we didn’t want them all to be similar.  We decided on four world records to attempt.

   To find these records, we went to Record Setter, a website that allows anyone to post their personal records at attempting nearly anything.  From there, the website keeps track of who has the fastest time in each record. We browsed the website for a day, and picked out some records we thought either we could beat, or were impossible.

   The first record we attempted was the largest margin of victory in NBA Jam of 43 points.  At first, it sounded super easy: have one person let the other person score every time. Well, that is what we tried the first time, but it is not as easy as people would think.  For starters, you can only control one person on your team at a time. So while Benton was controlling one guy, the other guy was being controlled by the computer. This made it incredibly hard to get a rebound because Benton’s teammate would get it almost every time.  

   Even if Benton missed a shot, the other guy on his team would get the offensive rebound, and they’d start the possession all over again.   Another obstacle we faced trying to get the timing of the jumpshot down. Kobe would just be desperately shaking my Wii remote, trying to get a shot off before someone swatted into the stands.  The first game was frustrating, as we won with a score of 44-16. The second attempt though, we had a plan.

   The instant Benton would get the ball, he would stand still and let me steal it, and I’d get an easy lay-up.  Finally, we could get on a roll. Once Kobe got the timing of my jump shot down, he was on fire. There would be streaks where I’d hit 5 or 6 shots in a row and I’d get the cool animation of the ball being on fire every time Kobe touched it.  We ended up winning 67-2, demolishing the record by 22 points. We found it really hard to believe. It was insane that breaking a “world record” should be this easy. Sure, it took a little time and strategy but after we got everything down, this was an easy record to break.  Overall though, this was easy and fun.

   Another one we decided on was how many circles around the legs we could do with a basketball.  The current record was 68 in 30 seconds. Kobe did a couple practice rounds before the actual attempt and he realized how fast he’d have to go to even come close to breaking the record.  Kobe also decided to use a girls’ basketball so he could hold on to the ball a lot easier because it’s smaller. Benton counted down, and Kobe began.

   He felt like he started off strong.  The transfers from hand to hand felt smooth and fast, but Kobe realized very quickly that my arms were getting tired.  He kept trying to keep up his pace, but his arms felt heavy. The 30 seconds ran out and Kobe knew he had to be close to beating it.  “54” Benton said. Kobe was bummed but not surprised as he knew he started off strong but ended poorly. It wasn’t a bad attempt, but Kobe was disappointed he didn’t break it.

   We couldn’t decide on the next record, so we looked around Kobe’s house.  Kobe opened his pantry and scanned all the food we had. After scanning the pantry, Benton noticed a loaf of bread and he thought to himself, “It can’t be that hard to wolf down one slice of bread pretty quickly.”  He shared with Kobe, and he thought the same. We looked up the record, and found it to be eight point four seven seconds, set by Anthony Falzon. Even though the record had stood for four years, it still seemed attainable.  

   Kobe pulled up the timer on his phone and gave a countdown.  Three…Two…One…Go! We both shoved the slices of bread into our mouths.  The more we chewed, the less and less we could move our mouths. Somehow, some way, the bread felt like it had expanded.  It was stuck in our mouths and no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t get it to budge. After roughly fifteen seconds of trying, Benton had to grab it out with his hand.  Kobe had similar issues, taking well over double the record to finish his slice. Needless to say, neither of us got close to breaking the record.

   For the next record, we were yet again not sure what to do.  We were nearly defeated when Kobe’s mom suggested that we try to hold our breath for as long as we can.  Fortunately for us, Kobe had a hot tub, so we jumped right to it. Right as we were getting to the hot tub, we realized that we didn’t have a clue what the world record was.  After we looked it up, we discovered that the record was a held by a German freediver by the name of Tom Sietas, boasting an incredible twenty-two minutes and twenty-two seconds.  

   It was then we realized that we would come nowhere close to defeating this record.  We continued to try it ourselves. Kobe decided to go first, and after a count to three, he stuck his head in over the side and under the water.  After a few seconds, bubbles rose from around Kobe’s head. He popped up a few seconds later, and he finished with a time of twenty-seven seconds.  Only about twenty-two minutes short. Benton was confident he could do well, so he didn’t waste much time getting ready. He gave Kobe a thumbs up and stuck by head under.  He tried as hard as he could to relax and not focus on his lack of oxygen, but it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. He tried to keep track of time in my head, but lost count after only twenty seconds or so.  

   After it felt like his lungs might collapse if he didn’t breathe, he yanked my head out of the water.  Benton had stayed under for fifty-seven seconds. It had felt like much longer, but that wasn’t what was on our mind.  All we could think about was that someone had stayed underwater for twenty-three times as long as we had.

   Going into this, neither of us figured we would break a record.  Sure we figured that we might come close to the NBA Jam record, but who knows? There’s always going to be someone out there who will beat us.  Records are made to be broken, but as far as we know, we now, unofficially, hold a world record.

Google+