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Monday, June 20, 2011

We Are the Champions

Fans of Boston sports teams are loving life right now. With the Bruins' Stanley Cup-winning Game 7 victory this past week, they can proudly boast championships in each of the four major sports since 2005.

Tis the season for me to have a one-track, drum-corps-centric mind--it's opening weekend, if you somehow missed it--and so when figuring out if that short a time frame was the shortest of any city (it is) I threw another variable into the mix: Which cities/metro areas can claim a championship in each of the four major sports AND a DCI World Championship?

It makes sense to start looking at the most restrictive of the championships; only eight different corps have taken home World Class gold. Of those, Star of Indiana, the Madison Scouts, and Phantom Regiment aren't in metro areas with each of the four major sports. Both Santa Clara Vanguard and the Blue Devils call the San Francisco Bay Area home; however, that area's lone hockey team, the San Jose Sharks, has never hoisted the Stanley Cup. This leaves three corps, fittingly in the three largest metro areas in the country.

The Los Angeles metro area lays claim to all five championships, but put quite a bit a time between them all. The Anaheim Kingsmen got the ball rolling by picking up the first DCI World Championship in 1972; the Anaheim Ducks closed the loops with the 2007 Stanley Cup. In the interim, there would be eight championships for the Lakers, the Dodgers and Angels would each win, and the Raiders would bring home the one trophy they brought to LA.

Chicago trimmed that time a bit, simply splitting the difference between the Bears' 1985 Super Bowl Shuffle and the Blackhawks' 2010 Stanley Cup championship. The White Sox won in 2005, the Phil Jackson-helmed, Michael Jordan-led Bulls would win six, and the Cavaliers would bring seven back to nearby Rosemont.

The Big Apple, not surprisingly, lays claim to the shortest time with all five championships. The Knicks won in 1973, and by the Giants' Super Bowl XXI win in early 1987, the Amazin' Mets would net one in 1986, the Yankees would win in 1977 and 1978, the Islanders would dominate Stanley Cup competition between 1980 and 1983, and the Garfield Cadets would do the same with in DCI between 1983 and 1985.

Boston Crusaders? You're on the clock. with no other Boston championships, BAC needs to take it all in DCI by the end of the 2018 season to keep Boston at the forefront.

Speaking of the Crusaders, they are one of two corps that I think have a legitimate beef with being left out of the Tour of Champions this summer. If you'll recall, there were seven original gunmen on the grassy knoll corps who penned the proposal that led, at least in part, to the current Tour of Champions. The eighth, the Blue Stars, earned their spot based at least on their finish this past season and likely on their finish the past couple of seasons. That said, the Boston Crusaders have just as many Top 8 finishes in the past decade as the Blue Stars do; for that matter, the Crusaders have been a perennial finalist, while the Blue Stars just made the jump from Open Class a half decade ago. The Blue Stars were simply in the right place at the right time, a criticism UCF fans have often had of USF, who was invited to the Big East while the Knights remained in a non-AQ conference. That the Boston Crusaders recruit heavily from the central Florida region is a coincidence not lost on me.

The other corps who could be chagrined at their absence from the Tour of Champions? The only other corps to have been a champion in the DCI era, the Madison Scouts. If ever they were to raise this issue, however, one would need look no further than Relampago to justify their exclusion.
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