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In no order, here are my Top 10: 1999 Jaguars - Lost to no one but the Titans in either the regular season or the postseason. 1998 Vikings - Points. Lots of points. 1987 Saints - Dome Patrol at their peak, but a wild-card entry because of... 1987 49ers - 13-2 but lost to Minnesota somehow. 1996 Broncos - Sadly, their playoff loss to Jacksonville was their last game before the uniform change. 1985 Dolphins - They still had a very formidable offense the year after Marino set all those records. 2011 Packers - 15-1, but when the Giants are hot you don't get in their way... 1979 Chargers - At 12-4, the best record of Fouts' career. Unlike many other Charger teams from that era, this one actually had a defense too. 1975 Cardinals - Another Coryell team that didn't produce in the playoffs. Amazingly, their 11-3 record was the worst of the NFC's division winners that season, behind the Vikings and the... 1975 Rams - 9.6 points allowed per game. Beat the Cardinals in the playoffs but got trounced by the Cowboys in the NFC title game. Bonus: 2004 Steelers - Sorry, but these guys weren't as good as their 15-1 record would seem to indicate. Honorable Mention: 1975 Vikings- Upset by Dallas in the divisional round, but they went to several other Super Bowls in the same time period. Their big thing was not being able to win the Super Bowl, rather than not being able to get there...not only are the Vikings 0-4 all-time in the Super Bowl, but they haven't even held a lead or scored a first-half Super Bowl point...ever.
I got an e-mail a couple of days ago from the Yankees. Apparently as part of the all-star festivities this year Major League Baseball is polling fans to name their team's "Franchise Four", the four "most impactful players" that represent the team's history. Sadly, as a Yankees fan there is little consideration and deliberation that can be made on the subject as there are four granite slabs beyond the outfield wall that represent four of the greatest players of all time, but it's fun to consider which four you would choose for each team. What are your "Franchise Four" for each major league team, or just your own team? Here's my picks. Just the East for now as I think about the other divisions... Yankees: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle Red Sox: Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz Orioles: Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr. Blue Jays: Roberto Alomar, Dave Stieb, Roy Halladay, Joe Carter Rays: Wade Boggs, Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, Mets: Tom Seaver, Mike Piazza, David Wright, Gary Carter Braves: Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz Phillies: Grover Cleveland Alexander, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Cole Hamels Nationals: Rusty Staub, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Stephen Strasburgh Marlins: Jeff Conine, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Livan Hernandez