San Francisco Can Be 6th Time a City Won Simultaneous World Series & Super Bowl
Frank Gore, Colin Kaepernick and friends can give San Francisco fans a thrill that has only happened five other times since the first Super Bowl was played in January of 1967.
San Francisco is currently the home of the defending World Series Champion Giants. If the 49ers defeat the Baltimore Ravens on February 3, 2013 in New Orleans, then those same fans will also have the defending Super Bowl champions.
Only five other times in history had a fan base's football and baseball teams simultaneously held their league's highest honor in the Super Bowl era.
Before listing the other five, it is important to make two notes.
The Washington Redskins won Super Bowl XVII (played on January 30, 1983) and later the Baltimore Orioles won the 1983 World Series. At the time, Washington did not have a Major League Baseball team and many baseball fans from D.C. were indeed Orioles fans.
And in 1989, the Oakland Raiders were playing in Los Angeles and many fans in the East Bay followed the 49ers, who sandwiched the Super Bowl XXIII and Super Bowl XXIV titles around the Oakland Athletics' 1989 World Series Championship.
I decided not to include those in this list out of respect for the new Washington Nationals and the returned Oakland Raiders.
Now here are the Super Bowl and World Series winning cities than San Francisco hopes to join.
New York Jets and Mets: Super Bowl III and 1969 World Series
New York fans were treated to two of the most startling sports championships of all time back to back.
Joe Namath had famously guaranteed victory over the favored Baltimore Colts before Super Bowl III. He then followed up his promise by passing for 206 yards, leading the Jets to a league altering 16-7 upset played on January 12, 1969 in Miami.
Later that October, the New York Mets stunned baseball after seven incompetent seasons by winning the National League East division. They swept the Atlanta Braves in the first NLCS and faced off against a seemingly invincible Baltimore Orioles team.
But the pitching of Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman, the defense of Tommy Agee and Ron Swoboda and the power of World Series MVP Donn Clendenon won the series for the Miracle Mets in five games.
Both upsets came against Baltimore teams. Their fans would be rewarded with dual victories not long afterward.
Baltimore Orioles and Colts: 1970 World Series and Super Bowl V
Baltimore fans who swallowed the bitter pills of watching the New York Jets and Mets celebrate at their expense would have their moment in the sun.
Brooks Robinson turned the 1970 World Series into his own personal showcase. He made amazing plays in the field against the Cincinnati Reds, batted .429 with an OPS of 1.238 and two homers in the five games. Frank Robinson and Boog Powell also added a pair of home runs each as the Orioles won the World Series in five games, clinching the late Earl Weaver's lone title.
Super Bowl V was the first played after the NFL and AFL merged. The Baltimore Colts were representatives of the AFC and found stiff competition in Super Bowl V against game MVP Chuck Howley and the Dallas Cowboys.
A tense and sometimes sloppy game ended with Jim O'Brien's last second field goal to give the Colts the 16-13 victory. It may not have been pretty, but Baltimore had their two champions.
Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates: Super Bowls XIII and XIV and 1979 World Series
The 1970s were truly the glory years for Pittsburgh sports. The Steelers made eight straight playoff appearances, winning four Super Bowls along the way. The Pirates made the post season in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1979, winning a pair of World Series.
On January 21, 1979, the Steelers played in Super Bowl XIII against the Dallas Cowboys at Miami's Orange Bowl. Super Bowl MVP Terry Bradshaw threw for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Steelers won the tense contest 35-31.
That October, the Pirates stormed into the World Series on the bat and heart of Willie Stargell, who was the NL Co-MVP and was the NLCS MVP against the Cincinnati Reds. In the World Series, the Pirates fell behind 3-1 to the Baltimore Orioles. But the Bucs, playing to the beat of Sister Sledge's hit song "We Are Family," came back. Stargell's home run off of Scott McGregor in Game 7 put Pittsburgh ahead for good as they won the game 4-1 and the series 4-3.
Meanwhile the Steelers juggernaut continued on January 20, 1980. The Steelers took on the Los Angeles Rams at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California for Super Bowl XIV.
The Rams held a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter but the Steelers, once again led by game MVP Terry Bradshaw, scored two unanswered touchdowns in the final frame. The Steelers defended their title with the 31-19 victory.
Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh was indeed a house of champions.
New York Mets and Giants: 1986 World Series and Super Bowl XXI
The New York Mets were a juggernaut in 1986. They steamrolled through the National League East with a 108–54 regular season record. Led by pitchers Dwight Gooden, Bob Ojeda and Ron Darling and hitters Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez and future Hall of Famer Gary Carter, the team had the swagger and confidence of a champion.
The Houston Astros challenged the Mets to a heartstopping NLCS which ended on a classic 16 inning marathon Game 6. The World Series against the Boston Red Sox became one of the most memorable in baseball history. The Mets fell behind 5-3 in the 10th inning of Game 6 and had nobody on and two outs with Boston ready to clinch. Then came the most famous rally in World Series history.
(Take note, anyone who blames Bill Buckner for losing the World Series is mistaken. Game 6 was tied before his overrated blunder and there was a Game 7 after that play.)
World Series MVP Ray Knight scored the winning run of Game 6 and hit the go ahead home run in Game 7 before Jesse Orosco closed out the World Series for the Mets.
The New York Giants, aka The Big Blue Wrecking Crew, played in the franchise's first ever Super Bowl on January 25, 1987 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Phil Simms and company took on John Elway and the Denver Broncos. The Giants fell behind 10-9 at the half, but Simms took control in the second half. He went 22 for 25 for 268 yards, capturing the game's MVP honors.
The Giants would win 39-20, capping a period where being a Mets and Giants fan in New York paid dividends.
New England Patriots & Boston Red Sox: Super Bowls 38 and 39 & 2004 World Series
Boston fans went from the 1986 NBA Finals to Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 without a championship. Then from 2002 to 2011, the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins all won at least one title. The great turnaround for Boston sports fans came when Adam Vinatieri defeated the Rams in 2002 for the Patriots' first ever Super Bowl title.
In Super Bowl XXXVIII, played on February 1, 2004, the Patriots squared off against the Carolina Panthers. Tom Brady collected the MVP honors by setting a Super Bowl record 32 pass completions and throwing for 354 yards and three touchdowns. Once again, Vinatieri won the game in the closing seconds with a field goal.
The game is best remembered for the Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake "wardrobe malfunction" at the halftime show.
Patriots' Super Bowls were fine, but Boston fans hungered for a World Series title. in 2004, their prayers were answered.
After a logic-defying, blood-soaked sock filled ALCS where the Red Sox erased a 3-0 deficit to the invincible New York Yankees, they faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. It was no contest. The Cardinals never led for a single inning and the Red Sox ended the dreaded "Curse" in four painless games. Reliever Keith Foulke, the postseason's most underrated hero, got Edgar Renteria to ground out to end it.
For good measure, the Patriots defended their Super Bowl title on February 6, 2005 in Jacksonville, Florida. Super Bowl XXXIX saw the Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles battle back and forth. The game was tied after three quarters. But MVP Deion Branch made 11 catches for 133 yards and Corey Dillon scored a go-ahead two-yard touchdown in the fourth.
Tom Brady and company won 24-21 as the Patriots kept the championship run going for New England fans.