Our Favorite Dynasties
It's that time again -- the end of the millennium -- so we immersed ourselves in the century's heavy reigns and drew up a list of those we liked best
Posted: Monday May 10, 1999 03:40 PM
By Richard Hoffer
The list-making business is a low-tech enterprise, with no practical barrier to start-ups. Anybody, it turns out, can make a list. A sizable staff and a major investment in office supplies does not guarantee the last word, and expertise is almost entirely irrelevant. Which is to say that, for any topic we choose, your list might be defensibly different from ours.
This is discouraging, especially for those of us who splurged on office supplies. What if your list makes more sense? Appeals to more people? Where then is the advantage of our office supplies, our expertise?
The only explanation is that appreciation of sports is, above all, idiosyncratic. As we prepare for the millennium with our various lists of favorites from the 20th century -- which will run throughout the year, accompanied by a story on one of those favorites -- we're reminded that these players, these teams matter to us in ways that achievement alone cannot account for. Take dynasties: What ought to be our most authoritative list (who won the most for the longest -- how hard is that?) doubtless seems riddled with capriciousness. We've got Lombardi's Packers but not Walsh's 49ers? Harry Hopman's tennis teams but not Stanford's?
Our position is simple: This list is personal and, therefore, irrefutable. We're prepared to admit that you might reasonably pick Soviet hockey over Gretzky's Oilers, or the Cuban Olympic boxing teams over the Iowa wrestling teams. All we can say is that there are no reliable criteria for our list of favorite dynasties, or any other similar list, beyond our own welter of experience and affection. We might also point out that we've been in the opinion industry a long time and know our way around a top 20. Which is another way of saying what we've been saying all along: It may be personal, but we're right
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