by Joe Lotano
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins began their quest for a second consecutive NHL title in the Stanley Cup Finals. Yesterday, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors began their third straight matchup in the NBA Finals. These familiar faces offer thrilling rivalries and produce all-time greats in the process.
But at the same time, when a franchise returns to the championship level year after year, does it make the sport seem repetitive, and take away from other teams’ successes? In other words, do dynasties help or hurt sports?
Sports dynasties can take their leagues by storm and produce massive viewership. Without the constant battles between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers in the ‘80s, who knows how popular the NBA would be today? And without the New York Yankees winning World Series after World Series in the mid-1900s, would baseball still be as beloved as it is today?
Over time, some diehard fans want something new. They don’t want to see the same team hoist the trophy over and over again. “More often than not, dynasties ruin the enjoyment of watching sports,” said WHS junior Zach Composto.
Fellow junior Kayla Tupper believes that the teams with a greater track record of success overshadow the teams that are playing just as well at the time.
“In the late ‘90s, the [New York] Mets were a very talented team with Mike Piazza, but the Yankees won so many World Series during that time, which took the focus off the Mets,” said Tupper.
Of course, there are sports fans who appreciate the dynasties. Jesse Liu, a class of 2016 WHS graduate, doesn’t take this history-making success for granted. “I appreciate and enjoy watching sports with [dynasties] present, mainly because they generate both loyal fan bases and passionate haters,” Liu said.
Liu doesn’t mind watching the New England Patriots make the Super Bowl every other year, but he understands and admires the hatred directed toward the team or the personalities on the team such as quarterback Tom Brady or head coach Bill Belichick.
So as Sidney Crosby makes a run at a second consecutive Stanley Cup and LeBron James and Stephen Curry duel it out on the court once again, some have seen enough. Freshman Jack Bowman, for one, has had enough of the Warriors and Cavaliers trilogy.
“[The Cavs and Warriors] are running other teams over and sweeping their way to the finals without the threat of losing their talent in the offseason,” Bowman said.