After winning their third World Series in five years, many are ready to proclaim the San Francisco Giants the latest sports “dynasty.”
The problem with identifying dynasties in sports is that there seems to be more definitions of what makes a dynasty than actual dynasties that have existed.
Some feel there should be a minimum number of championships, say 3-5, in a certain number of years. Others feel that at least some of the championships need to have been won consecutively, a label that hurts teams like the San Antonio Spurs.
What makes being a dynasty so difficult in the 2010s is that there are so many more teams and so much more player movement than there was when the Boston Celtics won 11 titles in 13 years in the 50s and 60s or when the Pittsburgh Steelers won four Super Bowls in six years in the 70s or when the New York Islanders won four straight Stanley Cups in the 80s.
But even if we lower the bar a little bit now, the minimum definition for a dynasty would seem to be a team that is consistently very good and occasionally wins championships. That’s where the Giants fall short. It’s not just about winning three championships in five years. It is also about what they did in the other two years, which is not much at all (via Sports-Reference.com).
It is hard to argue that the Giants have been a dynasty since 2011 when they failed to make the playoffs twice and couldn’t even post a winning record in 2013.
That’s not to take away from what is a great accomplishment. But as Mike Greenberg of ESPN Radio said, a dynasty is like pornography, you know it when you see it. In other words, if there is a debate over whether or not a team is a dynasty, they probably are not a dynasty.
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