Definition of a Dynasty: what makes a team legendary?

Leading a team to the top of their respective sport is difficult, and as such you need to be a special kind of performer to be able to do it more than once. In fact, some would go so far as to say that those who repeat their world championship successes deserve to be deemed a ‘dynasty’.

In many respects, we tend to agree with that sentiment, but it seems as if the definition of that word has been watered down quite a lot over the years. We all know that within American sport, in particular, you can have a great team that doesn’t quite live up to their full potential, which often means they’re never in the conversation for the best ever.

That, in short, is the right mentality to have. No matter how good of an assortment of players may seem, you just can’t call yourself an iconic team within the annals of sporting history if you don’t make that elusive run to the championship that people speak of for years to come.

Individual talent doesn’t always translate into greatness on the field, pitch or rink, and within the word ‘dynasty’ you always have to find the word ‘team’. In years to come when we talk about the likes of the New England Patriots we shouldn’t just be referring to Tom Brady because that’s just one piece of a much bigger puzzle.

Manchester United didn’t continually succeed JUST because of Sir Alex Ferguson (despite what many believe) because the Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes of the game played an absolutely massive role in their consistency. Sure we can admire one or two entities within the squad-based on their overwhelming ability, but that shouldn’t matter nearly as much as the end product.

For example, the Seattle Seahawks side that won the Super Bowl a few years back is considered to be one of the best in recent memory. They beat the Broncos, then they made it back to the big dance against the Pats twelve months later. Should they come into the conversation in terms of dynasties? No, because they decided to throw the ball instead of handing it off and New England walked away with their 4th ring.

That might sound harsh, but much like everything in sport, we shouldn’t be diluting such a unique term. If we call one-time winners of any division around the globe a dynasty, then that scrapes away at the importance of teams like the Los Angeles Lakers of the noughties and the Chicago Bulls of the 90s.

Sure that may mean that the franchisees who are labelled with that term are more hated among the general public, but that’s the point. We as fans hate those who are more successful than us because it’s human nature, and we want to be in the position that they are in. That doesn’t make us cynical, it just makes watching things unfold all the more entertaining.

Don’t down play a champion, but don’t put them on an undeserving pedestal either.