I've decided to start making top 10 lists every week in a lot of different sports categories. I will start with the broad topic like franchises in all of sports. Very opinionated and won't be as long as other posts. Mainly for my own enjoyment.
Top 10 sports franchises of All-Time (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL)
I will judge teams based on championships, winning consistently, number of stars, tradition. I will also state the face of their franchises.
1. New York Yankees (Founded in 1901: 26 World Series titles, .567 winning percentage)- The ultimate winners. More championships than any other sports team. They are ALWAYS in contention, expected by their fans to win every year. Some of the greatest players ever have played in pinstripes, Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Berra and other greats. While they now outspend everybody to get star free agents, most of their championships have been the result of farm grown talent. Cornerstones of those 90's teams- Jeter, Rivera, and Williams- all came up through the Yanks farm system. They currently have more star power than any team in baseball with Jeter, Rodriguez, Teixeira, and Sabathia. The Yankees are the one team in sports you know will be in contention for the trophy at the end of the season.
Face of the Yankees: Babe Ruth
2. Montreal Canadiens [Founded in 1918: 23 Stanley Cup championships (2 more championships before the Stanley Cup) , .591 winning percentage]- The only franchise that has a number of titles close to the Yankees. Tough call if they should have been number, since they have not existed as long, but the deciding factor was that they haven't been great the past two decades. Most of their titles came a while ago. They might not have the most recognizable names in hockey; say Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr; but they have had a vast majority of hall of famers like Richard, Beliveau, Roy and so many others. They have been the model franchise of hockey and have been the classic hockey club since their birth.
Face of the Canadiens: Maurice Richard
3. Los Angeles Lakers (Founded in 1949: 14 championships, .617 winning percentage)- Tough call over Boston, but they have been more consistent winners than Boston has been. Since their founding they have had only ten seasons without winning records. Boston: 18. The Lakers have had more superstars than Boston as well. Magic, Abdul-Jabbar, West, Baylor, Mikan, Chamberlain. Worthy, Shaq, Kobe; the list goes on and on. They've had so many great teams. The early Mikan dynasty, West-Chamberlain squad that won 33 straight games, the Showtime teams, and the Shaq-Kobe teams as well. Boston basically had the Russell teams and the Bird teams. In the 80's maybe the Celtic's were the model franchise of the NBA, but now it is the Lakers.
Face of the Lakers: Magic Johnson
4. Dallas Cowboys (Founded in 1960: 5 Super Bowl titles, .578 winning percentage)- America's team as they are called. The most beloved (and hated) team of America's most beloved game (it's not baseball anymore). For this reason they are rated above the Celts. They are always the center of attention in the NFL, always getting primetime games and are on Monday Night Football quite a bit. They have hosted great players like Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Tony Dorsett, and all time leading rusher Emmitt Smith. Their 90's dynasty is one of the best in football. There is not a more famous or storied NFL franchise than the Cowboys of Dallas.
Face of the Cowboys: Roger Staubach
5. Boston Celtics (Founded in 1947: 17 championships, .594 winning percentage)-
8 straight titles. This is enough to say that the Boston Celtics are one of the best teams ever to play basketball. We may never see another winner like Russell. We may also never see another white boy like Larry Bird. Seemingly every white player that can shoot nowadays is compared to Larry Legend, but none will likely ever be as good. Bird's 80's Celtic teams were some of the most star studded ever- Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, and of course Bird himself. They fueled perhaps they greatest rivalry in sports with the Lakers. First winning all of those titles in the 60's from them and then the Lakers taking some back in the 80's. It could go either way between them and the Lakers, but the Lakers get the edge for more star players and winning more consistently.
Face of the Celtics: Bill Russell
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (Founded in 1933: 6 Super Bowl titles, .518 winning percentage)- Possibly the most classy team in sports, well at least their management has been. On the field the Steelers have historically been one of the most rugged teams ever. They have QB's, while not great, could get the job done that had a lot of help from star receivers in Stallworth, Swann, and Ward. Their defense has been the cornerstone of the Steelers for all of time. Mean Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, the Steel Curtain defenses of the 70's may well have been the best the NFL has ever seen. They have more Super Bowls than any other team in football, they would be number one if they had shown more consistency between their 70's teams and their 00's teams.
Face of the Steelers: "Mean" Joe Greene
7. Los Angeles Dodgers (Founded in 1884- 6 World Series titles, .524 all-time winning percentage)- The Dodgers, formerly of Brooklyn, have been one of the most storied franchises ever. They helped Jackie Robinson break the color barrier in baseball, and he helped them win a few titles. They featured rocket armed ace Sandy Koufax, who was forced to retire in his prime. Who know what he could have done. More recently they have had players such as Don Sutton and Orel Hershiser. They seem back on the right track now with youngsters such as Chad Billingsly and Matt Kemp as well as a veteran like Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers have long been one of the most respected teams in sports.
Face of the Dodgers: Sandy Koufax
8. San Francisco 49ers (Founded in 1946- 5 Super Bowl titles, .552 winning percentage)- The West Coast offense. One of the most used strategies in the NFL originated from 49er's coaching legend and genius Bill Walsh. He is definitely one of the greatest coaches to ever coach in the NFL. He helped Joe Montana and Steve Young develop into two of the best QB's in NFL history. Jerry Rice, undoubtedly the best receiver ever, helped them along as well. Their recent awfulness reflects their 8th ranking. If they had had a winning season in the past 7 years they would probably be higher on this list.
Face of the Niners: Joe Montana
9. Detroit Red Wings (Founded in 1927- 11 Stanley Cup titles, .532 all-time winning percentage)- Hockeytown as Detroit is called; and for good reason. One of the "Original Six" teams of the NHL has a rich history as well as dominating recently. Their mediocre 15-20 year stretch between Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman hurt them a little, but their recent success makes up for it. They could win their 12th Stanley Cup on Friday. They currently have one of the best defenseman to ever lace up a pair of skates in Nicklas Lidstrom. They are probably the most familiar team with America since the Canadiens are obviously located in Canada. Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe was possibly the greatest player in hockey history until Wayne Gretzky came along.
Face of the Red Wings: Gordie Howe
10. Green Bay Packers [Founded in 1921, 3 Super Bowl titles (9 more championships before Super Bowl), .556 winning percentage]- Toughest call for me since I wasn't considering their pre-Super Bowl success. Green Bay still holds the name "Title Town" though. Vince Lombardi, widely considered the greatest coach in football history, coached the Packers to the first two Super Bowl titles of all time. Brett Favre picked up where Lombardi and Bart Starr left off by winning a Super Bowl in 1996. He has recently disgraced himself with his disgraceful behavior towards the franchise. The Packers have handled the situation with class however.
Face of the Packers: Vince Lombardi (not a player, but is definitely the face of the Packers since Favre's disgrace.)
Top 10 franchises of each sport
1. Dallas Cowboys: Roger Staubach
2. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mean Joe Greene
3. San Francisco 49ers: Joe Montana
4. Green Bay Packers: Vince Lombardi
5. Chicago Bears: Walter Payton
6. New York Giants: Lawrence Taylor
7. Miami Dolphins: Dan Marino
8. Washington Redskins: John Riggins
9. New England Patriots: Tom Brady
10. Oakland Raiders: Marcus Allen
1. Los Angeles Lakers: Magic Johnson
2. Boston Celtics: Bill Russell
3. San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan
4. Philadelphia 76ers: Julius Erving
5. Chicago Bulls: Michael Jordan
6. Houston Rockets: Hakeem Olajuwon
7. Phoenix Suns: Charles Barkley
8. Milwaukee Bucks: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
9. Detroit Pistons: Isaiah Thomas
10. Portland Trailblazers: Bill Walton
1. New York Yankees: Babe Ruth
2. Los Angeles Dodgers: Sandy Koufax
3. St. Louis Cardinals: Bob Gibson
4. Boston Red Sox: Ted Williams
5. San Francisco Giants: Willie Mays
6. Cincinnati Reds: Pete Rose
7. Oakland Athletics: Rickey Henderson
8. Pittsburgh Pirates: Roberto Clemente
9. Detroit Tigers: Ty Cobb
10. Atlanta Braves: Hank Aaron
1. Monteal Canadiens: Maurice Richard
2. Detroit Red Wings: Gordie Howe
3. Toronto Maple Leafs: Darryl Sittler
4. Edmonton Oilers: Wayne Gretzky
5. Boston Bruins: Bobby Orr
6. Philadelphia Flyers: Bobby Clarke
7. New York Rangers: Mark Messier
8. New York Islanders: Mike Bossy
9. Chicago Blackhawks: Bobby Hull
10. New Jersey Devils: Martin Brodeur
Next Week's top 10 list: Top 10 NBA players of all-time (+ Top 10 at each position)
*New post on Kobe coming soon