The Kansas City Chiefs’ wide receiver corps might be the fastest the NFL has ever seen, with new addition and former college sprinter De’Anthony Thomas saying that he felt slow when he joined the squad. They’re so fast that some are already dubbing them the “Legion of Zoom.”
That got us thinking, considering the nickname itself is a reference to the Seahawks’ imposing “Legion of Boom” secondary of the mid-2010s. That nickname was an all-time great — partially due to how cool it sounds, but also because Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and company made it stick. Will the Chiefs’ receivers cement “Legion of Zoom” as a legendary nickname? Let’s go down the list to see what they’re up against.
They (mainly Richard Sherman) talked a big game, but boy did they ever back it up. Seattle rode its smothering defense to two NFC championships and a Super Bowl, with another just barely slipping from its grasp against The Patriots. The Seahawks allowed the fewest points in the league for four years straight, and in 2013 were first in fewest points allowed, fewest yards allowed, and turnovers.
Any team with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig on it is bound to score a lot of runs, but the 1920s Yankees were seemingly loaded at every position. Their legendary 1927 team had Hall of Famers Earle Combs and Tony Lazzeri in the same lineup as Ruth and Gehrig — that team swept the Pirates in the World Series and outscored its opponents by 376 runs. Oh, and it was also the year Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs. No wonder they were called the “Murderers’ Row.”
In the late 1980s, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco started celebrating home runs by bashing their forearms together. Between the two of them, they hit quite a few home runs, giving rise to the nickname “Bash Brothers.”
A reference to the “Iron Curtain,” which politically divided Europe during the Cold War, the Steelers’ “Steel Curtain” defensive line of Mean Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Dwight White and Ernie Holmes helped them win four Super Bowls in six years. They were at the height of their powers in 1976, when the Steelers allowed just 14 touchdowns the entire season.
“Let’s meet at the quarterback” was the motto of the Vikings’ front four during the late ’60s and ’70s, which couldn’t have made opposing QBs feel all that great about themselves. Anchored by Hall of Famers Alan Page and Carl Eller, the line helped lead the Vikings to three Super Bowl appearances in four years, although they were unable to bring home a title.
The 1960s and ’70s were a good time for defensive lines, and the “Fearsome Foursome” of the Los Angeles Rams was one of the best. Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Lamar Lundy and Rosey Grier turned around a last-place team and brought them to two division championship games.
A play on McGwire and Sosa’s nickname, the 3-point prowess of “Splash Brothers” Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson came to define a whole new era in the NBA. So far they’ve won three NBA titles and have set a bunch of shooting records … and neither player’s career is anywhere near over.
Led by Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the “Showtime Lakers” of the 1980s perfected the fast break, with Johnson dishing a dizzying array of passes that left opponents completely bamboozled. Five championships later, the team’s place in NBA lore was more than secure.
Perhaps the most star-studded array of basketball greatness ever assembled, the 1992 U.S. men’s olympic basketball team was the first to ever feature American professional players. The “Dream Team” ran roughshod over its awestruck opponents, who sometimes asked to have their pictures taken with the likes of Michael Jordan or Larry Bird.
Ronaldo. Luis Figo. Zinedine Zidane. David Beckham. Real Madrid spared no expense in acquiring a team of megastars in the early part of the 21st century, and they haven’t stopped since then. Though they’ve sometimes fallen short, it’s hard to argue with their array of La Liga and Champions League trophies.