Winning a championship is difficult, let alone two in a row. Three championships in a row? Well, it’s a legend, a feat that very few teams have managed to achieve. That’s the challenge that awaits the Kansas City Chiefs in 2024 as they seek to become the first NFL team to win three consecutive Super Bowls.
Watch Travis Kelce chatfrom the podium Sunday night evoked memories of former 49ers running back Roger Craig doing the same thing after San Francisco defeated the Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV to cap back-to-back titles. Unfortunately for Craig and his teammates, San Francisco came close but ultimately fell short of becoming the first team to win three Super Bowls. Will the Chiefs have better luck? We will know in 2024.
As mentioned above, the list of teams that have won three consecutive titles is small. It’s an even smaller list when you narrow it down to the teams that have done it this century.
Let’s take a look at the list of three winners Kelce, Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones and the rest of the Chiefs looking to join next season.
Professional sports franchises that have won three consecutive titles
2000-2002 Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)
This group was led by the legendary duo Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Coached by Hall of Famer Phill Jackson, the Lakers defeated Reggie Miller’s Pacers, Allen Iverson’s 76ers and Jason Kidd’s Nets in the Finals from 2000 to 2002. Shaq won the NBA MVP Finals every year, but Bryant was just as integral to the Lakers’ success in those series. For example, his eight points in overtime in Game 4 of the 2000 Finals – which came after Shaq fouled out – led the Lakers to victory and a 3-1 series lead.
1998-00 New York Yankees (MLB)
This team was stacked. Led by Derek Jeter, the Bronx Bombers won four titles over a five-year span, including three in a row. It would have been four straight titles if not for the epic performance of Diamondbacks pitchers Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.
Every Yankees team has been great during this run, but the 1998 team is historic. This group won a total of 125 games, an MLB record, including a four-game sweep of Tony Gwynn’s Padres in the World Series.
1997-00 Houston Comets (WNBA)
The Comets were champions in each of the WNBA’s first four seasons. Houston’s incomparable roster during those years included hoops legends Tina Thompson, Sheryl Swoops and Cynthia Cooper, the MVP of the first four Finals.
1996-98 Chicago Bulls (NBA)
The second line for Michael Jordan’s Bulls in the 1990s. This one featured the 1996 team that won an NBA record 70 regular season games. Chicago finished its magical 1996 season with a six-game series victory over a talented Supersonics team led by Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp.
Chicago followed that season with two more title runs that ended in Finals victories over the Jazz, led by the formidable duo of John Stockton and Karl Malone. Jordan had several memorable moments during these Finals, including his game-winning shot in Game 1 of the 1997 Finals, his memorable “Flu Game” four games later, and, of course, his final shot as a Bull that sealed Chicago’s sixth title in eight years.
1991-93 Chicago Bulls (NBA)
After years of playoff failure, Jordan and the Bulls broke through in 1991 and followed that up with two more titles before Jordan’s first shocking retirement. The first title was won against the Lakers and Magic Johnson, the NBA’s dynasty team a decade earlier. Chicago successfully defended its title with Finals victories over Clyde Drexler’s Trail Blazers and Charles Barkley’s Suns.
During this time, Jordan firmly established himself as arguably the greatest player in NBA history. His performance against the Magic’s Lakers in 1991 put him in the greatest conversation of all time, and his 35 first-half points in Game 1 of the 1992 Finals cemented it. Jordan’s 55 points in Game 4 of the 1993 Finals were the icing on the cake.
1980-83 New York Islanders (NHL)
The last Islanders team to win the title gave Wayne Gretzky a lesson in what it takes to win championships. Gretzky, after losing to the Islanders in the 1983 Stanley Cup final, expected a celebration as he walked past their locker room after the title-winning victory. Instead, Gretzky saw a group of exhausted players who seemed more relieved than elated. That moment stuck with Gretzky, whose Oilers team would dethrone the Islanders in the 1984 final.
1976-79 Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Coached by the legendary Scottie Bowman, the Canadiens had a loaded roster that included Hall of Fame right winger Guy Lafleur, who led the league in scoring every year from 1976 to 1978. Between the Finals victories over the Bruins were Cup victories against the Flyers and Rangers.
1972-74 Oakland Athletics (MLB)
Baseball was largely dominated by a handful of teams in the 1970s. One of those teams was the Athletics, whose powerhouse squad included slugger Reggie Jackson, who led MLB in several major statistical categories during Oakland’s dynasty began with a seven-game World Series victory over a Reds team that would win back-to-back titles later in the decade.
1965-67 Green Bay Packers (NFL)
The last team to win three consecutive NFL titles, Vince Lombardi’s Packers also won the first two Super Bowls. Green Bay’s team was loaded with talent at the time, with Hall of Famers on both sides of the ball. Offensively, Green Bay devastated its opponents thanks to Lombardi’s legendary sweep that contributed to the Packers’ blowout victories over the Chiefs and Raiders in the first two Super Bowls. Quarterback Bart Starr was the MVP in both games.
1959-66 Boston Celtics (NBA)
You read correctly. The Celtics have won an unprecedented eight consecutive titles in the Bill Russell-Red Auerbach era. It would have been 13 in a row without Hall of Famers Bob Pettit (in 1958) and Wilt Chamberlain (1967).
1962-64 Toronto Maple Leafs (MLB)
One of the most talented hockey teams of all time had 11 Hall of Famers. One of those Hall of Famers, left winger Frank Mahovlich, led the NFL in game-winning field goals during the ’62 and ’63 seasons.
1956-60 Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Among the Canadiens’ best players was Henri “Pocket Rocket” Richard, the brother of Hall of Famer Maurice “Rocket” Richard. “Pocket Rocket” may not have an award-winning name like his brother, but he has 11 Stanley Cup wins while being a key member of the Canadiens dynasty.
1952-54 Minneapolis Lakers (NBA)
The NBA’s first dynasty was led by George Mikan, the league’s first dominant player. Over a five-year span, Mikan led his respective league in scoring three times and rebounding twice.
1949-53 New York Yankees (MLB)
These Yankee teams were led by some of the most recognizable names in baseball history, led by Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio and Phil Rizzuto. Three of the Yankees’ titles during this period came against the crosstown rival Brooklyn Dodgers, led by pioneer and Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson.
1947-49 Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Oddly enough, the Maple Leafs’ third Cup was won despite a losing record (22-25-13) in the regular season. However, Toronto was almost unbeatable in the playoffs. They beat the Bruins in five games in the semifinals before sweeping the Red Wings in the final.
1936-39 New York Yankees (MLB)
These Yankees teams were the last for legend Lou Gehrig, who played only eight games during the 1939 season before being diagnosed with ALS. Gehrig was a force on the Yankees’ first two championship teams during this period. He led the league in home runs in 1936 and in walks and OBP during the ’36 and ’37 campaigns.
1929-31 Green Bay Packers (NFL)
Want to know how much the NFL has changed since the 1930s? Johnny Blood, one of the best players on those Packers teams, led the NFL with three touchdowns in 1933. Green Bay was coached during those years by Curley Lambeau, who won a total of six titles as a Packers coach.