Tribute to the Greatest Sports Teams Ever
In July 2009, Sporting News magazine took a bold step to name former UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden as the greatest American athletics coach of all time. To those of us who grew up listening to Dick Enberg call the play-by-play of UCLA's games during the Wooden era, this was no surprise and in fact long overdue.
While Coach Wooden clearly deserves a feature all his own, reading about this accolade inspired me to think of many other dominant sports programs, including such great teams as the New York Yankees, Boston Celtics, Soviet Union Hockey Team, and others. More recently, the Golden State Warriors and the New England Patriots deserve to be included in this list.
This article highlights some of the greatest sports teams of all time from a number of major sports. They are listed in no particular order.
UCLA Basketball: 1970–71 (Under John Wooden)
UCLA's basketball program under Coach John Wooden is the first team highlighted in this feature on sports' greatest teams. During his 27 seasons as head coach, the team never suffered a losing season and eventually won 10 national championships in a span of 12 years, including an unprecedented seven straight.
From 1972 to 1974, the team cemented its dominance of American college basketball by running off 88 consecutive victories.
While UCLA drew great talent, including centers Lew Alcindor (aka Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and Bill Walton, particularly impressive were the championships won in 1970 and 1971 when a smaller UCLA team overcame the likes of 7'2" Artis Gilmore of Jacksonville University to keep the Bruins on top of the basketball charts.
Some say UCLA's boosters kept the team stocked with top prospects, but as the 1980s Philadelphia 76ers know, it takes more than talent to win championships. Coach John Wooden was the reason UCLA was so dominant for so many years.
Boston Celtics: 1957–1969
The Boston Celtics' dynasty in NBA basketball from 1957 to 1969 was equally impressive to UCLA's run in the college ranks. Led by Coach Red Auerbach and center Bill Russell, the Celtics won an unlikely 11 championships in 13 years.
New York Yankees: 1949–58 (Under Casey Stengal)
Perhaps no professional team has dominated their sport like the New York Yankees. As a franchise, the New York Yankees won 26 World Series over five eras. From 1949 to 1958, with Casey Stengal at the helm, America's top baseball organization won the Fall Classic eight times in 10 tries. Perhaps, the greatest single season of any Yankee team came in 1961 when Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle propelled them to a major league record 109 games.
New England Patriots: 2001–2019
The New England Patriots of the current era may be considered the best franchise and team of all time. This is especially so given the era of the salary cap. They had to rebuild their team many times and yet they managed to go to 10 Super Bowls and win six of them. Financed by owner Robert Kraft, coached by Bill Belichick, and led by quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots have had their way in American football's NFL.
Besides the 10 trips to the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots under Kraft, Belichick, and Brady won 10 American Football Conference (AFC) championships and 16 AFC East Division championships. As of this writing, quarterback Tom Brady became the oldest quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl, and he has shown no signs of retiring. In 2020, he ended his 20-year career with the Patriots when he announced his move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Soviet Union Hockey: 1954–1990
From 1954 to 1991, the Soviet Union's National Hockey Team won 30 medals in 31 international competitions including seven Olympic gold medals in nine tries and 19 golds overall.
New Zealand's All Blacks Rugby
A gentleman named Kerry gets credit for this entry. As he wrote in the comments below:
In over a hundred years of rugby, the All Blacks hold an 84% winning record against all opposition played. They have also won 74% of all test matches played, and hold a winning record against every test nation in the world (including the British & Irish Lions, and the World XV).
Romania (the best team in Eastern Europe), Canada (the best team in North America), Japan (the best in Asia), and other World Rugby heavyweights Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Argentina, Samoa, and Fiji have never beaten New Zealand.
The average margin when playing the All Blacks is 25-12; that is, they have scored more than twice the number of points than all opposition combined.
New Zealand is so good that they have never been ranked lower than third on the World Rankings. In 1987, they were crowned the first-ever Rugby World Champions, beating France in the final 29-9.
Since 1996, when rugby became professional, the All Blacks have played 149 games, winning 121. Their victories have led to nine Tri-Nations Championships in 13 years, playoff appearances in every World Cup to date, a first-ever test series victory in South Africa, seven undefeated tours to Europe; including two Grand Slams Tours (when a team plays England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales in successive weeks and win), a test series whitewash against the British & Irish Lions, a world record 30 test victories in a row on home soil (spanning five years), the Bledisloe Cup, and the Hillary Shield.
Only five test nations in history have ever beaten the All Blacks: Australia, South Africa, France, England, and Wales (who have not beaten New Zealand since 1954). The most successful team to ever play New Zealand is South Africa (winning just 40% of the time), while Australia have won the most times (39 victories from 132 matches).
This small, tiny nation boasts a player pool of just 90,000, yet they provide the bulk of the Rugby Hall of Fame.
Thanks, Kerry, for your contribution.
Notre Dame Football (Under Frank Leahy)
Notre Dame's reputation as America's premier college football school was molded under the direction of Knute Rockne and the Four Horsemen. Yet in the 1940s, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame won four national championships under the leadership of Coach Frank Leahy.
Oklahoma Sooners (Under Bud Wilkinson)
From 1947 to 1963, the Oklahoma Sooners football team won 145 games, three national championships, and an NCAA Division I record 47 consecutive games. Bud Wilkinson was the head coach of the team over that span of time.
Chicago Bulls (Under Phil Jackson)
Under the direction of Coach Phil Jackson and superstar Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls won six NBA championships in the 1990s.
Los Angeles Lakers in Four Eras
As an NBA franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers have won 15 league championships from 1949 to 2009. In 1972, the team led by Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West won a major sports record 33 consecutive games. In the 1980s, led by Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the Lakers franchise won five championships in nine seasons. Under the direction of Phil Jackson, the team has won four more championships since 2000.
Golden State Warriors: 2015–2018
The Golden State Warriors have dominated the American NBA for four seasons. They appeared in four straight championship series and won three of them including the 2014–2015, 2016–2017, and 2017–2018 seasons.
The team was crafted by basketball icon and consultant Jerry West, executive Bob Myers, and Coach Steve Kerr with the help of previous coach Mark Jackson. In the 2014–2015 championship season, the Warriors were led on the court by players Stephan Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Igoudala, and Draymond Green.
The 2015–2016 team broke the NBA record for single-season wins, but lost in the championship finals in a seven-game battle with the Cleveland Cavaliers led by LeBron James.
In the off-season after 2015–2016, Golden State added supreme free agent Kevin Durant to the same cast of four listed above and easily won the 2017 and 2018 Championship Series, both against the Cavaliers. They took the two best of seven series, four games to one in 2017, before sweeping the series 4-0 in 2018.
Montreal Canadiens: 1960–1961 (Under Scotty Bowman)
Since its establishment in 1909, the Montreal Canadiens (a professional hockey team) have won 24 Stanley Cups, including 11 in 20 years. Under the direction of Coach Scotty Bowman, they won six in the decade of the 1970s.
Edmonton Oilers: 1984–1990 (Under Glen Sather)
From 1984 to 1990, led by Wayne Gretzky and Coach Glen Sathers, the professional hockey team Edmonton Oilers won the NHL's Stanley Cup five times.
Australia National Cricket Team
The oldest test cricket organization in the world since 1877, the Australian Cricket National Team has made all six world cup finals and won four of them including the last three (1999, 2003, and 2007). As of 2007 they are undefeated in 29 consecutive World Cup games.
University of North Carolina Women's Soccer: 1983–2009
The women's soccer team of the University of North Carolina won 20 national championships in 27 years from 1983 to 2009, including nine straight from 1986 to 1994.
What Do You Think?
This list represents my own personal rundown of the greatest sports teams of all time, but perhaps you think I've missed one. Please let me know in the comments below if there's a team you think should be included on this list—and why!
Leo on August 18, 2020:
this list is useless without Barcelona 2006-11, maybe even 2004-2015
Joe McCabe on July 10, 2020:
The 1980-1984 NY Islanders won a record 19 straight playoff series and 4 straight Cups. A record probably that will never be broken and are the greatest dynasty in NHL history as evidenced by said streak.
melomano84 on June 24, 2020:
We're missing the Brazilian men's volleyball team (2002-2007). They won all the championships that influence the FIVB world ranking:
- 2002 and 2006 Volleyball World Championships
- 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 World Leagues
- 2003 and 2007 Volleyball World Cups
- Athens 2004 Olympic Games
By 2004 they had reached the maximum possible score in the ranking: 350 points. Each of these competitions awarded 100 ranking points to the winning team, except for the World Leagues, which awarded 50 points.
Even though Brazil lost some of these competitions in the following years, they never left the #1 position on the ranking because they have always reached high positions, like the silver medals in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and also silver medals in the 2014 and 2018 World Championships. No other team has managed to stay this consistant in the last two decades.
In recent years, they have reached a new wave of victory, like their third Olympic gold medal in Rio 2016 and their third World Cup in 2019. In the latter they ended the competition undefeated, which means hopes are high for Tokyo 2020.
A.B. on March 13, 2020:
Two Words: Yankees 1927
Northwest Stew on October 26, 2019:
Watching the all black vs England now ,good hub here and thanks gor adding the Montreal canadiens .cheers mate
sarcasticool from New Zealand on October 10, 2019:
Hey mate, how are things going? Hoping all is well with you, haven't been on here in a while. Another Rugby World Cup coming up in Japan this time, maybe the All Blacks can make it 3 straight World Cups in a row and 4 titles total lol Best Wishes. Kerry
Conn on May 29, 2019:
You’re missing the UConn woman’s ncaa basketball team
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on August 30, 2015:
Thanks Kerry for another shout out.
Kerry on August 30, 2015:
Hi Mate, I hope you are well. It's been a while. Another world cup coming up , just reminded me about this article lol, one of my favourites on here. Take care. Kerry
sarcasticool from New Zealand on November 18, 2013:
Teams, yes, Sorry you are right, my apologies. I guess with the different types of sports, a top list is difficult as each is unique in their own way. As you rightly stated, they were listed in no particular order and this is a fair way to do it. So rather than comparing them with one another we can appreciate them for their achievements in their own rights in this regard.
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on November 17, 2013:
Hi Sarcasticool, I appreciate you stopping in and checking in on the comments. You are very right in your analysis. The All Blacks definitely deserve to be at the top of the list.
The only small correction has to with the title of the article. You left the s off the word "Teams." It should "Teams." The title is The Best Sports Teams of All Time.
Even so, the All Blacks deserve to be towards the top if the list.
sarcasticool from New Zealand on November 17, 2013:
Ps. Sorry about all the bad spelling and grammar, rushed the reply a bit. The point is, whether one considers the All Blacks the best sporting team of all time, they certainly deserve a place on this list.
I have certainly looked over the achievements of many of the other sporting teams on your list and those mentioned by others and am fascinated by them and YouTube videos of them. I love sports and watching these champion teams play or reading about them. Basketball, Baseball and woman's sports too, which are often forgotten. Still a great hub Mate!
sarcasticool from New Zealand on November 17, 2013:
Hi mate it's been a while since I checked in on your hub comments, in that time we have retained the Rugby World Cup, Sevens Title, Woman's Rugby championship and now hold all the cups and trophies there is in Rugby at the moment. When last I was here I brought the All Blacks to your attention and you have a load of interesting comments that I have enjoyed reading.
I think what is annoying from some of the comments is how some decide the All Blacks despite the facts and statistics are consider not valid for reason that are ridiculous and unfair. Because someone decides that his country is bigger or knows little about a sport, or disqualifies a sport because it is not from America, or is from the Southern Hemisphere or salaries count for validation and counts out a team despite it's success is pretty obnoxious and arrogant! The title is: The Best Sports Team of ALL TIME. Not even one of teams fro certain eras, but over history. For those who quote the salaries and amount of games played or nations who compete at that sport then for those who are uneducated in the actual facts about Rugby ... Rugby is played by 120 countries. Let's take the US basketball team, it has a country of almost 400 million to choose players from compared to New Zealand's 4 million, you do the maths. The Basketball World Cup started in 1950, the Rugby World Cup started in 1987, the US basketball team has almost unlimited funding compared to the All Blacks whom didn't even turn professional until 1995. If it's about different years of any team then there are many great periods of dominance in the 129 years of All Black history. After New Zealand won the 1987 World Cup the went 50 games in a row without defeat; 49 wins and 1 draw!
But if we are not biased towards any sport because of it's location or popularity and if the title stands of this hub... The best sports team of all time, the All Blacks are it, they are a sports team and the are the Best.
Paul Eversley on July 02, 2013:
Where's the West Indies Cricket team of the 70's and 80's? 15 years without losing a Test series. Their captain Viv Richards led for 6 years and is the only cricket captain never to lose a Test series. Dig a little please?
Kumar on November 14, 2012:
I think west indies cricket team and Australian cricket team they ruled the worlds 2 decade don't forget Shane warne vvrichard muralidharan Sachin tendulkar, pele,federar, meradona,messi,washim akram they alw best
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on November 12, 2012:
Thanks Nick, We often forget about the team behind individual sports stars.
Nick on November 12, 2012:
Love the all blacks comments guys! Thanks for that!
Another team to add could be Ferrari from 2000-2004
Of course Michael Schumacher won the world championship 5 times in a row, during that time but you can't do that without a good car. Plus they won the constructors championship every season.
They are also the most succesful F1 team. And I'm a mclaren fan as well so I'm not biased when say this. I usually get angry at them for beating us!
IsmailJ on October 10, 2012:
In case you guys missed the 2012 International rugby season. The All Blacks are on 16 straight wins dating back to the RWC last year. At the end of the current calendar year, should the All Blacks win the rest of their games, their record would go onto 21 consecutive wins. That in itself is the greatest achievement for any team, but from an International perspective I don't think that there is any National or club sporting team that has achieved that successive wins in a row. There is no doubt that the mighty All Blacks, as they are known in the rugby world are the greatest sporting team ever. P.S. no disrespect to the other sporting teams achievements.
clinton on September 11, 2012:
UCLA mens volleyball
1970-2006 (19 national championships)
3 undefeated seasons
3 one loss seasons
Tim Rider on August 18, 2012:
yes but rugby is only plyed SERIOUSLY by a handful of nations
most other nations are not professional, thats why rugby isn't included in the convo
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on July 27, 2012:
Frank Thank you for your suggestion 20 championships in 27 years and 9 straight are indeed impressive. I will add them.
Frank on July 27, 2012:
The University of North Carolina Women's soccer program ... for 27 years (between 1982 and 2009), they won the NCAA Championship 20 times and finished second 3 times. They won 9 straight years between '86 and '94. This is unprecidented dominance.
Frank on July 27, 2012:
University of North Carolina Women's Soccer program
Georgia on July 15, 2012:
The West Indies Cricket Team (from about 1975 to 1995) is the greatest sports team of all time. No other team in sports history ever had a run like that.
Marina on June 10, 2012:
And Barcelona Football Club where is????!!!
L on May 11, 2012:
Greg on April 15, 2012:
Although I appreciate the achievements of the All blacks in recent terms, there history in the world cup is not up to the standards that they set in the Tri-Nations and when they tour internationally. As the Josh Lewsey once said, with a hint of paraphrasing, it all comes down to the world cup. Despite the fact that it's a tournament and as a nation New Zealand have an incredibly proud record, up until there achievements on this stage, at home, in a final that they just (and deservedly won), they have failed consistently to beat various (usually French or Australian) opposition. So considering there documented success outside of the world cup, within it they have been a relative failure! This tournament is the bench mark of international success for this sport, and as with most colonial sports, achieving at international level is of the utmost importance, none more so than the world cup.
Taking this last point into consideration I thereford think, and with the utmost respect, that most American sporting teams that have no international competitive opposition, are invalid. Playing a sport within a nation, can not be valid when you don't have the ability to translate its achievements competitively, on the international stage. Too many competitive dynamics are removed.
Micheal Johnson, possibly the best individual athleteste to have strutted this planet, sugar ray Robinson, Mohammad Ali, Pele, Zinedine Zedane, Maradonna, Shane Warne, Viv Richards, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Johny Wilkinson, Richie Mackaw, Micheal Schumacher, Andy Redgrave ...... All have recognition on the international stage, where they played against the world and won.
Best teams of all time, for me, the west indies cricket team under David Lloyd and then Sir Viv Richards, watch Fire In Babylon, more than just cricket!
The Brazialian football team in the seventies. Obvious but still true.
These two alone could not be beaten by the world, and a world that played, internationally at very high standards. Its a simple case that within that sport, played at the highest level internationally, these teams could not be touched, and for long periods of times. They played agaist whole nations, not within a nation. The West Indies team had to break institutional and racial boundaries to be recognised, and that was after they had become the best team in the world.
The only circumstance, and this has to be a rarity and justified, where a domestic team can be recognised as a great team of all time in an international arena, and even then there are holes in the argument, is the present day Barcelona football side. I honestly think that they would beat any international side on this planet, even if you could clone the foreign nationals in the club and let them play for their respective countries! But that would negate the argument set above, and can't be done!
So, Pitsburg, Lakers, Bulls, Giants and other teams that have dominated domestically, sport goes deeper than national achievement, and with respect, no deeper than the likes of those mentioned above!
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on April 02, 2012:
Bjhaan, You are right. I should not ignore that. You are the second person to mention the Islanders incredible run. I'm apologize for not adding them yet. I have been very busy with other things. Even so, I am thankful you brought them to my attention.
Bjhaan on April 01, 2012:
BTW the series length in 1980 was best of seven, four maximum series including stanley cup finals. Islanders won four cups in a row and lost a possible fifth thanks to a new playoff format (3 home games in a row for lower seeded team) and Wayne Gretzky.
Bjhaan on April 01, 2012:
The NY Islanders won 19 straight playoff series from 1980 to 1984. That is more than any NHL frachise. That is more than the Boston Celtics, LA Lakers, Chicago Bulls...even more than the NY Yankees.
Time period and season rules aside, you cant ignore that
Bemoreal on March 08, 2012:
Enjoyed the cricket team getting a shout-out near the end. What about single season dominance. Do you have one of those?
Steven Drewitt on March 01, 2012:
A fairly new addition to add is the Crusaders (NZ) Since first making the Super Rugby finals in 1998 they have only missed the semis once and have won the title 7 times, one of their provintail
Jason Buzz on February 25, 2012:
I agree with several of the cooments that it's pretty hard to look past the NZ All Blacks. What a record in over 100 years of a truly international sport.
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on February 14, 2012:
Gusser...Sounds like a treasure indeed.
Gusser on February 14, 2012:
I have on my wall a baseball field that measures 18" by 24". On that field is the 1961 ball card for each Yankee "starter" I have Whitey Ford on the hill. As a Yankee fan & Mantle "worshipper" I will be passing this treasure on into the family when I go to join these guys at the Stadium in the sky. Thanks for the memories.
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on February 11, 2012:
Rock_nj, those are all excellent nominations. Thank you for the suggestions.
John Coviello from New Jersey on February 10, 2012:
Other possible additions to the Best Sports Teams list:
- 1972 / 1973 Miami Dolphins for going undefeated in the 1972 season and winning the Super Bowl in both 72 and 73
- 1972 to 1974 Oakland As for dominating baseball and winning three World Series in a row
- 1980 to 1983 New York Islanders for winning four Stanley Cups in a row
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on February 05, 2012:
lucky dee, if you want to nominate a team from the "beautiful game" please feel free to do so. Some have nominated Real Madrid or Barcelona. You might want to nominate Manchester United or some other team, but I found that no team has been truly dominant. Barcelona and Real Madrid are near equals in trading championships. Brazil seems like a dominate national team but they seem to trade championships with European national teams like Germany and Italy.
lucky dee on February 05, 2012:
have you people never heard of football? and i mean football the world game, the beautiful game or english long alley skittles. come on get real!!!
gord on February 04, 2012:
The Edmonton Grads Women's Basketball Team
swag on January 28, 2012:
Very proud to see the All Blacks up there, but if we were to base it on a team from one era, for me it would be the Australian Cricket Team captained by Steve Waugh. They were truly incredible. Never before have I seen sport so beautiful to watch.
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on January 27, 2012:
Mark, thank you for sharing. Those teams and individuals do seem worthy to be listed with the list presented in this hub.
mark on January 27, 2012:
well as team sports go i would have to say the st george dragons won 11 straight premierships which is now the national rugby league . for an individual would have to say that walter lindrum pro billiards world champ from 1933 to his retirement in 1950 , and also a guy known as sir donald bradman in cricket with a average of 99.94 pitty he only need 6 runs in his last innings to get the perfect 100 average , today's best players average 53
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on December 28, 2011:
hanon, thank you for your suggestions. The Canucks and the Bruins had great runs last season. However, this article mostly highlights dynasties; that is, it highlights teams that dominated their sport over an extended period of time. The Canucks made it to the Stanley Cup three times, but never won it. The Boston Bruins have won six Stanley Cups, but only in 1970-71 and 1971-72 did they win two consecutively. No doubt a team with Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito along with goaltender Garry Cheevers was highly impressive, but not dominate over an extended period of time.
faner on December 28, 2011:
hanon on December 28, 2011:
you should put canucks or the bruins or both of them.
Doug on December 17, 2011:
Great site and thanks for admitting the New Zealand All Blacks. They must be the most successful international team, even more so now having won the 2011 World rugby Cup, and touring the world to play to be a truly international team. Awesome winning ratio that must stand as a record.
sportgames from Ashter Street 14, New Yok on November 22, 2011:
Nice history lesson. It is hard to say for sure what team is the best, but these really are some of the best of all times.
Rewster on November 20, 2011:
No problem. All these teams are impressive.
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on November 18, 2011:
Rewster, That is a very impressive record. Thank you for sharing and adding to the discussion.
Rewster on November 18, 2011:
The Australian Kangaroos Rugby League team are arguably just as dominant as the New Zealand All Blacks Rugby Union team. The Kangaroos are the most successful in Rugby League World Cup history, winning 9 out of the 13 tournaments and failing to reach the final only once, in the inaugural tournament in 1954!
Since 1997 they have competed in the annual ANZAC Test against the New Zealand Kiwis. Australia have won 11 out of the 12 matches played. The last time Australia lost the ANZAC Test was back in 1998.
In the Tri-Nations/Four-Nations, Australia have competed in every final since the inaugural tournament in 1999. They have won 4 of the six tournaments played.
The also comepete against arch-rivals Great Britain in the Rugby League Ashes. Australia have won 20 of the 39 series played since 1908, and have not lost a test series to either Great Britain or England since 1970.
Their biggest win was 110-4 against Russia in 2000. Their worst defeat is 25-48 loss to New Zealand back in 1952, and 0-24 against the Kiwis in 2005.
In total, Australia have played in 353 test matches, winning 237, losing 105, and drew 11. A win-percentage of roughly 61% over a period of 103 years of elite football.
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on November 08, 2011:
Good day Craig. Why such hostility? This hub highlights sports teams from all around the world. It only makes one reference to American Football and nowhere does it make the claim that American sports teams are better than sports teams from other parts of the globe. This hub was and is offered in humility and peace.
Mike on November 02, 2011:
Great post! Thanks for this. I love thinking about the old teams. There's no way these current teams could hang with some of those older teams. I found a pretty extensive 64-team bracket on a site. Good stuff. I found your article searching for more opinions on the best team. Nice!
If you want to check out the 64-team bracket. It’s enjoyable if nothing else: http://www.tchuddle.com/2011/04/the-greatest-ncaa-...
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on October 28, 2011:
Congratulations to the All Blacks for another World Cup championship. Seems by the comments in recent days those from all parts of the Rugby world give the All Blacks the nod for the best sports team of all time. Thank you to all who continue to comment and make their opinions known.
Flytz on October 28, 2011:
I'm in Australia and prefer Aussie rules footy. But the All Blacks are easily the best sports team of all time. Even if I do throw vile comments at them on the tv.
Dave on October 25, 2011:
The French... the nemesis of the All Blacks, but thank goodness not last Sunday night...
All Blacks won by the vast margin of 8 to 7,
I was there when n 1984, France visited New Zealand for two Tests. They lost the first, at Lancaster Park, 10–9 (despite repeated French drop goal attempts) and was at Eden Park when France won with the try from the end of the world...
Lee on October 23, 2011:
And great to see the All Blacks win the World Cup last night!
Colin on October 22, 2011:
Yeah the All Blacks are definitely the greatest sports team in history. Look at their record and that says it all.
Baker29r on October 20, 2011:
NZ players have 2 competitions that run yearly we have the more professional tournament Super 15 which consists of 14 regular season games a Semi final then Grand Final so 16 games all up.They all so have provincial competition where players play for there hometown which usually consists of 13 regular season games plus 2 more games semi and finals.And including guys that made the All blacks team they Tri-nation cup with South Africa and Australia worlds top 3 nations in the world of rugby not to mention extra 2 games with Australia for there epic Tasman battle for the Bledisloe cup and yes theres an and lol they have an end of year tour with maybe 3-5 countries usually 1 of game......so just imagine playing all those games 400 hours of running , tackling ,talking motivating and oops no pads lol so 1nce again is the All Blacks really could be the most successful team of all time...........thumbs up from
Geng1s on October 19, 2011:
Yup the all Blacks record is up to 75% of all tests won and still hold a positive win record against all teams played (South Africa is inching closer).
We play France in the final this weekend and we are heavy Favorites to win which would give us our second World cup, equal most with Australia and South Africa.
and to the guy going on about the number of games played a year I would like to point out this is an international team that has players who also play super 15 and Provincial Rugby throughout the year.
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on October 17, 2011:
Mike Bush, their record is impressive isn't it. Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment.
Mike Bush on October 17, 2011:
Man ! I did some research on that new Zealand team !!! Wow that if just the most mazing record I have ever read about. No sport team in the world has a record even close to them !
Brendankiwi on October 16, 2011:
I am a proud New Zealander but I have to say, the grestest sports team of all time is undoubtably BARCELONA FC
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on September 30, 2011:
Steve thank you for your encouraging comments. Good luck to your Wallabies in the World Cup.
Steve on September 30, 2011:
This was a great read, there are so many great teams out there.
I live in Australia, and as much as i hate to admit it, I too think the New Zealand All Blacks are the most successful sports in the WORLD....on an international level. To beat them is a huge achievement, and to beat them in N.Z. is even tougher.
There uncanny ability to win games and edge out opposition teams is remarkable for such a small nation.
Right now there is a rugby world cup tournament being hosted in New Zealand, and i'll be cheering for the Wallabies, though if they exit the competiton before the finals, then i'll be backing the New Zealand All Blacks!!!!!
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on September 13, 2011:
Dave, thank you for your input. You make very valid points. Still, I am not sure the Soviet Union's accomplishmnet can be called irrelevant. Rather I think it can be said that their record was less impressive than it really looked at the time.
Dave on September 13, 2011:
The Soviet Union's hockey record is irrelevant because Canada didn't send their best players to the Olympics until 1998. In best on best games between Canada and the Soviets/Russia, Canada is the favorite to win. This began in 1972 when Canada won the summit series and has continued through to Canada's recent domination of Russia in the 2010 Olympics (7-3).
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on February 19, 2011:
sportandfitness, thank you for stopping by and sharing. I appreciate your encouragement. I wonder how the Bulls would have faired against the 1960s Celtics (with similar training techniques) and the 1980s Lakers.
Of course my favorite is UCLA under Coach Wooden.
sportandfitness on February 17, 2011:
Great hub! For me the New Zealand team and the Bulls by Jordan are the all time favorite!!! I was lucky enough to see them live when they were on the top! :)
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on February 11, 2011:
Anthony you make a strong case for both teams. It does seem they deserve a spot here. You represent well.
Anthony on February 11, 2011:
I'm not sure what exactly qualifies a team here, since some of your examples highlight specific eras, while others go across a team's entire history. But I submit the late '40s-'50s Red Wings. Seven consecutive first-place finishes and four Cups in six years. The franchise as a whole could probably qualify, despite the Dead Things stretch from mid-'60s to mid-'80s. Consider their modern-era achievements, a time period when only the Avs and Devils have come close to matching their consistent success.
The Bad Boys Pistons ('87-'91) went to five straight conference finals, won it all twice (and got robbed of a third), and had winning records against Jordan, Bird, and Magic.
I probably sound like a homer, but I need to represent.
I may come off sounding like a homer
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on October 12, 2010:
Chris - Thank you for your comments. The Canadiens were a bit before my time, but I did enjoy reading about the Oilers. Gretzky was incredible but I hear from other hockey enthusiasts that he could not have done what he did without his supporting cast around him. What do you think?
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on October 12, 2010:
brentbrown98 - thank you for your encoruaging words. I admit that I am a sports junky and enjoy all forms of athletic competition. Just ask my wife, much to her chagrine.
Chris on October 12, 2010:
There was also a Canadian womens university basketball team that lost like once in 10 years in 1930s or so - quite a feat. I was lucky enough to be around to see the Canadiens play in the late 70s and Oilers in the 80s as well as having the chance to see Michael Jordan dominate the game of basketball over his illustrious career.
brentbrown98 from Indiana, United States, Earth on September 08, 2010:
This is a great read. I wasn't around to see most of these teams in action, unfortunately, but I've come to appreciate athletes in all sports and all eras. Awesome and very useful hub!
Wilson Aguiveria on June 24, 2010:
if we include national teams...
The Dream Team? they probably would of beat
the yankees at baseball lol
Jimmer on May 07, 2010:
Rugby, 149 games in 14 years, who gives a rats ass, play 80 + games a year not including playoffs and exibition in sports where there is a draft and a salary cap, then see how good you are.
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on February 14, 2010:
Oops. Thanks sarcasticool. Although it's all the same to me...only joking :). You can take some pot shots at American football if you want; like what's up with all the sissy pads :D. Cheers.
sarcasticool from New Zealand on February 14, 2010:
ps. The last Team entry should read as it's title Cricket not Crocket, as is under the picture. ;)
The Australian Rugby League team are pretty much as good as their cricket team too.
New Zealand Rugby 7's team a long with Fiji are great sides! Dominating the world circuit, and this sport is in the Commonwealth games and will soon be in the Olympic Games, yay!
sarcasticool from New Zealand on February 14, 2010:
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on February 14, 2010:
Dear Kerry, thank you for your comment and for the helpful information. As you have shown, the "All Blacks" Rugby team from New Zealand does deserve to be in this group. Thank you for history lesson. I will add them in the list.
Kerry on February 14, 2010:
PS. If you are talking about a team from a particular era, then when the All Blacks won the 1987 Rugby World Cup they went from 1987 to 1991 playing 50 games without defeat (49 wins and a draw. Thank you for your time.
Kerry on February 14, 2010:
Is this list only best Ämerican" sports teams of all time, or I would have thought The New Zealnd International Rugby Union Team The "All Blacks" should in all fairness be at No# 1.
Here are the facts:
In over a hundred years of rugby, the All Blacks hold an 84% winning record against all oppostion played. They have also won 74% of all test matches played, and hold a winning record against EVERY TEST NATION IN THE WORLD (including the British & Irish Lions, and the World XV).
Romania (the best team in Eastern Europe), Canada (the best team in North America), Japan (the best in Asia), and other World Rugby Heavyweights Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Argentina, Samoa, and Fiji have never beaten New Zealand.
The average margin when playing the All Blacks is 25-12- that is, they have scored more than twice the amount of points than all opposition combined.
New Zealand is so good, that they have never been ranked lower than 3rd on the World Rankings. In 1987, they were crowned the first ever Rugby World Champions beating France in the final 29-9.
Since 1996, when rugby became professional, the All Blacks have played 149 games, winning 121. Their victories have lead to 9 Tri-Nations Championships in 13 years, play-off appearances in every World Cup to date, a first ever test series victory in South Africa, 7 undefeated tours to Europe; including 2 Grand Slams Tours(when a team plays England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales in succesive weeks and win), a test series whitewash against the British & Irish Lions, a World record 30 test victories in a row on home soil (spanning five years), the Bledisloe Cup, and the Hillary Shield.
Only five test nations IN HISTORY have ever beaten the All Blacks- Australia, South Africa, France, England, and Wales (who have not beaten New Zealand since 1954). The most successful team to ever play New Zealand is South Africa (winning just 40% of the time), while Australia have won the most times (39 victories from 132 matches).
This small, tiny nation boasts a player pool of just 90,000- yet they provide the bulk of the Rugby Hall of Fame.
Not even the great Brazilian Football Team can match the proud winning record of New Zealand. The same applies to Canada in Ice Hockey, Australia in Cricket, or any professional sports team from the United States.
Are they not even worthy of a mention?
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on February 04, 2010:
mrm85.com. Thank you for your comment and for bringing the 1961 Yankees to my attention. You are right in pointing out that the 1961 Yankees were a dominant team who won a record 109 games in one season. They were a great team and should be mentioned alongside of the Stengal Dynasty. In fact, as you probably already know many of the players on 1961 team were developed under Stengal's management. I am sorry I disapponited you.
mrm85.com on February 04, 2010:
You mentioned the Stengel Yankees teams but didn't mention the 1961 team? I'm disappointed.
ecoggins (author) from Corona, California on November 15, 2009:
kingis, The 1980 U.S. Hockey team would be an excellent addition to this list. Their feat was indeed outstanding and I own the movie "Miracle." I remember watching the U.S.-Russian game and hearing Al Michael's famous line, "Do you believe in miracles?" However, this was a one time accomplishment and this hub concentrates on long-term dominance.
Patrick King from Springfield, IL on November 14, 2009:
I think you should have put the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team. The "Miracle on Ice" is a team I have done extensive research and it is fascinating how the team was selected and played together. Overall, the teams you have listed are very impressive.
Travel Lover from USA on September 24, 2009:
Excellent collection. Thanks for sharing.