1. Four championship main dynasty + one championship without their most famous player
Could there by more similar players (in all the ways that matter) than Joe Montana and Wayne Gretzky? Throw out Gretzky's jaw-dropping stats and they are two peas in a pod. Both were such Aryan golden boys that their leagues couldn't wait to plaster their mugs on the TV. They each have ludicrously hot wives. In general, their lives are so much better than ours. The assholes.
The two teams both dominated the Eighties (winning four titles in a short amount of time) and then won one more title after they reached their peaks.
By this analogy, Mark Messier would have to be Steve Young.
Under the shadow of Montana, Steve Young faced a ton of pressure. So when his 49ers beat the Cowboys and then absolutely pummeled the San Diego Chargers, Young and his teammates actually pantomimed "getting the monkey off his back." Sure, it was pretty lame, but it said a lot.
Messier saw a similar glory year in which he won a Hart trophy and managed to win a Cup without Gretzky. Of course, Messier-Young isn't a perfect analogy marriage.
- For one thing, Young has an enviable bushy mane while Messier suffers from Wade Boggs syndrome.
- From what we know, Messier is not a Mormon.
- If you shine a light in Messier's eyes, he probably won't get a headache. (Boooo concussion humor)
(We guess that Jerry Rice would match up pretty well with Jari Kurri.)
2. Commerce over cartoons
It's refreshing to see a sports team that isn't named after some angry animal. Both the Edmonton Oilers and San Fran 49ers remind you of the cold commerce that allowed their areas to teem with life. When you study the two teams' logos, it's almost like taking a trip in a Dolarian back to each region's past (and they don't even have to resort to racial slurs!).
3. Innovative offense
Any shmuck with a stick could dream to hit the 100-point plateau in the goal crazed Gretzky era. How many fat, moustachioed NFL head coaches get their (expensive) meal tickets from Bill Walsh's West Coast offense? Each dynasty was loaded with absurd offensive talent and prompted runs to their league's Hall of Fames.
4. Enormous falls from grace
There were some pre-lockout years in which the Edmonton Oilers were looking like they were going the way of the Nordiques. Tough times have hit the Niners recently; you know things are bad when you've got the No. 1 pick.
Even the two teams "meh-ish" playoff runs were pretty similar: the Oilers featured Ryan Smyth and (aside from the one Pronger-fueled Cup run) were usually lucky to make the post-season. The Terrell Owens-Jeff Garcia era for San Fran rarely saw those two jackholes sniffing the second round.