In a new special series, I’ll be ranking each major professional sports franchise (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, etc.) in each of the states with at least two teams.
The teams will be ranked by the amount of success they’ve had in their current market, not accounting for previous locations of the franchise. However, if the team played in a different league but still played in its current home state, those records will contribute to the rankings.
Any playoff or tournament appearances, wild card berths, division titles, conference/league titles, major championships, and the franchise’s single-season wins/points records are accounted for, as well as the overall success of the team and certain eras of its history. So up next is the state of Wisconsin, home of the NFL’s Packers, NBA’s Bucks, and MLB’s Brewers.
No. 1 — Packers (est. 1919, joined NFL in 1921)
- 35 playoff appearances
- 21 division titles (12 NFC North, 4 NFC Central, 4 NFL West, 1967 NFL Central)
- 9 conference titles (6 NFL Western, 3 NFC)
- 11 NFL championships
- 4 Super Bowl championships
- Franchise-best record – 15-1 in 2011
The obvious choice for the No. 1 team in the state, the Packers have been a consistent championship contender since joining the NFL in 1921.
The team won six NFL titles in 15 years from 1929-44 before dominating the 1960s by winning five titles and the first two Super Bowls.
After a few down years in the next two decades, the Packers returned to contender status led by quarterback Brett Favre in the 1990s, making the playoffs 11 times in his 16 years with the franchise, highlighted by winning Super Bowl XXXI after the 1996 season.
Currently, the Packers are one of the league’s best teams led by Aaron Rogers, having reached the playoffs 11 times since 2009, winning eight NFC North Division titles and Super Bowl XLV following the 2010 season.
2021 NBA Finals: Milwaukee Bucks Win NBA Title, First Time Since 1971
No. 2 — Bucks (est. 1968)
- 34 playoff appearances
- 17 division titles (11 Central, 6 Midwest)
- 3 conference titles (2 West, 2020-21 East)
- 2 NBA championships
- Franchise-best record – 66-16 in 1970-71
Joining the league during the 1968-69 season, it didn’t take long for the Bucks to become a winning franchise. The team made the playoffs in its second year of existence, before winning the 1970-71 NBA championship led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson.
After returning to the Finals in 1974, the Bucks made the playoffs every year in the 1980s, winning seven division titles in a row from 1980-86.
After some up-and-down play for most of the next two decades, the future of the franchise was changed when Giannis Antetokounmpo was taken with the 13th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft.
Since then, the team has reached the postseason seven times in nine seasons, winning the 2020-21 NBA championship while “The Greek Freak” has won two MVPs, a Defensive Player of the Year, and a Finals MVP.
No. 3 — Brewers (est. 1969, relocated 1970)
- 3 NL Wild Card berths
- 5 division titles (3 NL Central, 2 AL East)
- 1982 AL pennant
- Franchise-best record – 96-66 in 2011
Playing just one season as the Seattle Pilots, the team relocated to Milwaukee in 1970, the third major league franchise in the city’s history.
The Brewers’ first success came in the early 1980s, winning back-to-back AL East titles in 1981-82, and reaching the World Series for the only time in the latter campaign.
After a long drought, the Brewers returned to the playoffs as a wild card team – this time as a member of the National League – in 2008. In 2011, the team won its first division title in 29 years.
Currently, the “Brew Crew” are in the midst of the best years in the team’s history, having reached the playoffs a record four years in a row (2018-21) – twice as both a wild card and division winner – and are in the hunt to return to the playoffs in 2022.
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