Lakers, Cowboys, Yankees miss playoffs in the same season for first time since 1974

The Turnstile

These things we know to be true: The Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees are three of the most successful franchises in American professional sports. They also have three of the largest fan bases, with fans spread across the country, both legitimate longtime diehards and Johnny-come-lately bandwagoners.

Because of those two facts, the Lakers, Cowboys and Yankees are also three of the most hated franchises in American sports. There's a good chance that if you aren't a fan of the Lakers, Cowboys and Yankees, then you despise them. That's how these things go — they're heroes or they're villains.

If you're a Lakers/Cowboys/Yankees hater, then you have good reason to celebrate at least until September. The Lakers were knocked out of playoff contention Friday night. Thus, they've given the haters, the best season in sports in some time.

The Lakers, Cowboys and Yankees all missed the playoffs in the same season. That hasn't happened since 1974. That season and this one are only such occurrences. It almost happened in 1993. The Yankees and Lakers missed the playoffs, but the Cowboys won the Super Bowl. (For the record: We're counting seasons that began in 1974 and 2013 for this).

Fact is, all three teams have done a lot of winning over the years, and not just in games. They are the most valuable franchises in their sports, according to Forbes, and they're either first or second in their respective record books for championships. But you probably know that. Their fans are good are bringing it up.

All this is kind of spectacular, isn't it? Not just from the haters' perspective (that's fun too). Consider that these three storied franchises have been so successful for so long, then look at the Kansas City Royals, who haven't made the playoffs since 1986. The Yankees have made the postseason 17 times since then.

Part of why this so rare is that it's not terribly hard to make the NBA playoffs. The Lakers have only missed the postseason six times in 66 seasons. For the Cowboys, 1974 was the only season they missed the playoffs between 1966 and 1983. The Yankees didn't make the playoffs at all from 1982 to 1994, but then only missed once from 1995 to 2012.

And what does all that tell us? Enjoy this while you can, Lakers/Cowboys/Yankees haters. History says it's not likely to happen again soon.

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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