Shanoff's WUC: Most Memorable Teams Ever?

Today's Calls: Mardi Gras vs. "Lombardi Gras," Sam Bradford vs. Jimmy Clausen, Michigan State vs. Illinois, Pac-10 vs. Utah and BYU, LeBron James vs. Carmelo Anthony, Jim Pohlad vs. Joe Mauer and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Are the 2009 Saints the most memorable team ever? ↵

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↵That has been a topic of discussion here for the past few days -- certainly since the Saints won Sunday night. That led to a spin-off conversation over at my blog about who the most memorable champs are in every major team sport. ↵

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↵Some quick criteria: (1) Team backstory, (2) HOW the team won the championship and (3) how many people were paying attention. (If that sounds like hindsight justification to prove my own theory about the Saints, I will accept that. But you need to explain any new criteria.) ↵

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↵Here is where I/we netted out: ↵

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↵NFL: 2009 Saints ↵
↵MLB: 2004 Red Sox ↵
↵NBA: 1998 Bulls ↵
↵NHL: 1994 Rangers ↵
↵CFB: 2005 Texas ↵
↵CBB: 1985 Villanova ↵

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↵Make your own case in the comments, but there was one point brought up in the discussion that seems pretty relevant, given that the Winter Olympics are starting at the end of the week. The most memorable team of all: The 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team. ↵

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↵But as pro (or "mainstream") team-sport champs go, it will be hard to top these Saints. ↵

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↵"Lombardi Gras": That sure looked like the most fun Super Bowl parade ever. ↵

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↵YouTube Video of the Day: Tracy Porter's game-sealing pick-6... as seen through Tecmo Bowl. ↵

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↵NFL Draft: Sam Bradford to the Redskins? How about Jimmy Clausen? The Skins want to draft a "franchise" QB at the top of this year's draft, and I guess that means they think that's the best QB available, not necessarily a future star. ↵

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↵Meanwhile: A quick look at what every team needs. (Hmm: AP, I didn't see the name "Tim Tebow" anywhere. What's the deal? I'm kidding, people.) ↵

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↵How desperate are the Lions? Enough so that they would be interested in working out Donte Stallworth less than 24 hours after he was cut by the Browns (and less than 48 hours after the NFL reinstated him to the league). ↵

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↵Manning's Fair (or Unfair) Shake: "What I take exception with is the way many members of the media were quick to crucify Belichick for what they saw as a brusque and cowardly departure, while excusing Manning's behavior as only indicative of his admirable disdain for losing." Get Tunison's full take, which I think captures the essential point and lets everyone move on. ↵

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↵CBB Mania: Kalin Lucas came back, but it didn't matter -- Michigan State lost its 3rd straight, this time a home loss to Purdue. More shockingly, your new Big Ten co-leader? Illinois, which won at Wisconsin. (How did that happen?) ↵

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↵Lawsuits: Everyone seems to think that this Ed O'Bannon thing will give the NCAA fits. No one is quite sure how much money we're talking about, which is kind of the point. ↵

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↵Pac-10 Expansion: If the conference likes its expansion to come in pairs and be regionally linked (and want to maintain quality, especially in football), then Utah and BYU seem like the best fit. Obviously, everyone thinks Boise State should get a look. The irony in all this is that the Pac-10 is vehemently against a playoff, yet seems very open to expansion. ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: Welcome back, Melo. (Understatement.) ↵

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↵Summer 2010: I agree with Freeman about the Knicks. Their status as a playoff team (or not) won't be the make-or-break factor for a potential free agent (like LeBron, whose presence would instantly turn the Knicks into a playoff team, anyway). The team will have to show a plan for surrounding marquee FAs with the talent to win; what the team is doing now won't matter as much. ↵

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↵Daniel Kerrigan's death just keeps getting stranger and stranger -- the M.E. ruled it a homicide; the family insists it wasn't. I am not sure that the local prosecutor will simply take their word for it. ↵

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↵Crime: Erin Andrews' stalker is even more of a sicko than you thought. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "Names will come and names will go, but overall the objective is always to have the best team on the field." -- Twins owner Jim Pohlad, who sounds more like someone trying to brace fans that Joe Mauer won't be signed, rather than justifying why a new stadium will make it easier to lock him up. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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