Thursday, October 27, 2011

2 Crowns in 1 Castle

The Dallas Mavericks have won the NBA Championship already this summer, and the Texas Rangers are on the verge with just 1 win to go to grab the first World Series in their history. This could put Dallas-Fort Worth into rare company as a sports market that has 2 champions in the 4 major sports in the same calendar year. But, how rare is the feat?

According to research, since World War II, this has happened 11 other times. Rare, but hardly unheard of. Here is a quick trip at the last 66 years in the "Big 4" and those luckiest of cities:

1956 - In October, the New York Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in a Game 7 to secure yet another World Championship in a series that contained Don Larsen's "Perfect Game" in Game 5. 2 months later, the 1956 New York Giants won the NFL Title by drubbing the Chicago Bears, 47-7, at Yankee Stadium.

1969 - Super Bowl III started off 1969 on January 12th, and saw the upstart New York Jets represent the AFL's big demolition of the Baltimore Colts. Later that summer, the Amazing Mets would beat the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series and secure the 2nd World Title of the year for New York City.

1970 - Baltimore would have its revenge as Brooks Robinson would lead the Orioles to their World title in October, and 3 months later, the Colts would defeat the Cowboys in Super Bowl V. This is where we must distinguish the "calendar year" of 1970 to include Super Bowls won in Jan of a year and the football season of that year where the Super Bowl is actually played in the next year. Both should count, but this one is different than most of the others.

1979 - Pittsburgh has actually pulled this double off twice, and has the interesting distinction of winning both the 1979 Super Bowl against the Cowboys, the 1979 World Series as the "We are Family" Pirates defeated Baltimore, and the 1980 Super Bowl (1979 season) against the Rams. For a city the size of Pittsburgh, what an amazing accomplishment.

1986 - The Mets struck again in 1986 against the Red Sox in one of the more celebrated World Series match-ups of our lifetime - thanks to Bill Buckner and the Red Sox meltdown. At the exact same time, the 1986 Giants were on their way to Pasadena for Super Bowl 21 where they would take down the Denver Broncos in January of 1987. Compared to 1969, this demonstrates the unfair advantage New York, Los Angeles, and the "Bay Area" have over most other cities. With multiple entrants in each sport, their odds are significantly increased over Pittsburgh or DFW.

1988 - Our first basketball/baseball double is found in '88 when Kirk Gibson and the Dodgers defeated Oakland with a memorable home run just a few months after the Los Angeles Lakers fought off the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals best remembered for Isiah Thomas limping up the floor with a severe ankle injury that he attempted to play through.

1989 - The very next year, the Oakland A's finally did win their World Series against San Francisco in the famous "Earthquake Series" which had a 12 day lay-off between Games 2 and 3 because of the quake that hit northern California. That quake is noted as the first earthquake ever shown on live television because of the World Series broadcast prior to Game 3. The 1988 San Francisco 49ers won their Super Bowl in January of 1989 against the Bengals and the 1989 49ers won their Super Bowl in January of 1990, and with the Raiders in Los Angeles during that time, it is easy to assume the A's and 49ers shared many fans during that successful time.

2000 - Since nobody in New York City seem to have even the slightest regard for the New Jersey Devils, this one is more of a technicality, but in 2000 the Devils won the Stanley Cup (with the clincher at Reunion Arena in Dallas) and the New York Yankees defeated the crosstown New York Mets in the Fall Classic. That January, the Giants would come very close as well, but lost the Super Bowl handily to the Baltimore Ravens.

2002 - Two years later, the Los Angeles Lakers were completing their "3-Peat" of Shaq and Kobe harmony and down the road in Anaheim the Angels were defeating the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. As you can see, this list is made up of quite a few cities that have 2 baseball teams and 2 basketball teams. And in the case of New York City, 3 hockey teams can increase your odds quite a bit.

2004 - New England win the Super Bowl in Houston against the Carolina Panthers in January of 2004, later that summer, the Red Sox defeat the St Louis Cardinals in the World Series in their first championship since 1918. Then, 3 months later, the Patriots won again in Jacksonville against the Philadelphia Eagles. Much like 1979 in Pittsburgh and 1989 in the Bay Area, 3 titles in 13 months.

2009 - And on the 30th anniversary of Pittsburgh championship year, they did it again. This time the Pittsburgh Steelers started the year with a dramatic Super Bowl victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the final seconds. Then, 5 months later, the Pittsburgh Penguins were able to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in a Game 7 in Detroit to secure the cities 2nd spot on this list of great distinction.

So, there you have it. The Rangers can put the metroplex on this list with 1 more win. But, what might make DFW the most unique of them all? The idea that none of these cities on this list also hosted a Super Bowl in the same year. But, Cowboys Stadium did in February - even though the Cowboys were nowhere to be found. Super Bowl, NBA Finals, and a World Series in the same city in the same calendar year is something that has never happened. Further, only 1969 would share the distinction with both the Mets and Jets winning their first title in their histories, just like the Mavericks and Rangers would accomplish.

But, it is all contingent on winning 1 more game in St Louis for the Rangers.


Chris the Crazy Conservative said...

Bob, it is really good to have you back. I really missed your writing while you were away on your important mission.

Chris the Crazy Conservative said...

Bob, it is really good to have you back. I really missed your writing while you were away on your important mission.