2008 Champions Have History on Their Side

Years from now, when sports historians look back on 2008, they’ll note that the four major championships were won by teams that have been around for awhile….a long, long while.

In October, the Philadelphia Phillies, who have been a National League member since 1883, won the second World Series in their history, the first since 1980.

The New York Giants, who have been an NFL franchise since 1925 (only the Bears and the Packers have been around longer), won their third Super Bowl and seventh overall NFL title in February.

Earlier this year, the Detroit Red Wings, one of the NHL’s Original Six and a team whose history dates back to 1926, won their 11th Stanley Cup.

And finally the Boston Celtics, along with the Knicks the only two remaining charter franchises of the NBA starting in 1946, captured their 17th title in June when they knocked off the Lakers.

The year that ushered in an area of expansion in North American professional was 1960,  when the American Football League was created and the Dallas Cowboys joined the NFL.

Baseball began its growth from 16 teams the following year, while the NBA had only eight teams in 1960. The NHL featured the Original Six until the 1967-68 season when the league expanded to 12 teams.

Today there are 32 NFL teams, and 30 major league baseball, NBA and NHL franchises.

You have to go back to 1976 to discover the last time that four teams — the Reds, Steelers, Celtics and  Canadiens — in existence in 1960 won championships in the same season..

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