What other sports teams need their own series?

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The Showtime Lakers were one of the all-time iconic sports franchises. So much so they were given their own HBO show in “Winning Time.” While Magic Johnson, Pat Riley, and the rest definitely deserved their own series, they aren’t the only team that is (James) worthy of that honor. Here are some other teams we’d love to see a series about. Not just the franchises, but the era as well.

 

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The Big Red Machine

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During the 1970s, the Cincinnati Reds were a nigh-unstoppable baseball machine, which culminated with back-to-back World Series wins in 1975 and 1976. Some of the Reds of that era included Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, and manager Sparky Anderson. Oh, and Pete Rose, who is a notable, infamous character in baseball to be sure.

 

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The Gretzky-era Kings

The Gretzky-era Kings

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When Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings, it changed the world of hockey. Suddenly, the Kings became the trendy team in the NHL. While “The Great One” was a King until the 1996 trade deadline, we’d probably end the series after the 1992-93 Stanley Cup Finals, where the Kings lost to the Canadiens.

 

The 1993-94 New York Rangers

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The Rangers had not won a Stanley Cup since 1940. It was the longest drought in the NHL by a wide margin. For a city as big as New York, that was huge. Mark Messier guaranteed a win. They got it, and they ended up hoisting the Cup that season, ending the drought.

 

The LeBron James Heat

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It starts with “The Decision,” of course. That would make for quite the series premiere. LeBron, and Chris Bosh, took their talents down to South Beach to team up with Dwyane Wade. It was controversial, to say the least. However, the show would have a happy ending after many twists and turns: LeBron returning to his native Cleveland.

 

The 2001-2007 New England Patriots

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In the 2001 season, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady won their first Super Bowl. In 2007, the Patriots were undefeated heading into the Super Bowl, where they were upset by the New York Giants. In between, they won two more Super Bowls. Yeah, that would make for quite the series.

 

The 1990s Dallas Cowboys

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How ‘bout them Cowboys? In the 1990s, they were America’s team. Jerry Jones would make for quite the character, as would Michael Irvin. Of course, we can’t forget Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, who were key to the team’s success, and Super Bowls, as well.

 

The 2004 Boston Red Sox

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Drought-breaking teams are fun. What about curse-breaking teams? That’s what the 2004 Boston Red Sox did. A team with some colorful (and controversial) characters, this might be a one-season show. Still, what a culmination it would have.

 

The 2016 Chicago Cubs

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The 2016 Cubs may not have been as colorful as the Red Sox, but they broke a World Series drought that had gone on for over a century. You could do a lot of flashbacks along the way. Throw a little Steve Bartman into the mix? That’ll spice things up.

 

The Pete Carroll era USC Trojans

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Carroll coached the Trojans from 2001 through 2009. The Rams weren’t in Los Angeles at the time, so USC was basically the city’s football team. They won two titles in a row and then lost perhaps the best college football game ever to the Texas Longhorns. Carroll had a lot of personality too. He’d make for a good main character.

 

The Satchel Paige era Kansas City Monarchs

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The Kansas City Monarchs were the juggernauts of the Negro Leagues. Paige, considered one of the best pitchers ever, was with the team from 1940 through 1947. They won four league titles and one World Series title in that time. Paige wasn’t the only notable name during that time. Buck O’Neill was also there, and Jackie Robinson spent one season with the team as well.

 

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The 1986 Argentina men’s soccer team

The 1986 Argentina men’s soccer team

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Sure, Argentina won the World Cup in 1986. That’s cool. They had Diego Maradona on the team. That’s why we want to watch this series. It might be hard to capture Maradona’s magic on the field, but his personality would make for a tremendous TV character.

 

The 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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This one might be more of a comedy. The Buccaneers were an expansion team in 1976. They proceeded to go winless, and most of the games weren’t particularly close. These Bucs were perhaps the worst NFL team ever. That could make for a funny show.

 

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The Cleveland Barons

The Cleveland Barons

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It’s OK if you don’t remember the Barons. That’s with good reason. The California Golden Seals moved from Oakland to play in Cleveland as the Barons. They lasted only two seasons before folding. Not moving, but folding. The Barons were the last franchise in one of the four major American sports leagues to cease operations. That would make for a fascinating story, even if the names are unknown.

 

The Jordan-era Washington Wizards

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“The Last Dance” gave us all the Bulls era Jordan we need. Let’s spend some time with Jordan and the Wizards! There’s some “Lion in Winter” stuff here, with Jordan’s game slipping. He was fighting with Kwame Brown and generally being the ultra-competitive maniac that MJ was known to be. This makes for a better dramatic story than the Bulls, frankly.

 

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The Fab Five Michigan Wolverines

The Fab Five Michigan Wolverines

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The Fab Five changed college basketball and inspired a generation. They wore their sorts baggy and played with swagger. Chris Webber was a huge star. He also took that one infamous timeout. While a couple of the players left early, the show could cover the time from recruitment to the time the last member of the Fab Five left.

 

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The 1991 United States women’s soccer team

The 1991 United States women’s soccer team

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In 1991, the first Women’s World Cup was held. It was a massive moment for women’s soccer. The United States won the tournament, which was held in China. Everything was new, the stakes were high, and the Americans won. That makes for a good show.

 

The 1968 New York Jets

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This show culminates with the New York Jets winning Super Bowl III over the Baltimore Colts in a massive upset. It also features Joe Namath. Namath had been with the Jets for a few seasons, but we think it would be best to focus on this campaign, probably with some time given to the Colts as well.

 

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The Jimmy Johnson era Miami Hurricanes

The Jimmy Johnson era Miami Hurricanes

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Johnson spent five years with the Hurricanes, and what a five years they were. This was when Miami was becoming “The U.” They finished first or second in the final poll three times. They won one national title. Oh, and they garnered plenty of controversy along the way as well. It would certainly not be a boring story.

 

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The Miracle Mets

The Miracle Mets

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In their inaugural 1962 campaign, the Mets went 40-120. They had never had a winning season in their history. Then, in 1969, the Mets came out of nowhere. They went 100-62 and not only went to their first-ever World Series but won it. It was one of those Cinderella stories sports fans love.

 

The Kobe and Shaq era Los Angeles Lakers

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Let’s end with another version of the Lakers. The Showtime Lakers make for an intriguing story, but they may not even be the best fodder for a show the franchise gives. Later, the Lakers would still have Jerry Buss as the owner but would have Phil Jackson as the head coach and Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal on the roster. They quarreled, they won titles, they split up. It may not be the Showtime Lakers, but they would make for a great show.





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