It's the 20th anniversary of the greatest all time individual seasons in sports
So how come it's so ignored? No ESPN 30 for 30, barely a mention on either country's Sportscentre hell, not even a post on the HFBoards!
When we think of truly amazing individual seasons in sports history a bunch of names will make the list:
The four Gretzky 200+ point years
Pedro Martinez's 1999 and 2000 campaigns
Tiger Woods 2000
Lionel Messi 2012
Wilt Chamberlain's 1962
Oscar Robertson's Triple Double Seasons
Babe Ruth's 1920
Adrian Peterson's 2012
Where is the case for Mario Lemieux's 1992-93 season? He played 60 games and tallied 69 goals (second in the league), 91 assists (third) and 160 points (first). On the surface, it looks like a typical Mario Lemieux season - amazing stats but cut short due to injury.
However, the 1992-93 season was the year he went down due to cancer. ESPN made a huge deal out of Adrian Peterson coming back from a torn ligament only six months after injuring it. Mario Lemieux missed three months of hockey to get chemotherapy in the middle of the season and his rehab time after his last chemo treatment was ONE DAY.
Anyone who has gone through or seen someone close to them go through chemotherapy understands how utterly insane it is for someone to go through it and then come back to play hockey. Not only did Lemieux do that, he did it at an elite level and outscored 600 or so other players despite playing 30% less games. Where else does that happen? Pitchers winning the strikeout crown while only appearing in 20 games? Runningbacks playing 11 games and still managing to make the top 3 in terms of yards rushed and touchdowns? Utterly impossible, but Lemieux did it.
The Penguins' record without Lemieux during his layoff: 10-9-2.
The Penguins' record after Lemieux returned: 17-2, after losing the first two games in his return, they won 17 straight and went from contending for the last playoff spot to President's Cup winner. 17 straight wins is still an NHL record and it's made more amazing by the fact that it was achieved during an era where ties often made up 10-15% of an average team's record. On top of it, the only reason the streak ended was because the regular season ended after the 17th win. The Penguins won their first three playoff games as well.
The Gretzky vs Lemieux vs Orr debates are popular on this board so I won't get into that. I just wanted to show some appreciation for one of the all time great individual seasons in sports history - not just hockey. To this day, it baffles me how criminally ignored this is.
The long and short:
Guy gets cancer in the middle of an NHL season, comes back late, wins the scoring race and leads his team for 17 straight victories while still having one of the all time great offensive seasons (cancer or no cancer). It's really difficult for me to imagine another individual season in the history of SPORTS that was greater than the Lemieux 92-93 campaign.