Special Report

The Year Every Team Won Their First Championship

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Cleveland Browns
> Year of first title: 1946
> League: AAFC
> First year in franchise history: 1946
> Total championships: 8

The Cleveland Browns started in the fledgling All-America Football Conference in 1946, a competitor to the NFL. They dominated the league, winning all four AAFC titles before it folded. The Browns proved they were for real after joining the NFL in 1950, winning the title in their first season in the league.

Source: Bob Donnan / Pool / Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers
> Year of first title: 2016
> League: NBA
> First year in franchise history: 1970
> Total championships: 1

The famously heart-breaking and snakebitten Cleveland Cavaliers rewarded their fans’ patience in 2016. LeBron James returned home and helped the Cavs beat the heavily favored Golden State Warriors and brought the city Cleveland their first title in any sport over 50 years.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Cleveland Indians
> Year of first title: 1920
> League: MLB
> First year in franchise history: 1901
> Total championships: 2

In their first 50 seasons, the Cleveland Indians made the postseason twice, in 1920 and 1948, winning the World Series both times. Since then, the team has lost in the World Series four times.

Source: Al Bello / Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche
> Year of first title: 1996
> League: NHL
> First year in franchise history: 1979
> Total championships: 2

The Colorado Avalanche brought home the Stanley Cup in 1996 — their first season after moving from Quebec. The team won again 2001.

Source: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys
> Year of first title: 1971
> League: NFL
> First year in franchise history: 1960
> Total championships: 5

After forming in 1960, coach Tom Landry took the Dallas Cowboys from a hopeless expansion franchise to champions. The team won its first Super Bowl in 1971 after five straight playoff appearances the years before.

Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks
> Year of first title: 2011
> League: NBA
> First year in franchise history: 1980
> Total championships: 1

The Dallas Mavericks won their first and only title in 2011, the 11th consecutive season Dirk Nowitzki brought the franchise to the playoffs.

Source: Elsa / Getty Images

Dallas Stars
> Year of first title: 1999
> League: NHL
> First year in franchise history: 1967
> Total championships: 1

A few years after leaving Minnesota for North Texas, Mike Modano and the Dallas Stars hoisted the lone Stanley Cup in franchise history.

Source: Otto Greule Jr. / Allsport / Getty Images

Denver Broncos
> Year of first title: 1997
> League: NFL
> First year in franchise history: 1960
> Total championships: 3

Before the Denver Broncos won their first Super Bowl after the 1997 season, the team lost the big game four times.

Source: Courtesy of Goldin Auctions

Detroit Lions
> Year of first title: 1935
> League: NFL
> First year in franchise history: 1930
> Total championships: 4

The Detroit Lions won their first NFL championship in 1935, then took home three more titles in the 1950s. Unfortunately, the franchise has not come close to winning another title since.

Source: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

Detroit Pistons
> Year of first title: 1989
> League: NBA
> First year in franchise history: 1948
> Total championships: 3

Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, and the rest of the Bad Boys squad led the Detroit Pistons to their first of two straight NBA titles in 1989.