Your definition of a sports dynasty

As a Cowboys fan, one topic that some Dallas fans can get debative about is whether the 1990s squad really counted as a true “dynasty.” They appeared in four straight conference title games and won three Super Bowls, but then promptly fell off a cliff after that. Some Dallas fans argue that was too short to fit the term, or that at least four titles are needed in a short span and three misses the cutoff.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are a clear dynasty; they’ve been dominant for well over a decade now. The 2001-2019 New England Patriots were too.

How short-lived can a reign be and still qualify? Are the 2011-2014 Miami Heat or 2015-2019 Golden State Warriors a dynasty? 1998-2001 Yankees?

For it to be a dynasty there needs to be success, not necessarily premierships, but near top of the table placing, conference or division wins near continuously over a period in which essentially the whole roster and coaching staff have changed.
And the period would need to be close to a decade or more.

A group that wins three in a row then, when the stalwarts and stars retire, crashes down the rankings is a damn good team, but not a dynasty.

The All Blacks represent a dynasty, nearly a century of international dominance.
After them, most other great teams are ephemeral.

I disagree. Dynasty implies winning it all, and to qualify you need to win the biggest prize more than twice, IMO. Winning the third championship in roughly 5 years is what cements it for me.

Three or more championships minimum, over a span of no more than 6 years*. That’s generally how I think of dynasties, anyway, with the 6-year max being specifically tailored to include all four championships the Steelers won in the '70s.

I do consider the early 90s cowboys a dynasty. Three in four years qualifies easily.

I’m not sure I’d agree that the Patriots from 2001 to 2019 was a dynasty only because 18 years is just too long. I actually consider them two distinct dynasties: One from 2001 to 2004 (three championships) and again from 2014 to 2018 (three championships). They won no Lombardi trophies in the 10-year span between the two.

*Unless, of course, you just keep winning. If you win 8 championships in a row it’s not like I would say oh no that’s more than 6 years doesn’t count. You get the idea.

Saint George Rugby League club in the NSW state competition in Australia won 11 straight premierships from 1956 through 1966. THAT is a dynasty.

I disagree. This would seem to classify the Buffalo Bills of the '90s as a dynasty (lost four Super bowls in a row) when that seems clearly wrong to me.

Well they were an American Football League dynasty :wink: .

I think this runs into the strange thing in American sports where the best team may not be the Champion. In leagues where everyone plays each other home and away and the most points wins (think European soccer leagues), the best team is almost always (like 99.9%) the Champion. OTOH, in the NFL, you have the 2007-2008 season, where the best team, an undefeated New England Patriots, lost the Superbowl to the 6 loss New York Giants.

For me, a sports dynasty is a team with an extended run of success. That boils down to:

  • Multiple championships
  • Consistently challenging for the championship, even in years in which they don’t wind up winning it (so, winning records, going deep in the playoffs, etc.)
  • Over an extended period of time – five seasons is probably the bare minimum

Given that:

  • I do think of the early '90s Cowboys as a dynasty, though a short one.
  • As much as I liked the Bills from that same era, and as good as they were, with four straight Super Bowl appearances, the fact that they never won one precludes them from being a dynasty.
  • I think of the 2001-2019 Patriots as one extended dynasty. Yes, there’s a ten-year gap between the early Super Bowl wins for them, and the later run, but in that nine-year “drought,” they made the playoffs eight times, made it to the AFC Championship game five times, and lost the Super Bowl twice.

There’s also continuity in personnel - namely Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

I have a hard time thinking of the 2010-2014 SF Giants as a dynasty. 3 World Series titles in 5 years, and a mostly intact core. I guess it was one of those teams that just didn’t make it look easy?

Well one may be that they won the WS every other year to get those 3 WS wins - no back to back. In addition in none of those years did they have the best record in the NL (and the last one they were a Wild Card team).

Maybe just a bit of an exaggeration there. They did make the playoffs in 3 of 4 years after that 3rd SB. Though they weren’t much of a factor in the playoffs.

All told, playoffs in 8 of 9 years and three SB victories.

I think that qualifies as a dynasty in my mind.

My totally arbitrary definition would be a 10 year span with at least 6 championships. To me, a three-peat is not a dynasty, it could be just the result of a few dominant individuals. To have a decade long success requires more of a team effort and depth in the organization.

Due to the nature of college football, I don’t consider there to have been any dynasties since so much is decided in the polls which in turn are decided largely by reputation and by bias. Men’s BB is another story since all teams have a shot at the party and UCLA was indeed a dynasty.

Spain national football team winning Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 with a team that stayed largely the same across those four years. Same with the Australia national cricket team that won three World Cups in a row (1999, 2003, 2007).

To maintain that peak level of performance and succeed when everyone else knows you are the team to knock off the perch requires a level of focus and consistency like no other. Everyone else is gunning for you and you’re brushing them aside.

By that definition, there’s only been one dynasty in the NFL: the Cleveland Browns, which won seven championships between 1946 and 1955. However, the first four of those were as champions of the rival All-American Football Conference (which only began play in 1946), and in which they were head-and-shoulders above the caliber of most the other teams. The AAFC folded after their 1949 season, and the Browns (along with the 49ers and the original Baltimore Colts) joined the NFL.

Other than that example, the closest there’s been:

  • The Patriots, under Bill Belichick, won six Super Bowls, though in the span of 18 years.
  • The Packers and Bears each won six championships in the '30s and '40s, though those were both over the course of fifteen years.
  • The Packers, during Vince Lombardi’s tenure in the 1960s, won five championships (including the first two Super Bowls) in the span of 8 seasons.

The term dynasty is overused, but the prevailing informal definition of it involves multiple championships within a five year span or longer. The Lakers were a ‘dynasty’ from 2000-2002. The Yankees were a dynasty from 1996 to 2001. The Cowboys and 49ers were dynasties as well - by today’s standards.

But real dynasties? I’m thinking of the UCLA Bruins under John Wooden or UConn women’s basketball, or the Yankees of the 1950s or Celtics during the Bill Russell era. The closest to that kind of dynasty I can think of since I’ve watched or kept up with sports are Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls and Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers. The Islanders were a thing in the early 80s but I hardly understood the sport - Gretzky was the guy who put hockey on US television sets outside the Northeastern US.

If you could keep 3 top notch players together in the NBA, that’s all you’d need for a championship.

True enough, but I still don’t think 3 years makes a dynasty.

Suggest you should step outside the comfort zone and google “All Blacks”. They have been bookies favourites to win almost every game they have played since before your father was born.

A dynasty involves generations, what most in this thread are offering are better described as reigns.

How about the (NHL) Montreal Canadiens? From 1955-56 through 1978-79, they won the Stanley Cup 15 times, and missed the playoffs once.