Friday, May 29, 2009

The Rarity of a Red Wings-Penguins Rematch

We get to see something we normally don't get to see: a rematch in a championship game. You usually have to go to tennis or something to see two competitors face off for the whole ball of wax two years in a row.

OILERS-ISLANDERS (1983, 1984): The Islanders won the last of their four straight Cups in '83. The Oilers began their magical run of 5 Cups in 7 years by winning in '84. Prior to this, the NHL had seen a lot of repeat matchups since there were just six teams in the league.

BULLS-JAZZ (1997, 1998): We all remember those epic Bulls-Jazz NBA Finals. The weird thing about revisionist history is that many people lump both series together. I can't distinguished which series was which aside from Jordan's jumper that ended the '98 series. There hasn't been a rematch since, but there were several rematches prior. You, of course, had those Lakers-Pistons (1988, 1989), Lakers-Celtics Finals (1985, 1986, 1987), Sonics-Bullets (1978, 1979), Lakers-Knicks (1972, 1973) as well as those Lakers-Celtics Finals during the 1960s.

COWBOYS-BILLS (1993, 1994): I always point to these games when people spout that crap about "they've been there before". Really? Buffalo was in its third straight Super Bowl while the Dallas Cowboys hadn't gone deep in the playoffs for several years. So it is a given that the Bills would lose 52-17, right? This is the only repeat rematch in Super Bowl history.

YANKEES-DODGERS (1977, 1978): The two glamor teams meet up yet again. The last time that two MLB teams met in back-to-back World Series was the Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955 and 1956.

CINCINNATI-OHIO STATE (1961, 1962): You have to go back nearly 50 years to find the last time we had a rematch in the NCAA Tournament Final. Yeah, we've had tournament rematches (such as UNLV beating Duke for the '90 title; then Duke beating UNLV in '91 Final Four), but it has only happened in the championship game this time. It makes sense, since there is so much turnover in college sports.

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