Sports fans love talking about dynasties, those stretches of years when one team dominates the game. We often reminisce about the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s, the Montreal Canadiens in the 70s, the New York Yankees (you pick the era), and in recent years, the New England Patriots, Golden State Warriors, and college football’s University of Alabama.
These dynasties are marked by a plethora of championship banners hanging in the rafters of arenas and stadiums, as well as championship memorabilia proudly displayed in most avid sports fans’ homes and offices. If you have a man cave, you need a banner. But which banner would you raise?
A strong case can be made for several sports dynasties. We’ll start with these six:
Boston Celtics (1957-1969): The Bill Russell years were historic for the Boston Celtics. Russell's stretch with the team resulted in 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons, the first coming in 1957 and the last in 1969. This span also included eight straight titles from 1959-1966. Head coach, Red Auerbach, laid the groundwork for a team that would remain competitive post Russell by securing two more titles in the 70s and another three in the 80s. As esteemed as the Boston Garden became, it was never so glorious as it was in the 50s and 60s.
Green Bay Packers (1960-1967): When head coach Vince Lombardi arrived, the Green Bay Packers went from perennial underdog to the top of the league in two short years. The Packers won NFL titles in 1961, 1962 and 1965, and Super Bowls I and II in 1966 and 1967. The Packers' run of success may have continued had Lombardi not stepped down as head coach after the 1967 season. To this day, Lombardi remains one of the most influential and most quoted coaches in sports history. Check out Winning Streak's Lombardi Collection for banners emblazoned with some of the coach's best leadership lessons.
UCLA Bruins (1964-1975): Led by legendary coach John Wooden, the UCLA Bruins won ten national championships in a span of 12 seasons, including a seven year stretch from 1967 to 1973 that included an impressive 205-5 record. The team posted a remarkable 88-game winnings streak finishing the season undefeated four times. It's no wonder Wooden is studied by leadership executives across a myriad of industries.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1974-1979): The Pittsburgh Steelers were dominant in the 1970s winning four NFL Super Bowls in six seasons. Their titles in 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979 were on the backs of a defense appropriately nicknamed The Steel Curtain. The defense, led by "Mean" Joe Greene, held opponents under 14 points per game for eight straight seasons. The Steelers' four Super Bowl wins, and two victories decades later, holds them tied for the most championship in NFL history.
New York Islanders (1980-1983): The New York Islanders won four straight Stanley Cups in 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984. Described as "a low-key group" in the New York Times, this team won in dominant fashion, taking 19 straight playoff series and capping their dynasty with a sweep of Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers in 1984. Gretzky's Oilers would go on to be the darlings of the NHL in the late 80s, but the Islanders remain the only team to win four straight Cups in the expansion era.
Chicago Bulls (1991-1998): The Chicago Bulls won the NBA Championship six times, with two three-peats, in the 90s. Michael Jordan led the Bulls to three straight titles in 1991, 1992 and 1993, and accomplished the feat again in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The Bulls may have had eight consecutive victories had Jordan not briefly retired from basketball after his 1993 title, only to return two years later to lead the team to its second three-peat.
Do any of these teams make your list for the greatest American sports dynasty of all time? So far, we’ve heard arguments for the Cincinnati Reds (1970-1976), a recent New York Yankees era (1996-2000) and the Edmonton Oilers (1984-1990). The list goes on.
Whatever your pick, Winning Streak has something for your wall. Our Dynasty banners are authentic sports memorabilia that will look great in your home or office. It also makes a great gift for your favorite sports fan.