Demise of Sports Dynasties Often Widely Celebrated

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Johnny Smith, assistant professor for the School of History, Technology, and Society and the undergraduate advisor for the Sports, Society, and Technology (SST) program, discussed the phenomenon of sports dynasties and how fans celebrate their downfall.

Specifically, the controversy surrounding partially deflated footballs, the New England Patriots, and Tom Brady has fans relishing in their demise. After Tom Brady went from being an undesirable player to multimillionaire, he became viewed as the epitome of sucess.

“He’s no longer the underdog, no longer the golden boy," said Dr. Smith. He’s the boy with all the advantages.”

What Brady wasn’t considered until recently was a breaker of rules, unlike the team he plays for.

“Ever since Spygate, fans from outside New England have looked at Bill Belichick and the Patriots with suspicion,” said Smith. “They’re always looking for an advantage, not only bending the rules but breaking the rules.”

From a fan's perspective, having a team with a perfectly clean record can become dull.

“Going into 1974 there were columnists who said that there were other coaches who were tired of Wooden being held up as a paragon, being on a pedestal,” said Smith, who wrote a book about the UCLA dynasty. “The game had become boring.”

Smith is an historian of the twentieth century United States, specializing in race, sports, and popular culture. He teaches a range of courses, including: American History since 1877; History of Sports in America; Boxing, Race, and American Culture; and a seminar on Sports and Modern America.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Rachel Miles
  • Created:05/28/2015
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016