Saturday, January 07, 2012
Top Ten Smartest Teams in Sports
The smartest league is of course Niks Poker Palace, followed by the NFL. But this is about the smartest teams. Here is Faldo's list. Let's discuss:
10. Los Angeles Lakers - Like it or not, and whether with league help or not, no pro basketball team has performed so well for so long.
9. Boston Red Sox - Yes, they spend like the 2nd biggest baseball market team (which they are), but they still manage to out-duel the 1st big market team - the New York Yankees (who barely failed to make the top 10 cut).
8. Baltimore Ravens - GM Ozzie (the Wizard of Oz) Newsome has got them in the playoffs 5 of the last six years, all without braking the bank. Shrew trades and good drafts keeps the Ravens in the mix every year.
7. Atlanta Braves - Just now starting to slide, but winning 14 consecutive divisional championships will never be repeated. Even with the Ted Turner wallet closed, the Braves continue to "be a factor" every baseball fall.
6. Tampa Bay Rays - A tiny baseball market with the smallest payroll, Tampa Bay always battles the "Big Boys" - the Red Sox and Yankees - in their division. Three playoff runs, with one winning the pennant in 2008. They continue to be competitive when all indications say they should be Pirates-Cubs clones.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers - Love them or hate them, like Alabama, they just keep rolling. Perfect drafting even without the high choices, and free agent signings that not only don't break the bank, but fill holes - and the locker room chemistry - perfectly.
4. Detroit Red Wings - Car accidents, heart attacks, garbage officiating and untimely injuries prevents them from being #1. Playoff contenders for 20 years running with 10 Central Division championships and 3 Stanley Cups thrown in. Without some bad luck and league shenanigans, 7 Stanleys is not that far fetched.
3. New England Patriots - Playoffs in 10 of the last 11 years with 3 Super Bowl wins - matched only by the Steelers in that time frame. Not only do they draft, free agent fill and keep the winning culture like the Steelers, they find other ways to get edges over the competition. "If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying" is almost their motto. Kind of a new century version on the Al Davis Raider's 'Just win baby!"
2. Green Bay Packers - How do they get players to go to that God forsaken winter shanty town? How do they continue to beat the bigger market teams like a old rug on a clothes line in August? 14 league championships, 4 Super Bowls and an army of "cheese heads" across the country. As a Lion's fan, I'm going to be sick.
1. Minnesota Twins - Playoff bound in 6 of 10 years with unknown players that later became American League MVP's. That's called drafting folks. A small market team which somehow manages to play over .500 baseball all the time, and then blow by everyone at the wire to get in the post season. Kind of a Tampa Bay - on steroids - but in a weaker division, which helps their success. Every year I wonder, "How do those Twinkies do it??"
That's Faldo's list. What is yours?