September 20, 2022
Dragons Live Forever … but Sports Dynasties don’t … sigh
A dragon lives forever, but not so little boysPainted wings and giant’s rings make way for other toys One gray night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more And Puff, that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roarHis head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rainPuff no longer went to play along the cherry lane Without his lifelong friend, Puff could not be brave So Puff, that mighty dragon, sadly slipped into his cave
Like Little Jackie Paper … Sports Dynasties DO NOT live forever. Just ask any Nebraska Cornhusker fan …
Bless those 90,000 Cornhusker-lovin’ souls that keep packin’ Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium for 300++ consecutive games (and counting) waiting not-so-patiently for the emergence of the next Devaney/Osborne incarnation to lead them back to Dynasty-status.
A Lot of really good football players have drawn cheers from those 90,000 over the past 50+ years …
Johnny Rogers … Rich Glover … Mike Rozier … Tommy Frazier … Eric Couch … Ndamukong Suh … Lawrence Phillips … oops, maybe not Lawrence Phillips. Phillips does still hold the NCAA record for “number of times dragging a girlfriend down a set of stairs by her hair” … Ouch!
With the exception of Suh … those other Husker Greats were great before anyone on the current roster was born. Uh Oh.
Frank Solich (58-19) and Bo Pellini (67-27) weren’t deemed Devaney/Osborne quality. OK, to be fair, Bo Pellini was prone to bouts of biting the heads off of live mics and never took kindly to criticism constructive or otherwise.
A couple of others hung around a year or so until 2018 when the latest anti-christ arrived in legacy ‘Husker Scott Frost fresh off a imaginary national championship at UCF. Frost’s hire made total sense at the time … but quickly blew out all four tires … and the spare.
Frost set the record for Longest time – 3.5 years – on “the hot seat” in the modern era of Big Time College Football – until he was recently handed a $15,000,000 buy-out and told to “just go away”.
Those 90,000 die-hard ‘Husker faithful promptly did what every over-caffeinated fan base does …. fixate on THE Biggest Name Out There and assume he wants to live in Lincoln Nebraska for $10,000,000 /year.
Its 2022. That Biggest Name is, of course, Urban Meyer. NOTE: It’s “Meyer” with no “s”.
As every football fan in America learned this time last year … despite having only two less “rings” than JLo and four less than Tom Brady, Urban Meyer is not immune to really really horrendous screw-ups. Kardashian marriages last longer than Urban’s stint in Jacksonville.
Meyer could indeed opt for Lincoln … or Tempe … or probably Auburn … or the dozen or so other HC vacancies that are already popping up and it’s not even October yet.
Each of whose Red Bull-fueled fan base truly believes their football program is “a Sleeping Giant” just waiting for the right maestro to lead them to (or back to in Nebraska’s case) the Promised Land.
“Sleeping Giants” and “Dreams of The Promised Land” are forever in abundance all across Big Time College Football.
Q: Is it less painful to have never been “a Dynasty” … or to no longer be one?
Lets look at a few Modern Era American Sports Dynasties …
NOTE: The term “Dynasty” has no universal definition. Even if it did, lunatic fringe fan bases would redefine it to fit their goofball agendas.
NEW YORK YANKEES … Did You Know that … Don Mattingly played 14 seasons – 1785 games – in “pinstripes” and never played in a World Series? The Yankees’ Dynasty over the past 50 years has known “lean years” despite the ability to buy any players they wanted.
MONTREAL CANADIENS … “The Greatest Dynasty in NHL History” Montreal has won the Stanley Cup 24 times …. and has played in 35 Stanley Cup Finals … BUT only once in the past 29 years.
BOSTON CELTICS … have won 17 NBA Championships but 11 of those 17 were won BEFORE 1970 … only six in the past 52 years.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS … Six Super Bowl Championships and eleven Super Bowl appearances since 2001 qualifies as a Dynasty. DUH! But not one since You Know Who left … so should it already be “former dynasty”.
GREEN BAY PACKERS … have won seven NFL championships since 1961 including four Super Bowls … but only one Super Bowl (2010) in this Millenium.
UCONN WOMEN BB … Eleven National Championships since 1996, but only one since 2016. 22 Final Fours since 1991. … Did You Know “Gino” Auriemma’s formal first name is “Luigi”. NOTE: Dawn Staley protests our including UCONN as a dynasty since they are coached by a white guy.
ALABAMA Crimson Tide … Did you know Alabama has had head coaches “in the modern era” NOT named “Bear” or “Nick”? Seven others to be exact. Only one of which – Gene Stallings in 1992 – won a National Championship. … Do the names Ray Perkins, Bill Curry, Mike Dubose, Dennis Franchione, Mike Price and Mike Shula ring any bells? … No Alabama Head Football Coach named “Mike” has ever won a National Championship. Who knew?
NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL … Yes, The Fighting Irish have won eleven National Championships BUT only four since 1966 – the past 56 years – during which there have been ten head coaches. Eleven if you count George O’Leary’s two weeks. Other notables (?) include Gerry Faust and Charlie Weiss.
DALE EARNHARDT / JIMMIE JOHNSON … Seven Winston Cup Championships under one point system.
SECRETARIAT… The Greatest Thoroughbred Race Horse (Not named Man-O-War) only raced for 16 months … 21 Starts with 16 victories.
MAN ‘O WAR … The Greatest Thoroughbred Race Horse (Not named Secretariat) only raced two seasons winning 20 of 21 Starts.
UCLA BASKETBALL … The Wooden Era from 1964 to 1975 was arguably THE #1 Dynasty in American Sports of the past 60 years with Ten National Championships. Since 1975 (47 years) UCLA has won one National Championship and had ten head coaches.
Others receiving modern era “Dynasty” votes include in no particular order …
The Ohio State Football … Oklahoma Football … Texas Football … USC Football … Michigan Football (?) … Miami Football (?) … Duke Basketball … UNC Basketball … Kentucky Basketball … Kansas Basketball … UNC Womens Soccer … LA Lakers …
Again, it all depends upon one’s definition of “a Dynasty”.
There are No Rules Whatsoever governing anything that a foam-fingered, goggle-eyed, spittle-spewing life-long lunatic fringe fan chooses to believe about anything. Ergo …
All of the above facts and figures do absolutely nothing to heal the agony of being a Nebraska Cornhusker football fan in 2022.
But hey … you learned that Secretariat only raced 21 times … and that Alabama has had THREE unsuccessful head football coaches named “Mike”.