A Sports First: Reigning NFL, NBA and NHL Champs Lose in First Round of Playoffs
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First, the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers lost their first playoff game to the New York Giants. Then the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins lost their first-round series to thefour games to three. Finally, the defending NBA champs, the , were swept in a four-game first-round series to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Put it all together, and it was the first time in sports history that the defending NFL, NHL and NBA champions were all defeated the following year in the first-round of the playoffs.
(If baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals make the 2012 MLB playoffs and are defeated in their first-round series, we’ll have a clean sweep of defending champs in the first round of the playoffs in 2012.)
Following is a look at each of the football, basketball and hockey champions since 1970 that were defeated in their first-round playoff the following season after their title.
Year listed is the year they won the Super Bowl, the NBA championship or Stanley Cup, followed by their first-round loss in the playoffs the following season.
National Football League (10)
2011 Green Bay Packers: Lost 37-20 toin divisional playoff game
2010 New Orleans Saints: Lost 41-36 to Seattle in Wild Card playoff game
2008 NY Giants: Lost 23-11 to Philadelphia in divisional playoff game
2007 Indianapolis Colts: Lost 28-24 to San Diego in divisional playoff game
2000 St. Louis Rams: Lost 31-28 to New Orleans in Wild Card playoff game
1995 San Francisco 49ers: Lost 27-17 to Green Bay in divisional playoff game
1986 Chicago Bears: Lost 27-13 to Washington in divisional playoff game
1985 San Francisco 49ers: Lost 17-3 to NY Giants in Wild Card playoff game
1984 LA Raiders: Lost 13-7 to Seattle in Wild Card playoff game
1974 Miami Dolphins: Lost 28-26 to Oakland in divisional playoff game
2011 Dallas Mavericks: Lost 4-0 to Oklahoma City inseries
2006 Miami Heat: Lost 4-0 to Chicago in Eastern Conference first-round series
1999 San Antonio Spurs: Lost 3-1 to Phoenix in Western Conference first-round series
1983 Philadelphia 76ers: Lost 3-2 to NJ Nets in Eastern Conference first-round series
1980 LA Lakers: Lost 2-1 to Houston in Western Conference first-round series
1977 Portland Trail Blazers: Lost 4-2 to Seattle in Western Conference semifinals (they had a bye in the first round)
2011 Boston Bruins: Lost 4-3 to Washington in the conference quarterfinals
2010 Chicago Blackhawks: Lost 4-3 to Vancouver in the conference quarterfinals
2007 Anaheim Ducks: Lost 4-2 to Dallas in the conference quarterfinals
2004 Tampa Bay Lightning: Lost 4-1 to Ottawa in the 2006 conference quarterfinals (2005 season was cancelled)
2003 NJ Devils: Lost 4-1 to Philadelphia in conference quarterfinals
2002 Detroit Red Wings: Lost 4-0 to Mighty Ducks in conference quarterfinals
1993 Montreal Canadiens: Lost 4-3 to Boston in conference quarterfinals
1973 Montreal Canadiens: Lost 4-2 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals
1972 Boston Bruins: Lost 4-1 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals
1971 Montreal Canadiens: Lost 4-2 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals
1970 Boston Bruins: Lost 4-3 to Montreal in quarterfinals
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