Each decade, there has been a major sport that stands out among the others. Owners and General Managers make moves to position their teams to win multiple championships. Those teams become known as dynasties. These dynasties have often made the sport stand out. When that sport stands out, it brings everyone together. Spoiler alert, since the 1960s, three major sports have owned a decade; baseball, basketball, and football. The reason we are starting with the 60s is due to the fact that Super Bowl began in that era. Feel free to disagree, but here are the sports that dominated their perspective decades.
Baseball was the sport to watch during the 60s. The Yankees dominated the 1950s, winning six World Series titles, and added two more in the 60s. There was some new blood that made baseball competitive. The Los Angeles Dodgers won three titles, the St Louis Cardinals returned back to glory while the Baltimore Orioles and the New York “Miracle” Mets were introduced to the world when they emerged as World Champions.
Key Stars: Brooks Robinson, Hank Aaron, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Roger Maris
The Super Bowl was a new concept in the 70s, and immediately it became a big deal. The Dallas Cowboys became America’s team, winning five NFC Championships and two Super Bowls. The Steelers however won four Super Bowls in six years. Who can forget the Miami Dolphins? They went to three straight, winning two. They even had a perfect season in one of those wins, a record that still stands to this day.
Key Stars: Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene, Lynn Swann, Johnny Unitas
Many would argue that basketball should be the sport of the decade in the 60s due to the Celtics domination. However, basketball really became a show to watch thanks to Ervin “Magic” Johnson and the “Showtime” Lakers. In the Eastern Conference there was Larry Bird and the Celtics as well as Dr. J, Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers. Magic and Larry had a rivalry in college and it transitioned well into the NBA. Of course you cannot mention the 80s without mentioning arguably the greatest player ever, Michael Jordan. Jordan was in college during the early 80s and went to the NBA and changed the face of Chicago basketball. But before Jordan could win a title, he had to get past the baddest team of the 80s, Isiah Thomas’ Detroit Pistons, also known as the Bad Boys.
Key Stars: Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Julius Irving, Isiah Thomas
Baseball was the sport to watch in the 90s. Although there was a strike in 1994 that caused the season to be shortened and cancelled the World Series, when the ball started flying out of the park in 96 at a record breaking pace, baseball became the sport to watch. The 90s saw the Atlanta Braves dominate the National League, winning five pennants. The New York Yankees reemerged to the top of the mountain, winning 3 titles in four years, including what many rank as the greatest team ever, the 98 Yankees. Speaking of 98, that summer was special. Fans were privy to the record breaking home run chase as Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa chased Roger Maris’ record of 61. In the end, McGwire broke it and set a new record with 70 home runs, Sosa finished with 66, and baseball’s biggest star Ken Griffey Jr finished with 56. As far as Griffey is concerned, he became the sports most popular star with his lucrative deals with Nike and Nintendo allowing him to have his own shoe and video game
Key Stars: Ken Griffey Jr, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Cal Ripken Jr.
2000 and 2010s: Football
The NFL is king. That is a statement that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. In 2001, a backup quarterback from the University of Michigan became arguably the best quarterback ever. Tom Brady stepped up to the line of scrimmage when Drew Bledsoe went down due to injury and lead the New England Patriots to their first Super Bowl win. He would go on to win three Super Bowls in four seasons in the 2000s and in 2010s, he went to the AFC Championship game five consecutive seasons, winning two title games and one Super Bowl. During this time, The Patriots have emerged as the class of the NFL. Like every great quarterback there is a rival. For Tom Brady, his was Peyton Manning. The two battled in four AFC Championships. As for Manning, another star in the two decades, he won two Super Bowls with two different franchises. He also set many records including most touchdowns thrown in a career. These two decades saw the rebirth of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers, led by Ben Roethlisberger, won two more Super Bowls, becoming the franchise with the most Lomardi Trophies. The Steelers gained a new rival along the way, the Baltimore Ravens. Just like the Steelers, the Ravens became notorious for their defense, led by Ray Lewis. While the Ravens are a new franchise, they have made an impact, with multiple playoff appearances, four AFC Championship appearances, and two Super Bowl wins. They are the only team in league history to be undefeated in the Super Bowl with multiple Super Bowl appearances.
Key Stars: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Ray Lewis