There was a day when college football bowl games meant something. There were very few bowl games, and outstanding college football teams competed in them. Now we have 25 college bowl games over a two-week period; some of the competing teams barely have more wins than losses for the season.
I propose one more bowl game. The Groundhog Bowl should feature the year’s two worst Division 1-A teams in the country, and should be played in Punxsutawney, PA. on February 2nd. At least one living being would show up for it. It would certainly cast the proper shadow over NCAA bowl games.
Story of the Week
What is a dynasty? A dynasty in sports is the sustained power and dominance over a relatively long period of time. Dominance is the operative word. This article will examine the word dynasty as it relates to the major professional team sports, those sports being baseball, football, basketball and hockey. This comparison will be a relative one within those sports.
The NFL has never had a team dynasty as seen in other sports. There have been teams that have enjoyed great success over a long period of time, but they did not dominate or put together a string of titles that compares to those noted below. The same is true of the old AFL. Green Bay was the closest; the Packers won titles in five of seven years in the ‘60’s.
The NHL has featured a team that sustained dominance over a long period of time. At one point, the Montreal Canadiens won five straight Stanley Cups in the late ‘50’s, and 16 Stanley Cups in 27 years. I would say five championships in a row is a dynasty.
Major league baseball has also produced a team dynasty. The N.Y. Yankees, a virtual mirror image of the Montreal Canadiens, won five straight World Series in the late ‘40’s and early ‘50’s, and they, too, rolled up 16 titles in 27 years. The Yankees were a team dynasty.
But the most remarkable team record, far and away when applying the word dynasty to a professional team in one of the major sports, is the run of the NBA Boston Celtics. The Celtics won eight straight NBA championships from the late ‘50’s and into the ‘60’s. They also ran off 11 titles in 13 years. The NBA had some very good teams in those days, and some great players on those teams, but they were no match for the Celtics.
It’s noteworthy that during this amazing 13-year run, no Boston Celtic led the NBA in scoring. Their success was a guy named Bill Russell and great depth. Their bench could have been starters on most teams in the league.
I hated that team. After all, my home-town St. Louis Hawks and my adopted home-town L.A. Lakers were victims of that great Boston team. I can still see Russell, Heinsohn, Sanders, Loscutoff, Nelson, Cousy, Sharman, Havlicek, Ramsey and the Jones boys running up and down that ugly parquet floor in Boston Garden, and coach Red Auerbach delighting in it.
But from 1956 to 1969, the Boston Celtics was the quintessential team dynasty in the history of pro sports.
Last Week’s Trivia
Who caught the first Super Bowl touchdown pass? Max McGee. Who scored the first Super Bowl rushing touchdown? Jim Taylor. It was Super Bowl I, 1-15-67, as Green Bay defeated Kansas City, 35-10.
Trivia Question of the Week
As long as the Story of the Week indirectly features the Boston Celtics, how did they get Bill Russell? See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.