What Makes a Dynasty? Try the Opposition


The word dynasty is used and abused too often in pro sports today. Where it once identified a team that had a dominant run, namely winning multiple titles in a few years, its frequent application has rendered it meaningless. Today, the mere addition of a star player to a talented team unleashes speculation about a prospective dynasty. The hype surrounding the “Dream Team” Eagles of late is a case in point.


But the fascination with sole team hegemony or oligarchy is not entirely misplaced, since dynasties are a real phenomenon in pro sports. One could associate teams with decades; the 2000s New England Patriots, 1990s Chicago Bulls, 1980s New York Islanders, and 1970s Oakland Athletics among others. And neither structural reform, such as league expansion or free...

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