The year 1981 consisted of Sports Championship winners Boston Celtics (NBA), Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB), New York Islanders (NHL), Oakland Raiders (NFL)
The 1981 NBA
championship final series between the Boston Celtics
and Houston Rockets
was a classic matchup of two of the top teams in the league. The Celtics, led by Larry Bird, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale, were the defending champions and had the edge in experience. The Rockets, led by Moses Malone and Calvin Murphy, were the upstarts looking to make history. The series was a back-and-forth affair, with the Celtics taking the first two games, the Rockets winning the next two, and the Celtics winning the final two. In the end, the Celtics were able to outlast the Rockets and win the championship in six games, with Bird being named the MVP. It was the first of three championships for the Celtics in the 1980
World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers
and New York Yankees
was one of the most memorable in baseball history. After the Dodgers won the National League pennant, the two teams squared off in a classic best-of-seven series. The Yankees won the first two games, but the Dodgers battled back to take the next three and take a 3-2 series lead. The Yankees then won the next two games to take the series in dramatic fashion. The series was highlighted by the stellar performances of Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela and Yankees closer Rich Gossage. The Yankees ultimately won the series in six games, claiming their twenty-second championship in franchise history.
The 1981 NHL
Stanley Cup Championship Series featured the New York Islanders
and the Minnesota North Stars
. The Islanders had won the previous two Stanley Cup Championships and were looking to become the first team in NHL
history to win three consecutive Stanley Cup titles. The Islanders had a dominant regular season, finishing first in the Patrick Division with a record of 48-18-14. The North Stars finished second in the Norris Division with a record of 39-26-15. The Islanders won the series four games to one, with Mike Bossy scoring the series-winning goal in Game 5. The Islanders became the first team in NHL
history to win three consecutive Stanley Cup Championships, and Mike Bossy became the first player in NHL
history to score 50 goals in five consecutive seasons.
Super Bowl between the Oakland Raiders
and Philadelphia Eagles
was a close game that came down to the wire. The Raiders had a 14-0 lead at halftime, but the Eagles came back to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to tie the game. The Raiders responded with a field goal in the final seconds of the game to take a 27-21 lead, and the Raiders held on to win the game and earn their third Super Bowl victory. Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns while also earning the MVP award for his performance. The Eagles had a strong offensive performance, led by quarterback Ron Jaworski who threw for 304 yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders defense was able to make the plays when it mattered most, and the Raiders were able to hold on for the victory.