So, here's a fun game:  What city enjoyed the greatest sports decad..."/> So, here's a fun game:  What city enjoyed the greatest sports decad..."/>

What City Enjoyed the Greatest Sports Decade Ever?


So, here’s a fun game:  What city enjoyed the greatest sports decade ever?

Current Boston fans will immediately start shouting about the recent 2000s in which the Pats won three Super Bowls, the Sox won two World Series, and the Celtics won one NBA title.  Pittsburgh fans will pine for the 1970s, when the Steelers won four Super Bowls, and the Pirates won two World Series.

Older Boston fans and younger Chicago fans will make noise about the 1960s and the 1990s, based entirely on the dominance of their NBA teams.

LA fans will talk about the 1980s.

The LA Cowboy believes that Los Angeles in the 1980s represents the greatest sports decade that any city has ever experienced.

Here is why:

From 1980-1989 the Lakers won five NBA titles and were in the finals every year except for 1981 and 1986.

The Lakers titles gain greater value because they represent part of the greatest rivalry that American team sports has ever seen—the Lakers vs the Celtics.  The Yankees vs Red Sox rivalry has been a good one, but 1) it was far too one sided until 2004 and 2) the teams have never met in a final series.  The Lakers/Celts rivalry is even more special because it pitted Magic vs Bird in what many consider to be the greatest person vs person rivalry in sports history.

The Dodgers won the World Series in 1981 and 1988.  In ’81, they beat the Yankees in six.  The Oakland A’s should have won the ’88 Series.  They really should have… but in Game 1 Kirk Gibson hobbled to the plate and presented a real life version of The Natural.  After Gibby’s only at bat of the Series, the A’s were finished.  LA won in five games.

In 1982, the Raiders moved down the coast to Los Angeles.  This set off an extraordinary fan base of silver and black clad Angelenos.  The Los Angeles Raiders rewarded their fans in just their second season by upsetting the defending Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins to win Super Bowl XVIII in January of 1984.

In addition, the Rams reached the Superbowl in 1980, and the Clippers moved to LA in the 80’s (but the Clips sucked back then…)

During the 1980s Kareem and Magic played here.  So did Marcus Allen and Eric Dickerson and Orel Hershiser.  Wayne Gretzky even played here in the 80’s, arriving in perhaps the biggest trade in NHL history.

LA in the ’80s had the ultimate city swagger.  Remember when Pat Riley publicly guaranteed the Lakers would repeat as Champs?  Riles’ bravado worked because Los Angeles in the ’80s was the city of big, muscular movie stars like Arnold, Sly and Bruce.  This was back when movie stars were larger than life titans, and lots of them attended LA sports events (especially Jack, of course.)   LA’s sports champions fit perfectly with the existing galaxy of stars.

Now add the glorious 1984 Summer Olympics to this powerful mix…  The Olympics of Carl Lewis and Mary Lou Retton…  The hugely successful Games that saved the modern Olympics–which might not have continued had LA ’84 been a failure.

Add all of this up, and the 1980s in Los Angeles is the Greatest Sports Decade any city has ever enjoyed.