So, the main plot device in Back to the Future II (aside from the DeLorean) is Gray's Sports Almanac 1950-2000. As we're now in 2015, the statistics must be available, so my question is does the book (or at least a book very similar to that i.e. not necessarily that thin or by Gray's!) exist?

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    Unlikely, that level of detail would never fit in a reasonably sized book--if you listen to the commentary with Bob Gale and Neil Canton, in the scene where Marty buys the almanac, Gale says "One of the things that no one really pays attention to is the fact that a book of 50 years of sports statistics, with that many sports in it, would be about 50 times thicker than that book really is. But say it's movie logic vs. real logic". You can find almanacs covering individual years, just look up "Sports Illustrated Almanac" or "ESPN Sports Almanac" or "Scholastic Year in Sports" on google books.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 1:19
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    @Hypnosifl I'm actually not a sports person, just a BTTF enthusiast lol. The book is unrealistically thin of course but I was just curious about whether there was such a book in existence Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 1:21
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    Just to pick an example I found looking for "sports almanac" on google books, the Sports Illustrated Almanac 2015 seems to be primarily made up of results/statistics from 2014 judging from the description under "More" (aside from an 88 pro football section with "year-by-year NFL standings and game recaps for Super Bowls I to XLVIII"), and it's 528 pages long, if you subtract the pro football section you'd still have 440 pages. So even if the level of detail on each year in Grays was only a quarter of that, 50 years would still be 5000+ pages.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 1:29
  • Isn't this off topic? Wouldn't it be better to ask if it was based on a similar book (with a different time period) Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 3:04
  • @ThePopMachine it's about as off topic as this one: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/95971/22917 Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 3:05

2 Answers 2



It is also unfeasible for any other sports almanac to exist that would cover 50 years and all sports. Bob Gale (Screenwriter) has this to say:

One of the things that nobody really paid much attention to, this is 50 years of sports statistics... it's kind of a thin book to cover that much,

LATimes video interview

According to the Wiki (forgive me) it was contemplated in an early draft that such a book would require around 5000 pages (Over 8 times as large as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)

In an early draft of the sequel, it was contemplated that the almanac would have 5,000 pages, made out of a very thin (if not dustproof) type of paper available by the year 2000.

Grays Almanac Wiki

If you are looking for a modern day equivalent then it lies in something BTTF did not predict which is the Internet, at a cursory glance this website seems to feature all the information you'd want going back to 1936 (For college football at least).

  • I like the idea that they've come up with a futuristicky answer. Of course paper in the future is going to be thinner and tear-proof!
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 12:29


Or at least only as a gimmick inspired by the film, not a real almanac.

In fact, all the references to any sports almanac 1950-2000 seem to be just related to Back to the Future props based on Gray's Sports Almanac.

On an unrelated note, there appears to be a musical composition entitled Gray's Sports Almanac, presumably also inspired by the Back to the Future films.

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