It’s time we retired the phrase “Dream Team” from the American sports lexicon. The term is greatly over-used and insults the actual Dream Team.For those of you who are under the age of twenty five, here is a quick history lesson: The Dream Team is the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team.
As a country, we grew tired of our amateurs losing international basketball games to other countries who used professional players to stock their teams. In fact, at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, Korea, Team USA finished third earning a Bronze medal. However, all along, we knew we had the best basketball players in the world in America. When other countries and their respective national basketball teams started getting cocky, we said fine. Try beating a team with Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, and Charles Barkley, just to name a few. The team was so good that a young Shaquille O’Neal did not make the team.
Predictably, the team easily won the Gold Medal. In fact, it won every Olympic game by an average of 44 points. Hence the term: Dream Team.
Sure, it’s a catchy phrase. But some have been too quick to label other groups as a Dream Team. My first recollection would be O.J. Simpson’s defense team of Robert Shapiro and Johnnie Cochran. The term may actually apply there. After all, the Juice did lop off two people’s heads(allegedly!) and got an acquittal.
However, more recently, there have been other teams that have begged for the title of Dream Team and the media has been all too quick to give it to them. Today’s definition of Dream Team is a team that looks unbeatable on paper. However, that’s why we play the games because time after time, so-called Dream Teams come up short.
Needs some recent examples?
How about the Miami Heat for starters? Dwayne Wade recruited LeBron James and Chris Bosh to Miami. LeBron was a LeBust.
The Philadelphia Phillies looked unbeatable even before they lured Cliff Lee. Yet they were bounced in the first round of the 2011 MLB playoffs.
Not to continue picking on the city of brotherlylove, but Vince Young said the Eagles were a Dream Team with Michael Vick on offense and Nnamdi Asomugha on defense. How’s that working out? It’s not even Halloween and the Eagles are almost out of the NFC playoff picture.
Moving forward, let’s follow MLB’s example of retiring the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. As members of the media, let’s just retire the phrase “Dream Team” unless we are talking about 1992.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @CnotesbyCraig