Max Kellerman: Patriots' Dynasty More Impressive Than Bulls'

Max Kellerman
Max Kellerman /

The New England Patriots and the Chicago Bulls gave us the greatest pair of dynasties the modern sports world has ever seen -- and in the case of the former, it remains ongoing (even if Tom Brady isn't there anymore). The Bulls won six championships in eight years off the strength of two three-peats, while the Patriots have been in nine of 20 possible Super Bowls this century, winning six. The future can truly hold anything, but any team would be hard-pressed to match the achievements of either of these two squads for a long, long time.

With live sports on hold, the First Take crew argued over which dynasty was more impressive. Max Kellerman declared the Patriots' achievements over the last two decades takes the cake.

Kellerman accurately points out that football is a more tenuous game than basketball when every moment matters. With only one playoff game instead of a best-of-seven series, only one or two things need to go right for the worse team to walk away with a win. The Patriots know that as well as anybody after losing to the Giants and Eagles in Super Bowls despite going in as substantial favorites in both contests. To come out on top year after year despite their championship hopes regularly dangling by a thread is remarkable.

As tired as the trope is, it remains true that football is more of a team sport than basketball. Michael Jordan was the best player on both ends of the floor every single night. Every one of his skills was equal to, or greater than, those of his teammates. Tom Brady was the best quarterback on the field almost every game he played, but he couldn't go out and lock down an opponent's top wideout like Jordan could lock down his opponent's top wing. That alone adds a substantial degree of difficulty to sustained success. Having one great player in football isn't enough, nor is having two or three. You need several great players and many good ones.

In basketball, the roster still needs to be strong, but the foundation of Jordan's championship teams never really changed -- it was him, Pippen, and everyone else. Brady won championships with a constantly-shifting cast of characters that both directly impacted his play and everyone else's. This isn't to argue about Brady or Jordan's value, it's to point out that the constant turnover in football isn't often seen in basketball, if only because of the difference in size of the roster.

Jordan's Bulls did have six years of sheer dominance that the Patriots did not quite reach. Chicago was the presumptive favorite in nearly every one of those six seasons. The Patriots have been the team to beat for two decades, but due to the nature of football they rarely came into the year as automatic title favorites. Bet against them at your own peril, but Jordan's greatness was so overwhelming it rarely felt like anyone else had a chance. The Bulls never lost a Finals they appeared in during the 90s, after all. The Patriots, as mighty as they were and are, did lose. The giant could be toppled. No one toppled Jordan during the dynastic years.

Both have a solid argument, but it's much harder to be great for as long as the Patriots did, even if the Bulls were more dominant.