The Saints win was pretty monumental, on a lot of levels:
*I can't remember a more universally liked champ -- or a more universally appealing story of a city and fan base.
*The way they won -- including what I would argue was the gutsiest single play-call in Super Bowl history -- was admirable.
*And, from what we found out yesterday: It was the most-watched TV show ever. Not most-watched Super Bowl -- most-watched TV show, displacing the MASH finale.
All those things are packed into today's SN column lead, but it all begs what I think is a pretty interesting question, which I don't cover in the SN column but open up here:
Who was the most memorable team sports champ of all time?
Factors to consider (and this is intentionally related to the details above): Backstory of the team, how they won, how many people were watching (or: how many people were paying attention).
This goes way beyond the avid fan's recollection of a particular champ -- or their ability to reel off champs in whatever sport, year-by-year.
This is about which champs the casual fan -- even the NON-fan -- will remember most. I think these Saints have to qualify at or near the top.
I was curious if you had any other ideas for contenders: The 2004 Red Sox immediately come to mind. If you head back into the '90s or earlier, you start to (a) lose the ubiquity that comes with being a champ in the digital age and (b) lose the 20- and 30-something fans. For example, the '85 Bears were insanely memorable... but if you're under the age of, say, 33, you mostly likely have no memory other than some hazy notion of the Shuffle and "The Fridge."
I'm going to try to figure out the quintessential, most-memorable champion, team sport-by-sport, and I'd love your input/corrections/etc in the comments:
NFL: '09 Saints
MLB: '04 Red Sox
NBA: '96 Bulls
CFB: '05 Texas
CBB: '85 Villanova (?)
NHL: Yikes. You tell me. ('94 Rangers?)
If the input in the Comments helps me work this out, I think I'll try to make it tomorrow's lead item in the SN column. Here's today's version. More later.