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: Pittsburgh Peguins (41-33-6, #2 Wales Conference) — The Pens won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history led by Conn Smythe Winner Mario Lemieux and Mark Recchi over the Minnesota North Stars. This would be the first of back-to-back Cups for Pittsburgh both featuring two of the most complete teams assembled. Wayne Gretzky led the league in points with 163 (41 goals, 122 assists) while Brett Hull blew out the field leading the league with 86 goals. Rookie goalie Ed Belfour led the Blackhawks to the Presidents’ Trophy winning both the Calder Trophy and the Veniza Trophy.
NBA Champion: Chicago Bulls (61-21, #1 Eastern Conference) — Michael Jordan and the Bulls finally got over the hump that was the Detroit Pistons en route to their first title over Magic Johnson and Lakers. MJ was awarded the MVPs of both the regular and the finals as well as being named to the All-NBA First team along with Jonson, Karl Malone, David Robinson, and Charles Barley–what a lineup.
World Series Champion: Minnesota Twins (95-67, #1 American League) — Kirby Puckett, Jack Morris and the Twins won the franchise’s first World Series over the Atlanta Braves in an exciting seven-game series with five games being decided by one run. Roger Clemens of the Red Sox took home the AL Cy Young Award while the Braves’ Tom Gavin won the award in the National League.
Super Bowl Champion: Washington Redskins (14-2, #1 NFC) — The Redskins won their third Super Bowl under Head Coach Joe Gibbs as Washington jumped out to a 24-0 lead in the third quarter that Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills could not recover from. Washington also sacked and picked off Kelly four times each.
NCAA Football National Champion: Washington Huskies (USA Today) and Miami Hurricanes (AP Poll)
NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champion: Duke Blue Devils –the first title in Duke Men’s Basketball history. Christian Laettner won the tournament’s MVP award.
Masters Champion: Ian Woodsnam (1st Major)
US Open Champion: Payne Stewart (2nd Major)
British Open Champion: Ian Baker-Finch (1st Major)
PGA Champion: John Daly (1st Major)
The events of 1991 were indeed exciting, but they were just a preview for the events of 1992–which we’ll get to later. The Twins World Series balances out not-so-thrilling Super Bowl while both the Penguins’ and North Stars’ runs made for a great Stanley Cup Final. 1991 gave us the first championships of Michael Jordan and Duke, two household names when you think of champions now–love them or hate them–which absolutely establishes itself as a good kickoff for the Top 15.