When the Golden State Warriors punched their ticket to their fifth straight NBA Finals, everyone predictably lost their collective minds.
“What about parity!?” They cry.
“Too predictable!” They scream into the void.
“Boring!” They lie to themselves.
In reality, I think most people are just upset it’s not THEIR team that’s doing all the winning. Before I get painted as a Warriors fanboy, I’d like to be on the record of saying I’m not. I’ve despised nearly every dynasty of my life as a sports fan. The Warriors? They just toy with teams, and likely will be the reason why many of my favourite players never get a ring.
The Patriots? Broke my heart in Super Bowl 49 after, well, you know. The Stampeders of the CFL are closing in on dynasty status after capturing their third Grey Cup in 10 years, as a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan, let me be the first to tell you that’s not ideal.
Parity isn’t always good
However, I am still writing to you today to let you know that dynasties are good for sports. Why? Because who the hell would’ve wanted to watch the Los Angeles Clippers take on the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals? That’s what “parity” would’ve gotten you.
Let’s take the NHL for example, a league that prides itself on parity. Don’t believe me? Just ask the Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames. In the 2011-2012 season, the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings went on a Cinderella run that resulted in a finals matchup against New Jersey Devils. The result? One of the least watched Stanley Cup Finals in years.
That’s not to say that there needs to be a dynasty in every championship game or series there is, like with anything, balance is needed. The Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues series has reportedly done very well with viewers this past week.
There’s a point to be made
On the other side, a friend of the blog and pod, Austin Doyle made some valid points on Twitter. Sometimes the one-off moments provided by the “parity” team make for the greatest moments in sports history.
Jordan Eberles goal to tie it on the World Juniors against Russia to push to overtime and win. These moments are what create waves in sports and advance the fan base. Golden Knights making it to the finals last year was huge for there fan base and the NHL as a league. 2/3
— Austin Doyle (@BigRedFittness) May 22, 2019
Dynasties are responsible for Cinderella stories
But sometimes those greatest moments come at the expense of a dynasty and that’s what makes them that much more special. Take the 2007 Patriots for example. 16-0 in the regular season and 18-0 heading into the biggest game. Three Super Bowls to their name in seven seasons leading up to that moment. And the Giants pull off one of the greatest upsets in history.
Because the one thing about dynasties is they all eventually come to an end. Yes, the Patriots one day will fall. And that’s sometimes just as exciting as seeing them rise to the mountain top and fight to keep the crown. I can sympathize with sports fans who’s teams or favourite players were snubbed out of rings or multiple rings due to a dynasty (you’re talking to a Seahawks fan after all) but what’s the ideal alternative?
The Toronto Raptors offer the perfect foil to the Warriors dynasty. Though they’re a very deep team and feature some of the NBA’s finest talent, the fact that it’s their first finals appearance has them as the Cinderella team. What better matchup for them than the Goliath-like Warriors? Are people seriously going to tell me that the Nuggets, Blazers or Rockets would have made for the more enticing matchup for this event?
So sit back and enjoy!
Having two “Cinderella” teams make it to the championship game every season would have the novelty wearing off in a hurry. Part of the fun of dynasties is rooting against them, hoping that this will be the year they fall. When they don’t it’s frustrating to fans but years later, when we look back, we’ll appreciate the run they went on. Like everyone fawns over the Bulls or Cowboys of the ’90s, they’ll look back on the Warriors or Patriots in the same fashion, it’ll just take some time to get there.
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