Welcome back to the 25 for 25 Series! G-Man is turning 25 on July 23rd and to celebrate, I am counting down each of the sporting years I have been alive for. Full rules on the 25 for 25 Main Page.
Stanley Cup Champion: Edmonton Oilers (38-28-14, #2 Campbell Conference) – The team’s only championship without Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier took home the Art Ross Trophy for league MVP and actually beat out The Great One for All-NHL First Team. Gretzky led the league in points with 142 but finished sixth in goals with 40. This is also the ONLY NHL season in my life that the Detroit Red Wings didn’t make the playoffs.
NBA Champion: Detroit Pistons (59-23, #1 Eastern Conference) – The final championship in the Bad Boys era, Dennis Rodman came into prominence winning Defensive Player of the Year. The Pistons edged out the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals showing they still could out-duel Michael Jordan. This season also marked the debuts of the Timberwolves and Magic, bringing the number of teams in the to 27.
World Series Champion: Cincinnati Reds (91-71, #2 National League) – The Reds swept the Athletics stopping Oakland’s in-the-making-dynasty from blooming. The Pirates’ Barry Bonds won the NL MVP while hitting his 100th career homer during the season.
Super Bowl Champion: New York Giants (13-3, #2 NFC) – the Giants up-ended MVP Joe Montana and the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game en route to defeating the Bills in Super Bowl XXV. Super Bowl XXV is one of the more exciting Super Bowls–the game-ending wide-right FG attempt by the Bills making this the only Super Bowl to be decided by one point. While it would take over a decade for New York to return to the big game, the Bills would go back and lose each of the next three Super Bowls. The Giants’ victory is what vaulted Defensive Coordinator Bill Belichick and Wide Receivers Coach Tom Coughlin into coaching prominence. The 1990 season was also the first to use the 25-second play clock.
NCAA Football National Co-Champions: Colorado (AP Poll) & Georgia Tech (UPI Poll) – Co-champions!?!?
NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champion: UNLV (35-5, #1 Seed) – UNLV wouldn’t lose another game in 1990 after winning this title over Coach K, Christian Laettner, and the Duke Blue Devils.
Masters Champion: Nick Faldo (3rd Major)
US Open Champion: Hale Irwin (3rd Major)
British Open Champion: Nick Faldo (4th Major)
PGA Champion: Wayne Grady (1st Major)
The year I was born saw a Nolan Ryan no-hitter, two Nick Faldo majors, and the beginning of Phil Mickelson–1990 US Amateur Champion, signifying a change in the guard. Granted Nick Faldo would win two more majors and Nolan Ryan threw one more no-no after this year but 1990 was the last year before Michael Jordan or Duke Basketball had ever won a championship. Now 25 years later, both entities (love them or hate them) are at the top of the list in terms of all-time champions.