The Top 10 Teams of 2008
Ahhh, 2008 is over and all I can do is exhale in satisfaction.
This truly was an unforgettable year with unforgettable games and unforgettable teams.
It was because 2008 was a year for some truly dominant teams. I have looked over the champions of 2008 and some other teams that deserve recognition.
I have compiled a top-10 list of the best teams of 2008.
What makes the best team? Championships and wins. This list contains teams from across the world and touches all the major sports.
I thank you for reading, now let's end the formalities and begin our journey...
10. Chelsea Football Club, EPL
This is the only team on this list that did not win a trophy in 2008.
Why include them? Because they were runner-ups in three competitions they played in.
The finished second in the following competitions:
The English Premier League, second in standings
The Champions League, lost in penalty kicks
The Carling Cup, lost after extra time
There is no fluke in making two championship games and finishing second in the world's best football league.
Led by Captain John Terry, Chelsea made valid runs at a possible treble season.
Chelsea lost very close matches and was very close to being higher in this list.
9. Philadelphia Phillies, MLB
The Phillies finished with the second-best record in the National League with a mark of 92-70.
The Phillies defeated the Brewers and the Dodgers in the NL playoffs, both in very comfortable fashion.
They were labeled as underdogs against the AL champion, Tampa Bay Rays.
The Phillies finished the playoffs the way they started, dominating their opponent. The Phillies bested the Rays in the World Series, 4-1.
Ryan Howard also finished the season with the most HR's (48) and RBI's (146) in the NL.
8. Olympique Lyonnais, French Ligue 1
You want consistency? How does seven consecutive league championships sound?
Lyon captured their seventh straight Ligue 1 title on May 17, 2008.
However, this was done in much more dramatic fashion than in years past. Lyon waited until the final game to clinch the championship.
Led by Captain Juninho and striker Karim Benzema, Lyon continued their dominance over France.
Lyon was knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 by Manchester United.
If this list was of the top teams of the decade, Lyon would have a firm spot in my top three.
7. Kansas Jayhawks, NCAA Basketball
The championship that almost wasn't. That was, until Mario Chalmers hit a three-pointer to send the National Championship Game to overtime.
The Jayhawks prevailed 75-68 over the Memphis Tigers.
The Jayhawks posted a record of 37-3 to finish the season.
Led by Brandon Rush and Mario Chamlers. The Jayhawks never dropped below No. 7 in the AP polls.
6. Spain, International Football
Spain captured their first major title since 1964 in Euro 2008.
And they did it in dominating fashion. Posting a perfect record of 6-0 throughout the entire Euro 2008 competition.
Spain boasted both the leading scorer (David Villa, 4 goals) and the winner of the Best Player Award (Xavi).
Spain defeated Russia 4-1 in the group stage and 3-0 in the Semi-final.
Spain then finished their championship run with a 1-0 win against Germany.
5. New York Giants, NFL
The Giants regular season wasn't anything spectacular, but it was their magical post season that earned them a spot in my top five.
The Giants won on the road throughout the NFC playoffs defeating heavily favored opponents in Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Green Bay.
In Super Bowl XLII the Giants upset the previously undefeated New England Patriots 17-14.
The Giants finished the season with a record of 14-6.
The Giants could be higher if not for their mediocre regular season.
4. Detroit Red Wings, NHL
The Red Wings finished with the best regular season record in the NHL (54-21). This gave them the top spot in the Western Conference playoffs.
They also boasted two of the NHL's top-10 scorers (No. 4 Pavel Datsyuk and No. 6 Henrik Zetterberg)
The Red Wings took their regular season dominance into the Stanley Cup Playoffs with convincing wins in each round. They were never taken into a game seven.
The Red Wings won their 11th title by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals.
They also captured eight year-end awards given out by the NHL. You can look them up, because they are too long to name.
3. New England Patriots, NFL
The New England Patriots became the first team in NFL history to ever post a 16-0 record in the regular season.
With one amazing 65-yard play, the Patriots put themselves in the record books three different ways.
Tom Brady set the record for passing touchdowns in a season (50).
Randy Moss set a record for receiving touchdowns in a season (23).
And the six points that were scored gave the Patriots 582 total points on the year, another NFL record.
The Pats perfect season got as far as 18-0 until they were upset by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
The Pats were AFC Champs for the fourth time this decade.
This team was one play away from becoming the greatest team in NFL history.
18-1 and team records to boot, this team is the best football team of the year.
2. Boston Celtics, NBA
The hype for this team started in the offseason with the big acquisitions of Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.
The media and fans alike predicted an NBA Championship.
The Celtics delivered.
First they posted a league best record of 66-16.
The Celtics championship run was put in jeopardy in the early rounds of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
The Celtics were taken to game seven twice by the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively.
The Celtics then won the Eastern Conference Championship in six games over the Detroit Pistons.
What followed would be one of the most anticipated NBA Finals in decades. The two greatest franchises dueling with the best records in the NBA.
Led by team captain Paul Pierce, the Celtics handled the pressure and defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 4-2 in the NBA Finals.
1. Manchester United, EPL
It so happened that 2008 would be the year of the Red Devil.
Man United won their 17th overall EPL title on the final day of play. As well as their second straight.
United continued their team dominance by posting an unbeaten record in the UEFA Champions League (10 wins, 3 draws, 0 losses)
Manchester United won their third European title by defeating Chelsea in penalty kicks.
As for personal accolades, United's winger Cristiano Ronaldo scored 42 goals in all competitions. A Manchester United record as well as the most in Europe.
Ronaldo has also scored 10 goals to start the 2008-2009 campaign.
Manchester United's dream 2008 campaign came to a climax with their latest championship coming in the FIFA Club World Cup where they defeated Columbia's LDU Quito (Copa Libertadores Champions, the most prestigious football tournament this side of the Atlantic) 1-0 in the final.
They earned the right to be called, the best football team in the world.