Dominance Defined: The Pinnacle of Sporting Dynasties

Chicago Bulls vs Charlotte Hornets
Chicago Bulls vs Charlotte Hornets / Craig Jones/GettyImages

 Sporting dynasties are rare feats, defined by sustained success, often marked by multiple consecutive championships. Achieving this requires not just legendary players, but a unique blend of talent and coaching. In contrast, even some sports legends like Charles Barkley, Barry Bonds, and Dan Marino never experienced championship glory, highlighting the immense difficulty of creating enduring dynasties in highly competitive professional leagues.

Os Santasticos

In the 1960s, Brazilian soccer team Santos FC  forged a dynasty in the top Brazilian soccer league known as the Paulistao. During the decade, Santos would win their first six national Championships. One of the central pillars of the team was a young player called Edson Arantes do Nascimento who would go on to become known around the world as Pele, who arrived at the club in 1957 at only 17 years old.

Helmed by the legendary Pele, Santos would not only dominate the Brazilian Serie A but also won the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup in back-to-back years in 1962 and 1963 defeating defending Champions Penarol in 1962, and Argentinian giants Boca Juniors the following year. Pele would eventually leave the team after 583 appearances and 569 goals.

The Invincibles

When a team earns the nickname of the Invincibles, it tends to imply that your team is successful. The nickname was given to the Australian cricket team of the 1940s and early 1950s. The team was led by legends like Don Bradman, Arthur Morris, Ray Lindwall, and Keith Miller. For over 15 years, Australia dominated England, winning six consecutive Ashes series. From 1946 to 1951 Australia lost only 1 test to England out of 15 tests.

The team reached their apex in the 1949 Ashes series, while touring England, defeated the English 4-0, with Bradman scoring 508 runs in his final series. Outside of the Australia and England rivalry, Australia didn't lose a single test, defeating New Zealand, India, and South Africa in respective test series without losing a singles test in the 1940s.

Lambeau's Green Bay Packers

In 1919, the Green Bay Packers were founded by halfback Curly Lambeau and newspaper editor George Calhoun. After his retirement, Lambeau would go on to coach the Packers, leading the team to six championship victories, including three championships in a row between 1929 and 1931. Lambeau would lead the team to additional championships in 1936, 1939, and 1944. 

Lambeau would lead the Packers until the 1950s until he eventually was forced out of the team going on to lead the Chicago Cardinals and the Washington Redskins. Lambeau was eventually honored by the Packers, with the team naming their home stadium after Lambeau, calling it Lambeau Field in his honor. 

1980s Edmonton Oilers

From 1983 to 1990, the Edmonton Oilers dominated the NHL and the team was led by the legendary Canadian Center Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky led the team to the Stanley Cup in the 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, and 1990 seasons, with Gretzky named the MVP in two of the team's Stanley Cup wins. In 1986, the Oilers would also finish first in the Smythe Division, before losing to Calgary in the Division Finals.

Even though the Oilers traded Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings following the 1988 Stanley Cup, the Oilers still managed to win the 1990 season, defeating Gretzky's King's teams in the Division finals. The Oilers would also make it to the Conference finals, before losing to Minnesota in the Conference Championships. It wasn't until the 1992-93 NHL season that the Oilers missed the playoffs.