If teams from different eras or seasons could face off, what would be your ultimate match-up?

Who would be your dream match-up?

Mine would be the 2001 Lakers (Shaq, Kobe) vs. 1987 Lakers (Magic, Kareem, Worthy, B. Scott). I consider these the two best Laker teams of all time (Hon. mention to the 1982 Lakers) but with very different styles and approaches to the game. I would love to watch Shaq beat on Kareem while Michael Cooper tries to put the clamps on Kobe… while Kobe tries to thwart Magic.

Runner Up:
The 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympics Basketball Team (Jordan, Magic, Barkley, etc.) versus the 2012 U.S. Men’s team (Lebron, Durant, Kobe, Chris Paul, etc.). There are NBA fans among us on the Dope (despite the lack of NBA threads) that would consider it blasphemy to compare any team to the 1992 squad and certainly have a case. But I’m not so sure. I consider the current state of NBA basketball to be its best in history and therefore the best players are the best as well… perhaps. I would pity Karl Malone trying to stop Lebron James but not even Russell Westbrook would be able to guard Michael Jordan.

But debating such issues isn’t the purpose of this thread. This thread is about who would be *your ultimate matchup *from any era or season. Match-ups of athletes from individual sports (e.g. boxing) welcome also.

I’d like to see one of Vince Lombardi’s Packer squads of the early Sixties square off against the 1978-79 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Then the winners could take on the 1990 San Francisco 49ers.

What’s the best team in MLB history with the largest number of minorities on it? Because I want to see that team beat the tar out of Ty Cobb’s 1909 Tigers.

Edit: And if we can’t determine which team that is, any of Bob Gibson’s teams would be fine.

The classic NFL case is probably '85 Chicago Bears against '89 San Francisco 49ers.

Those two are consistently rated the best ever NFL teams, and it’d be an interesting match of the dominant defense of the Bears vs arguably the greatest ever passing season in a QB by Joe Montana.

[hijack]I don’t know much about the advanced metrics in football, but is there a case of Montana’s season (even pro-rated for the games he missed) against Manning’s most recent campaign? It’s two very different eras in passing, but we’re talking about 180 more completions, 1900 more yards, 27 more TDs, and 70 more yds/gm.

Ah, but could Lebron?

For me, I’d like to see the '03-'04 Pistons against the '66-‘67 Sixers. That Sixers team had 4 serious Hall of Famers, whupped the legendary Celtics’ Russell/Havlicek/Jones machine at the height of its powers, and of course, most importantly, featured noted superhuman Wilt cranking out 24/24/8 on a nightly basis while shooting almost 70% from the floor. Unlike other teams Wilt played on, this one was crazy balanced; each of Billy Cunningham, Chet Walker and Hal Greer was a serious handful in his own right. Took a championship right out from under the noses of the Celtics who had won whatever it was, the previous forty and would win the next two.

That Pistons team… played the shit out of some defense and that was pretty much the end of the story. What I would suspect, and what I would really really like to see, is that the Sixers would score in the 50s on a good night, and Wilt would struggle for a double double. But I can’t prove it.

Don’t just speculate: Test it out.

I think it’s futile trying to match up the best from one era with that of another… athletes get stronger and faster and bigger, so I wouldn’t give the 1962 Celtics much chance against any decent NBA team today. The 1985 Bears would be severely undersized against the behemoths that play on the lines today.

so, I’ll go for entertainment and want to see a matchup of the 2004 Boston Red Sox “Idiots” vs the 1934 St Louis Cardinal “Gashouse Gang.”

I’m not sure, but I’d guess the numbers guys are already trying to develop these numbers. Different eras and all, so it makes comparisons pretty tough.

It’d be hard to argue against Manning having one of the all time great seasons, though, even if he doesn’t win the Superbowl. Of course, it always helps your case when your team wins it all.

My first thought was the '85 Bears against the '07 Patriots. Both teams were 18-1 and epitomize the “immovable object” vs. “unstoppable force” scenario. The Patriots set records for highest point differential in a season (315) as well as most touchdowns and most points scored (the latter two records being surpassed by the Broncos this year).

I’d like to see the '96-'97 Red Wings take on the '76-'77 Canadiens. Bowman vs. Bowman. Dynasty vs. Grind. Dryden vs. Vernon.

I suspect I wouldn’t like the results, but it’d be fun to watch.

Or even the '89 49ers vs '07 Pats. That’d be an interesting matchup.

Everybody remembers Bill Walsh and his teams for the West Coast offense, but several of his teams had very good defense, too. The '89 team was #2 or #3 in overall defense that year (Ronnie Lott was not a half-bad player, as I recall).

1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords (Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, “Cool Papa” Bell) vs. 1927 New York Yankees (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig.)

Bradshaw’s Steelers vs. Csonka’s Dolphins.

Since we got a time machine, how about matchups that didn’t happen? Where you could “bring back” teams that never got to play each other. Like the co-champs in college football, where bowl affiliations or politics prevented matchups:

1992 Miami vs Washington
1997 Nebraska vs Michigan
2003 LSU vs Southern Cal

Or, matchups that didn’t happen due to pesky upsets:

1985 Super Bowl: Bears vs Marino’s Dolphins (rematch of the MNF game, if the Pats didn’t win)
1998 Super Bowl: Elway’s Broncos vs 15-1 Vikings (if that FG isn’t missed)

Dexter Manley versus a book.

I think we’d all bet the under in that one.

The 1970-71 Boston Bruins against well just about any team. I’d just love to see Orr Esposito, and the rest play again. Let’s say the 1983-4 Edmonton Oilers with Getzky and Kurri.

That one actually happened, twice.

1971, Week 9: Miami 24, Pittsburgh 21
1972, AFC Championship: Miami 21, Pittsburgh 17

Two close games aren’t enough to make a judgment as to who was better, especially since Miami was a powerhouse and Pittsburgh had yet to have their legendary Hall of Fame lineup (most came later, though they did have Bradshaw, Harris, Blount, Greene, Ham, White, and Wagner). I suppose in a sense it’s not the matchup you were looking for, but it did happen.

I’ll take the 1966-67 Packers vs. the 1975-76 Steelers vs. the 1988-89 49ers. You get the feeling that the players didn’t really turn into the monsters they became until the 1990s, so it would make for some intriguing matchups. Anything after that becomes a blowout, almost a different game.

I’d like to see some pro basketball championships resolved

1976 & 1974 Celtics (Havlicek Cowens etc) v. NY Nets (Dr. J).
1975 Golden State Warriors (Rick Barry) v. Kentucky Colonels (Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel)