Are The Giants Officially A Dynasty? Opinions Vary, We Investigate
Onion Headline of the Week: '2-Year-Old Never Thought He Would Live To See Giants Win World Series'.
"Balane went on to say that the Giants’ playoff run was the most exciting he’s witnessed since watching the San Francisco 49ers make it to the NFC Championship Game all the way back in 2013."
The word "dynasty" is thrown around a lot these days, but what is a dynasty? Webster's Dictionary defines it as "a painful inflammation of the large intestine", although I was possibly looking at "dysentery". But there are probably as many different definitions as there are baseball fans.
Like little Daniel here, I, too, never thought that I'd live to see the Giants win a World Series. Prior to 2010, however, I had been waiting just a tad longer. Now, with San Francisco the owners of three rings over a five-year span, I've found myself using the D word in mixed company myself. Others disagree with my sentiments.
Facebook pal and talented sportswriter Neate Seager is one of those.
"The Giants are not a dynasty", Neate explained. "They have averaged 87.2 wins in the regular season across the last five seasons. The 1989-93 Blue Jays averaged 91.4; does anyone call them a dynasty?
"It involves crushing it ... not just playing well enough to get into an expanded post-season and then getting hot for 3 weeks. I'm not raining on anyone's parade. It is fantastic. I'm just pointing out by definition, not a dynasty. I enjoyed the game too."
However, upon further review (Funk & Wagnalls), this is the actual definition of "dynasty":
A succession of sovereigns in one line of descent; also, the length of time in which one family is in power.
So technically, a dynasty could encompass any length of time, and has little to do with accomplishment. It's a birthright, and not earned. It could be one year (say, the king is crowned, dies, his son takes over, and he dies, and a brother takes over). Or it could be a thousand years. It should also probably be concurrent. And it helps to be British. (In Queen Elizabeth voice: "I enjoyed the World Series, it's rather like cricket, only with scratching of the privates.").
Here are my top five sports dynasties (that is, before I actually looked up the word):
1. Boston Celtics (1957-1969). 12 NBA Finals appearances, 11 championships over 13-year span.
2. New York Yankees (1947-1962). 13 World Series appearances, 10 titles over 16-year span.
3. Chicago Bulls (1991-1998). 6 NBA championships over 8-year span.
4. Montreal Canadiens (1956-1960). Five straight NHL titles.
5. Real Madrid (1955-60). Won five straight European Cups, and three league titles.
So, are the Giants a dynasty? It's probably time to retire that word, as it's being terribly misused in a sports context. Let's just say that that when you have a World Series parade every other year to begin a decade before that decade is half over, you are a dominant franchise, and others will copy you. It's what the Dodgers are doing now. How have the Giants assembled their farm system? What is Bruce Bochy's secret to managing players and game situations? All of this is under a microscope now (last to notice: big media, which, for the third straight World Series, picked the AL team over the Giants almost unanimously. I'm looking at you, Fox Sports pregame show panel).
Now, using the classic definition of the word, here are the top 5 actual dynasties of all time:
1. Capetian Dynasty (987 to present day). The largest European royal house descends from Hugh Capet, King of the Franks. Among the family are King Juan Carlos of Spain, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and rulers in Brazil, Portugal, and Italy.
2. Mèdicis (13th century to 17th century). Florentine family boasted three popes and many rulers of Florence, helping give birth to the Italian Renaissance.
3. Ptolemy Family (305 BC to 30 BC). Macedonian (Greece) royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt for nearly 300 years.
4. House of Habsburg (1452 to 1740). This royal house, originally from Switzerland, included sovereigns of the Holy Roman Empire, Spain and Austria for almost 300 years.
5. Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644). The Zhu family line ruled China for 276 years.
Sports dynasties? Harrumph. When one of the Yankees becomes pope, get back to me.
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