Monday, March 7, 2011

Sports/Decade Countdown: #6

We continue now with our #6 city/decade on our list of the top 10 cities and decades of the past 110 years. For an overview/explanation of the rankings, and the system used to get them, click here.

The list so far:
#10: Boston, 1970s
#9: Boston, 1980s
#8: Detroit, 1940s
#7: Detroit, 1950s

All of the decades we've seen so far have been old--well, at least to a kid born in 1988. With the advent of free agency and salary caps, not to mention the increased exposure many top athletes are getting paid in arenas other than sports (Peyton Manning on SNL, LeBron James' decision), an attitude that only furthers the idea that athletes are in it for the money. Either way, it's no secret that players are changing teams far more often now than they did before free agency, so keeping any dynasty together is nearly impossible as player salaries keep increasing and increasing. That being said, there have been a few executives who knew what they were doing. And, every once in a while, the stars align and those executives all end up in the same city around the same time.

6) Boston, 2000s (Score: 255.76)—2 MVPs/6 Titles/8 finals/26 Playoffs/55.5 W%

The only entrant of the last 20 years, this Boston town was a force to contend with in the first decade of the 21st century. The low number comes in the form of MVPs (and it remains to be seen if Dustin Pedroia will become a great Red Sock or not), but Titletown USA was in Boston these ten years. The Red Sox won their first title in over 80 years and  then added a second for good measure, behind the leadership of Terry Francona and the brilliance of GM Theo Epstein. The Patriots added 3 Super Bowls, not to mention getting one of the greatest late-round draft picks EVER in 6th-rounder Tom Brady (right).  Bill Belichick, as hated and intriguing a figure as he is, guided the Patriots to winning seasons every one that decade. In an NFL where teams make the Super Bowl one year and tank it the next (see: 2003 Raiders, 2004 Panthers, 2005 Eagles, et al), Belichick had the Patriots winning year after year. The Celtics added superstars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to win the NBA Finals in the latter part of the decade. Even the Bruins, who didn’t contribute an MVP or Finals appearance, still pulled a record over .500. This decade, however, belonged to the Patriots. The Tuck Rule. Adam Vinatieri. Defeating the Greatest Show on Turf. The Pats brought the Lombardi trophy to Foxboro, and they (ok, the Sox helped too) took Boston up to the highest ranking we could see in quite some time.

The Countdown Continues Here: #5

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