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ESPN's 10 worst Championship Teams

tobywan

TRIBE Member
1. 1997 Florida Marlins
One of the great flukes -- a wild card that outperformed its Pythagorean numbers (that is, they won far more games than they statistically would have been expected to considering their overall run differential), then upset the Braves and beat the Indians in a wild World Series (including a comeback in the ninth inning of Game 7). Some might consider them a strong team, because they had a lot of famous "veteran" players, but they didn't show that during the regular season. The Marlins basically got "hot" for a few weeks, caught some breaks (the Braves made some mistakes and also were plumb unlucky), and will go down as perhaps the most notorious champs since the 1985 Royals or 1919 Reds.

2. 1995 Houston Rockets
The Rockets entered the playoffs seeded sixth in the Western Conference with a 47-35 record. But they became the lowest-seeded team to win an NBA title, beating four 50-game winners in the process -- Utah, Phoenix, San Antonio and the Magic, who they swept in the finals.

3. 1906 Chicago White Sox
The World Series looked like a total mismatch -- the 116-36 Cubs (their .763 remains the best regular-season winning percentage in MLB history) vs. the White Sox, whose seven home runs on the year and anemic team batting average of .230 had rightly earned them the dismissive nickname of "The Hitless Wonders." Somehow, the Sox won the title in six games.

4. 1987 Minnesota Twins
The Twins finished the regular season with an 85-77 record, and they were lucky to do so -- during the season, opponents outscored the Twins by 20 runs, and statheads will tell you that without luck, the Twins would have been 79-83. Bert Blyleven and Frank Viola were good starting pitchers, but after that came Les Straker and Mike Smithson and pray for something. Still, they managed to beat the heavily favored Tigers in five games for the AL pennant, then rode Viola's arm and a monstrous home-field advantage (all four wins came in the Metrodome) to a seven-game victory over the Cards in the World Series.

5. 1980 Oakland Raiders (Super Bowl XV)
The Raiders, led by Jim Plunkett, tied for the best record in the AFC -- they were one of five AFC teams to go 11-5. But the Raiders were the wild-card team, and hadn't exactly overwhelmed opponents during the regular season. Still, in one of the great Cinderella stories, Plunkett led the Raiders to a 27-10 win over the Eagles in the Super Bowl, completing 13 of 21 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns. The Raiders were the first wild-card team to win the Super Bowl. In 1981, they fell to 7-9, fourth in the AFC West.

6. 2001 New England Patriots
The Pats may (or may not) have been the best team in the AFC, but they were arguably only the fifth or sixth best team in the NFL. How they beat the Rams -- who during their 14-2 season outscored opponents by almost a 2-1 margin -- remains a mystery. Is anyone betting on a repeat?

7. 1985 Kansas City Royals
Kansas City finished first in the AL West with a 91-71 record. The Royals were a truly multidimensional team at the plate -- they had the worst on-base percentage in the AL, the second-worst team batting average (George Brett's .335 was 57 points higher than the team's second-best batter, Willie Wilson), and were a mediocre power team. Fortunately, they had a good pitching staff, which led the league in shutouts with 11, and were second in the AL with a 3.49 ERA. The Royals beat the Blue Jays in a seven-game ALCS, then beat the Cardinals in a seven-game World Series. Pitching was the key for the Royals -- they held the Cards to only 13 runs (and a .185 batting average) in seven games.

8. 1945 Detroit Tigers
When asked whether the Cubs or the Tigers would win the 1945 World Series, Chicago sportswriter Warren Brown said, "I don't think either one of them can win it."

9. 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs finished third in the six-team NHL, compiling a 32-27-11 record while being outscored 211-204 by opponents (by comparison, the first-place Blackhawks outscored opponents 264-170). But the Leafs managed to beat Chicago in the semifinals and the Canadiens in the Stanley Cup finals.

10. 1991 and 1992 Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins followed up two mediocre regular seasons in a row with two championships in a row. The Pens were 41-33-6 in 1990-91, finishing only third in the weak Prince of Wales Conference. In 1991-92, they could only manage a tie for third in their division, with a 39-32-9 record, but swept Chicago in four straight games in the Stanley Cup finals.


Ok, I agree with most of those....but the Penguins Championship teams should not be on that list....sure, they didn't finish in the top of the Coference, but look at their roster...Lemieux, Jagr, Stevens, Recchi, Barasso, etc.....

Bias
 

sen

TRIBE Member
although i can see where they are coming from, i dunno how you can consider any championship team a bad team.

some teams don't perform well in the regular season, but can turn their level of play up come playoff time.

its a mark of a good team.
 

kurtz

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by MC Bias
1. 1997 Florida Marlins
One of the great flukes -- a wild card that outperformed its Pythagorean numbers (that is, they won far more games than they statistically would have been expected to considering their overall run differential), then upset the Braves and beat the Indians in a wild World Series (including a comeback in the ninth inning of Game 7). Some might consider them a strong team, because they had a lot of famous "veteran" players, but they didn't show that during the regular season. The Marlins basically got "hot" for a few weeks, caught some breaks (the Braves made some mistakes and also were plumb unlucky), and will go down as perhaps the most notorious champs since the 1985 Royals or 1919 Reds.
Bias
I was in Ohio at this time... Indian tickets sell out their entire season the first day they go on sale. Cleveland takes their baseball and football very seriously. The Indians always make it far, but strike out in the end, and the Browns are one of a couple teams who have never won a superbowl! They are kinda like the Buffalo Bills for two sports! :D (I wont even mention the CAVs history...)
 

kerouacdude

TRIBE Member
I've already emailed ESPN with my pick - the 1993 Montreal Canadiens - winners of 11 overtime games and benefactors of Pittsburgh beating the Islanders and the Kings beating the Leafs (both the Pens and the Leafs would have beaten the Habs in no more than 5)
 

g0nz0

TRIBE Member
THE CHICAGO BULLS OF 91,92,93,96,97,98 - THOSE TEAMS WERE WACK.... ANYONE WHO AGREES WITH ME???
 
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dicksherwood

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by g0nz0
THE CHICAGO BULLS OF 91,92,93,96,97,98 - THOSE TEAMS WERE WACK.... ANYONE WHO AGREES WITH ME???
Whateva man, when you have the greatest player who ever played the game on your team, play unbelievable defense and have an offensive system that works with a guy who can bail you out everytime things breakdown, you deserve to win. Jordan, Pippen and Horace Grant on the first 3, Jordan, Pippen and Rodman on the second 3, those were great teams that would dominate the NBA at anytime.
 

Sporty Dan

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by MC Bias
Ok, I agree with most of those....but the Penguins Championship teams should not be on that list....sure, they didn't finish in the top of the Coference, but look at their roster...Lemieux, Jagr, Stevens, Recchi, Barasso, etc.....

Bias

I concur.



dan.
 

g0nz0

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by dicksherwood69


Whateva man, when you have the greatest player who ever played the game on your team, play unbelievable defense and have an offensive system that works with a guy who can bail you out everytime things breakdown, you deserve to win. Jordan, Pippen and Horace Grant on the first 3, Jordan, Pippen and Rodman on the second 3, those were great teams that would dominate the NBA at anytime.
WAS JOKING AM I...100%
 

SJN

TRIBE Member
i don't understand how they could even think about putting the 91 and 92 pens teams on that list....they had average regular seasons both years, but that was back when the regular season meant nothing - almost everyone made the playoffs and many teams coasted through the reg. season....the Pens teams of the early 90s were awesome (the 93 team which lost to the Isles in 7 was one of the best NHL teams ever) - ESPN is missing the boat on this one big time
 
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g0nz0

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by SJN
i don't understand how they could even think about putting the 91 and 92 pens teams on that list....ESPN is missing the boat on this one big time
LETS NOT FORGET THAT THEY ARE AMERICANS, AND DO NOT APPRETIATE NOR UNDERSTAND THE VALUE THAT IS HOCKEY...AND THATS ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT....OTHER THAN, SORRY FOR THE STEROTYPICAL GENERALIZE/CATAGORIZATION OF AMERICANS.


CHEERS,

Z0-
 

kerouacdude

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by kerouacdude
I've already emailed ESPN with my pick - the 1993 Montreal Canadiens - winners of 11 overtime games and benefactors of Pittsburgh beating the Islanders and the Kings beating the Leafs (both the Pens and the Leafs would have beaten the Habs in no more than 5)
that should read "the Islanders beating Pittsburgh"
 
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