The 10-part docuseries, "The Last Dance," concluded Sunday on ESPN, and although the entire sports community seemed to grip to the event with the lack of live sports, odds are the Michael Jordan-based documentary would have gripped the sports world anyway.
Few athletes have sparked generations of emulations quite like Jordan, and "The Last Dance" served as the latest reminder as to why he was widely revered for his ruthless play, killer mentality and unquenchable thirst for greatness.
But which champions in the NFL would be most deserving of the same style docuseries? Which NFL franchises have the best stories to tell?
There is no shortage of champions worthy of the spotlight, but a "The Last Dance" style microscope would be best served to honor some of the best of the best — all-time great championship runs that were spurred on by some of the legends of the game. So, you want to make addictive television by looking back at some of the NFL's greatest champions?
Here's your shortlist (in chronological order):
1972 Miami Dolphins
"Welcome to Perfectville" has a nice ring to it. The NFL's only undefeated Super Bowl champions are a logical choice after their distinctive title run. But beyond that, this team had its fair share of characters. It's become something of a popular habit to dismiss the 1972 Dolphins because of their era of football as an overrated champion, but they had it all: hard-nosed defense, a magnetic head coach and a bunch of star power.
Fullback Larry Csonka and running back Jim Kiick were coined "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" while helping tote the football and punishing opposing defenders. Miami's own all-time unit on defense, the "No Name Defense", smothered opposing teams and forced 56 turnovers in 17 games en route to a victory in Super Bowl 7.
This series would be old-school, but don't think it wouldn't be entertaining just because of the era.
1985 Chicago Bears
Walter "Sweetness" Payton. Jim McMahon. Richard Dent. William "Refrigerator" Perry. Mike Singletary. Mike Ditka. “The Super Bowl Shuffle.” Needless to say, I'm in on a series spotlighting Chicago's relentless conquest of the NFL in 1985.
The 1985 Bears were perhaps the next closest thing to an undefeated Super Bowl champion. Their only loss came to Dan Marino's Dolphins in December after the Bears had dispatched of their previous two opponents by a combined 90-0 score. The brash persona of McMahon paired with the "Never Die Easy" mantra of Payton gave Chicago plenty of fireworks on offense, including Payton's pursuit of a then-NFL record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
Chicago getting yet another docuseries after "The Last Dance" would be a tough pill to swallow for the rest of America, but try to say you wouldn't watch it.
1989 San Francisco 49ers
The 1989 49ers were coming off a championship the prior season and were in the midst of the Joe Montana-led dynasty before assembling perhaps their most dominant season ever. The 49ers would go on to win their fourth Super Bowl of the decade in dominant fashion, though it was notable as their first championship without dynasty architect Bill Walsh leading the way. But the dynamics of a coaching change from Walsh versus new coach George Seifert only further pushed the 49ers to dominance as they romped to a 14-2 record led on offense by Montana, Roger Craig and the colorful Jerry Rice, who led the league in receiving yards and touchdowns that season.
Meanwhile, backup quarterback Steve Young continued to make the most of his spot duty and continued to build support in the locker room — a sub-plot that came to a head years later regarding a Montana versus Young debate within the team's locker room. But 1989 was Montana's show. He won NFL MVP and the 49ers smothered the Broncos to win their second consecutive Super Bowl.
1995 Dallas Cowboys
The 1995 Cowboys, aside from their own set of colorful personalities, were effectively constructed to derail another dynasty: the one we just spotlighted in San Francisco. The Cowboys, or “America's Team,” would meet the 49ers in three consecutive NFC championships from 1992-94, winning the first two on their way to Lombardi Trophies. The 49ers would unseat Dallas in 1994 before the Cowboys returned to win their third Super Bowl in four seasons — their first with Barry Switzer at the helm.
The hiring of Switzer came after a rift developed between Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson and team owner Jerry Jones. Between Jones' bravado, the dominance of running back Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Michael Irvin's superior play, the Cowboys' dynasty of the early 1990s is well worth the spotlight of a docuseries.
2000 Baltimore Ravens
In a span of five years, the Ravens went from the most hated team on Lake Erie — their abrupt move from Cleveland — to Super Bowl champions; it was a feat never accomplished by the Browns organization.
Baltimore did it on the back of a historic defense, led by future Hall of Fam players Ray Lewis and Rod Woodson. Offensively, the Ravens boasted a two-headed monster rushing attack between Jamal Lewis and Priest Holmes while Hall of Fame left tackle Jonathan Ogden led the way. The Ravens defense yielded 10 or less points in 15 of 19 games played that season — an incredible feat that has the unit down as an all-time great.
The dynamics of Baltimore's move from Cleveland, the firing of Bill Belichick in the process and the build up to a championship program in 2000 would undoubtedly be filled with juicy details. The Ravens, in their first-ever draft in 1996, promptly selected franchise cornerstones in Ogden and Lewis with their first two picks.
Who wouldn't want to watch these stories play out, other than maybe the city of Cleveland?