Has The Sports Momentum Swung South?
DALLAS (CBS) – In 2009, Pittsburgh had two champions in a calendar year: the Steelers and Penguins. (Steelers title was for 2008 season).
Boston was the last city or metropolitan area in North America to be the home of multiple championships in a season from among the four major team sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL). Beantown was transformed to Titletown after the Boston Red Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino by winning the 2004 World Series and a few months later the New England Patriots won Super Bowl XXXIX. A few years later, the Celtics (2008) and Bruins (2011) won their respective leagues.
But will the Dallas metroplex (Dallas-Ft.Worth-Arlington) top that?
The Dallas Mavericks won the 2011 NBA Finals. Now, the Texas Rangers are the favorite to win this year’s World Series and tied 1-1 with the St. Louis Cardinals. Coming off a 2-1 win fueled by a 9th inning comeback, all the momentum heads south with the Rangers as it returns home to the Ballpark at Arlington.
And if the Cowboys find a way to ride the Romocoaster, they have as good as chance as any team to win Super Bowl XLVI.
In poker parlance, Boston pulled something akin to two pairs. But Dallas winning three titles in succession would be three of a kind and trump Boston. Interestingly, the Pats this past Sunday defeated the Cowboys up in Foxboro 20-16. That may seem to go towards thwarting the Metroplex bid, but deeper scrutiny reveals that in a close defeat and holding the vaunted Tom Brady-led offense to so few points the Cowboys may realize that it has the ability to make a run at the Super Bowl.
The World Series resumes Saturday with Game 3 as the Rangers continue its quest for its first World Series title. But Game 4, the following day, will be played right after the Cowboys host the St. Louis Rams about a mile away at Cowboys Stadium. This unique sports metropolitan battle may not reach the epic and bloody proportions of Athens versus Sparta city-state wars, yet it could be the day of reckoning for Dallas as it moves toward the City Triple Crown Title.
There have been a few other cities with multiple championships in a single season and it’s been done several times by New York with the Yankees partnering with the football Giants (1927, 1938, 1956) and Rangers (NHL) (1928, 1933). New York last did it in 1986 when the Mets kept the hex alive for the Red Sox by infamously pulling out Games 6 & 7 of the World Series while and Giants cemented the Gatorade shower tradition for coaches en route to winning Super Bowl XXI.
Los Angeles did it a twice. The first time was in 1988 when the Lakers’ last act of the Showtime era won back-to-back titles and teamed with the Dodgers who rode the wave of Kurt Gibson’s memorable pinch hit walk-off two-run homer in Game 1 of the World Series to defeat the mighty Oakland A’s. Again in 2002, the Lakers won the NBA Finals to conclude the Shaq-Kobe three-peat while the Angels rode the momentum of the rally monkey (precursor to the Cardinal’s rally squirrel) to win the World Series over the San Francisco Giants.
Many see the fan bases of San Francisco and Oakland as two distinct constituencies. However, officially, in 1989, the metropolitan area of the San Francisco Bay had two champions with the 49ers and A’s who overcame the cross-bay rival Giants to win an earthquake interrupted World Series.
In 1952, Detroit was also the home of multiple champions in one season with the Lions and Red Wings. But Motown is also the only city to have three champions in the same season, which it accomplished in 1935 when the Tigers won the World Series to match the titles won by the Lions and Red Wings.
Now, all eyes are upon North Texas as their teams make a run at the elusive City Triple Crown Title.