Following their 25-22 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs were declared a dynasty after capturing their third Lombardi Trophy in five years. No NFL team has ever won three straight, and that lofty goal is there for taking next season for Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, T-Swfit, and company.
However, not all dynasties are created equal.
There are dynasties and then there's what the 1980s NY Islanders accomplished
For whatever reason, it was pre-decided that a third title in five years awarded Kansas City dynasty status. There’s a level of subjectivity to it. The New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys before them won three in four years. In hockey, the Chicago Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups in six years and are considered a dynasty by some, but not all.
The great San Antonio Spurs teams never won back-to-back titles, and the San Francisco Giants won 2010, 2012, and 2014 but missed the playoffs in between. Are they dynasties? It's debatable.
Mark Lazerus, Long Island native and senior hockey writer for The Athletic, sets a higher bar, posting, “It’s not a dynasty until you win three *in a row*. Dynasties do not yield power for a year or two at a time. Their rule is interrupted. I will continue to die (and by die, I mean be murdered) on this hill forever.”
His one-time hometown newspaper, Newsday, may have forever biased him. “Now, they’re a Dynasty” was the headline when the Islanders won their third straight Stanley Cup in 1982. There was no ambiguity there. It was simple: Three straight = dynasty.
According to that logic, besides the Islanders, the last dynasties were the 1990s Chicago Bulls (twice!), the late 1998-2000 New York Yankees, and the Shaq and Kobe Los Angeles Lakers. It would leave teams such as Larry Bird's Boston Celtics (three in six) and Magic Johnson's Lakers (five titles in nine years off the list).
On Monday morning, “Dynasty” was the Newsday headline when the Chiefs won their third in five seasons. It seems that dynasty goalposts, subjective as they are, have moved in, with the one prerequisite being a third championship, even if it takes four, five, or even six years to get it. Maybe all those aforementioned dominant teams should be considered dynasties, especially given free agency, the salary cap, and all the factors that produce parity in sports.
However, what the Islanders accomplished requires no discussion or debate. It’s an undisputed fact; if that wasn’t enough to distinguish themselves, they added one more.
Four straight is something no North American professional sports team has done since. There are dynasties, and then there’s the 1980s New York Islanders. It'll remain that way for at least two more years until Super Bowl 60 in Santa Clara, but Mahomes will have to accomplish the three-peat first.