We rank 'em. You react. That's how the Daily List rolls.
9/19/2007 02:13:00 PM
Five classic teams that should reunite
How would the 1986 New York Giants fare today?
Photo by T.G. Higgins/Getty Images
By John Rolfe, SI.com
Hoary punk rockers The Sex Pistols will reunite for a one-off gig in London on Nov, 8 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their landmark album Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols. Johnny Rotten and Co. are following in the dinosaur tracks of Led Zeppelin, who will reform to play at a tribute to late Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun in London on Nov. 26. Granted, the Pistols and Zep will be missing original parts (Pistols bassist Sid Vicious passed in 1979; Zep drummer John Bonham in '80) and neither band looks like the lean, rampaging gods they once were. Zep guitarist Jimmy Page bears an unsettling resemblance to Ted Kennedy and singer Robert Plant could double as the cowardly lion. Rotten's side job could be as an undertaker. But if you could rent a time machine and bring the two bands from their 70's heyday onto the stage, well, now you're talking. So let's extend the fantasy to sports. What classic teams -- from any year -- would you love to see magically materialize and take the field today?
Here are mine. (Pardon my New York bias -- I was born and raised here. You're welcome to yours.)
1. 1982-83 New York Islanders: This edition of the dynasty brought home a fourth consecutive Stanley Cup by sweeping the Oilers of Gretzky and Messier in the finals. Ah, to see Mike Bossy's laser-like shots, Bryan Trottier's two-way grit, Denis Potvin rushing the puck, Battlin' Billy Smith hacking at anyone who dares venture near his crease, Jethro Gillies making menace, the Sutters -- "Dog" (Duane) and "Pup" (Brent) -- yappin', and my personal favorite, Dave "Bammer" Langevin, throwing booming checks on his creaky knees again. With their heart and versatility, these battle-tested Isles would be a safe bet for the Cup this season.
2. 1962 New York Mets: If only for the comic relief and chance to listen to Casey "The Ol' Perfesser" Stengel explain away another mind-blowing loss. Think about it: Marvelous Marv Throneberry, Don Zimmer, Choo Choo Coleman and 20-game loser Roger Craig all on one field!
3. 1968 New York Jets: I wonder if Broadway Joe would make any guarantees against Peyton Manning's Colts. Would be interesting to see how Indy's D would do against Namath, his Super Bowl-winning backfield of Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer and receiving corps of Hall of Famer Don Maynard, George Sauer and Pete Lammons.
4. 1986 New York Giants: I'm sure beleaguered ol' Tom Coughlin would welcome Lawrence Taylor and the Super Bowl champion Big Blue Wrecking Crew with open arms and dewy eyes. Watching the quietly dignified but bruising Mark Bavaro at tight end instead of that ironhanded meathead Jeremy Shockey would do a Jints fan's spirit good.
5. 1927 New York Yankees: Imagine the Babe, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Bob Meusel, Earl Combs and the rest of the Murderer's Row lineup taking their hacks against the Devil Rays. Ah, that's no challenge. Bring on Josh Beckett, Dice-K, Curt Schilling, and Jonathan Papelbon and let's have some fun.
How about the original - and one and only - olympic basketball dream team from 1992 that rendered the rest of the basketball playing world useless. Sure they're all older, heavier, and out of practice. But a reunion of that '92 squad would be the best damn old timers game I've ever seen!
Let's get college football into this...the 1994 Penn State Nittany Lions. 12-0 and unrewarded. This was pre-BCS, had the BCS been around they would have taken the Tommie Fraser led Nebraska team to the woodshed. Kerry Collins, Kyle Brady, Ki-Jana Carter, Jeff Hartings, Marco Rivera, Jon Witman, and Bobby Engram. Matt and Reggie who? USC what?
Firstly, Anon 4:02PM ... he said bringing them in in the state they were that year, not as they are now, just as an FYI.
Secondly, s.watty, he said right in the article to forgive his NY bias, so deal with it, it's up to the rest of us to bring the flavor.
Thirdly, Ben? If you don't like it, there's plenty of other stuff to read on the site, dumb comments like that only reflect poorly on you and no-one else.
Now, as far as teams I'd love to have back today. Stanley Cup Finalist Buffalo Sabres featuring the French Connection would be glorious, and Super Bowl I champion Green Bay Packers with Bart Starr and the boys is another that I'd love to see - but they'd have to come with the coach. I'd -love- to see how Lombardi would handle today's NFL.
Could this list get any more biased??? All five teams are from New York, and despite pompous Big Apple belief, there are more markets than just New York. This undermines every other great team that existed in sports history, not that those athletes need confirmation of their accomplishments.
John, I would include the 75-78 Montreal Canadiens. As a Leaf fan it was heartbreaking to watch the Habs skate circles around my team but at the same time marvel at the likes of Lafleur the steadiness of Gainey ( called by Victor Tikhonov the best player in the world )Robinson on defense and Dryden in goal ( the list is endless ). I can understand your opinion though as the Islanders did dethrone the Habs and go on their own run at 4 straight. As well I would include both teams from the 1972 Summit Series. That last entry may be a bit esoteric but it represents the really first notion of the dream team concept.
Holy crap. "new york bias" would be having 2 or 3 out of 5 teams from New York. That would be 'biased'. Even an idiotic journalist such as yourself should have named the story "Five classic New York teams that should reunite". It would have saved the rest of us from clicking on the link. Did you get your journalism degree from the mail, or actually attend a school. If it was indeed a school, its accreditation should be rescinded.
May I suggest the decaf to all those who hate New York? I said at the top "pardon my New York bias" and welcomed your own picks. I didn't say "these five New York teams should reunite and you can stick your own choices where the sun don't ever make an appearance." But rest easy on my old alma mater journalism school. The University of PO Box 498 went under halfway through my first semester.
No east coast bias here. All the teams are from NY. You know that everyone out side of NY and Boston are sick and tired off all NY teams, the Red Soxs and the Pats (also the Cowboys). There are other great teams like the 97 & 98 Broncos but team that should get back together is the Tampa Bucs from the 70's that won only a few games.
As a Chicagoan, I'm in no way a fan of ANY MYC/Boston/Philly sports teams. "East Coast Bias" is not biased, it's just the media hitting the biggest numbers of your demographic. In a two hundred mile radius, there are 14 major league sports teams out of 123 major league teams nationwide. That's where the most media revenue is, but more importantly, the number of fans covered.
The team I'd like to see come back would be the '85 Bears. That's not even close. More personalities on any team in the last 20 years.
What about those Big Red Machine teams from the 70's with Bench, Rose, Morgan, Perez, Concepcion, Foster, and the list goes on and on. The were the best team ever assembled in sports history, no questions.
The greatest hockey team ever – the 1971 Boston Bruins. Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, "The Chief" Johnny Bucyk, Gerry Cheevers, & first-year Terry "Is it 5 minutes or 10?" O'Reilley. The perfect machine, lacking in no respects. Cheevers had 33 straight undefeated games. Orr won the Norris, Hart, & Conn Smyth. The Bruins only lost 3 games in the playoffs.
The 1983 Oilers & 1975 Canadiens are close second and third.
What about the Canadiens teams of the late fifties that won 5 striaght cups with the likes of Maurice "The Rocket " Richard and Jean Beliveau up front, Doug Harvey on the blueline and Jaques Plante in goal.
People, settle down. Rolfe said those are his choices not the end all be all list. That's not East Coast bias it's just his wish list. That being said bring back the 1980 Olympic hockey team. (R.I.P Herb Brooks)
Thank You! Those Isles teams don't get enough credit. They could beat you at your own game at will: run-and-gun high-scoring, hard-checking low-scoring and anything in-between. And they rarely - if ever - dropped the gloves. Dennis Potvin's vicious hip checks and Billy Smith's occasional playoffs hack notwithstanding, this was a clean team. What a pleasure to watch or listen to them all those years...GOAL! Islander GOAL!! Islander GOAL!!! (John Sterling, years before "Yankees WIN! The-e-e-e Yankees WIN!!!")
Um, I know you're a homer...but jesus, man! At least pretend you're being objective! Seriously, this title is bogus. It should not be "Five Classic teams that should reunite"...it should be "Five classic NEW YORK teams that should reunite. I can't even write anymore. This was a sad, sad list.