Devine: Championship matchups that would be great for all four major sports

Kansas City Royals fans enjoying a game during the 2015 World Series against the New York Mets. The Royals won the series, 4-1. "davebolander"

Every sports fan has “fantasy matchups” in their minds.

Some of these matchups include two teams where the unstoppable force meets the immovable object. Others are just ones that include our favorite teams being the underdogs to overcome all odds to win.

In this column, I will go over five championship matchups we would like to see from the four major sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL). The extra pick will be my personal choice.

World Series:

Had this column been written a year ago, the Cubs vs. Indians would make this choice, but we got it in 2016 with the Cubs extinguishing a 108-year championship drought. The Indians drought continues at 69 years.

A matchup that wouldn’t be all that terrible in the Fall Classic would be the Houston Astros vs. the Washington Nationals. Why?

Only a few years ago, both franchises were losing 100 games on a regular basis. Being “cellar dwellers” didn’t accurately describe how bad both teams were. Now, the Astros and Nats have won their respective divisions and are on a tear towards the postseason.

Both have done a great job rebuilding through the draft, as well as making great free agent moves to improve in the positions they needed without being arrogant when it came to dollar signs.

It’s not another Yankees-Dodgers matchup, but rather a matchup we have never seen before.

Stanley Cup:

Hockey is considered “Canada’s pastime,” so what can beat a Canadian Stanley Cup Final?

So which two of the seven Canadian teams would make a great finals matchup?

Calgary Flames vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.

Calgary won their only Stanley Cup in 1989 behind the leadership of Lanny McDonald, handing the legendary Patrick Roy his only Finals loss in his career and the Montreal Canadians their first Finals loss since 1967 up to that point.  

Speaking of 1967, Toronto hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since then. There’s no denying the passion of Leafs fans and the importance the city of Toronto has when it comes to it’s impact on the sport of hockey.

Both teams have undergone youth movements recently, with Calgary being anchored with South Jersey product Johnny Gaudreau on their left wing.

Toronto is looking to remain in the playoff picture with 2016 #1 overall pick Auston Matthews showing in his first season that he can score with the big guys.

A Calgary-Toronto final would have tons of scoring, tons of drama and would finally give Canada a Stanley Cup champion for the first time since 1993.

NBA Finals:

Cavs vs. Warriors again?


How about Houston vs. Boston? Both teams have reloaded this past offseason with the Rockets adding Chris Paul and the Celtics adding Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Both teams will have to get past the powerhouses in their own conferences (Warriors in the West, Cavs in the East). If they can do that, this series would bring the house down and draw incredible ratings.

Super Bowl:

As much as I don’t like both teams, a Cowboys-Patriots Super Bowl matchup would be insane as far as ratings and would pit an old dynasty against a new one.

Tom Brady just turned 40 years old. He has five Super Bowl rings and is looking to add one or two more for the other hand before he retires.

The Cowboys and their “fans” still claim they are “America’s Team,” thanks to the storied history of their dynasty’s in the 1970s and 1990s.

If Dak Prescott led Dallas to the big game, it would make the ultimate “David vs. Goliath” storyline as he stood across the field from arguably the greatest football player ever, Tom Brady.

Personal pick:

As a Philly sports fan, there’s only one matchup I’ve ever dreamed about growing up.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.

I grew up in a household where my father was an Eagles fan and my mother was a Steelers fan. I chose the way of the Birds and for years, wondered who would come out on top when all of the marbles were on the table.

We nearly got the matchup in 2008, as the Eagles lost to the Cardinals in the NFC Championship game. The Cards went on to lose to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl 43.

The Steelers are considered “Pennsylvania’s team.” While an Eagles victory wouldn’t matchup up to Pittsburgh’s six rings, it would at least paint the Keystone State and the rest of the Delaware Valley midnight green for a year, and for most Eagles fans, that’s all we ask for.

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