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The ultimate championship

What is the most glorious professional sports championship to win?

Collage of the major sports trophies

Edited by Mason Berger

Collage of the major sports trophies

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There’s nothing like seeing your favorite team hoist up a championship trophy. All of the hard work and dedication of the players on the team, and all of the dedication of the fans finally pays off.

As a citizen of Cincinnati, I have never been able to experience this feeling. And frankly, I’m not sure if I ever will. The last trophy came in 1990 when the Reds won it all, but since then, the drought has ensued. As an avid Reds and Bengals fan, it pains me that we have never had a title come to Cincy in my lifetime.

But hey, I can dream, can’t I?

Out of all the professional sports in the United States (and Canada in some cases), winning it all is the most glorious feeling ever. But does one sport rank ahead of another when it comes to titles? You bet it does.

The professional sports that will be included are the NFL, NBA, MLB, and the NHL, the top four North American Sports.

Without further ado, we begin.

4. The NBA Finals

The NBA Finals comes in at the bottom of this list. Often times, it is very predictable who will win in the NBA, and for the past four seasons it has been the same two teams. LeBron has been to the finals for eight straight years. For a fan, especially not a LeBron fan or a Golden State Warriors fan, this flat out sucks.

Cavs Nation
LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrate after winning the 2016 NBA Finals

Yeah, the Larry O’Brien trophy is good looking, and has had its memorable moments with memorable players, but out of the four sports on this list, this trophy is the least appealing to me.

The NBA is arguably the most popular sports league in the world, and it is pretty disappointing when it gets to the Finals. Again, I will reiterate my stance on how it has been the same team for four straight years, and the same guy (LeBron) being the best player in the series for eight straight years. I hope that this can change in the near future, especially since LeBron is a Laker.

The title of “The Finals” is awesome, in my opinion. Short and sweet, but it brings a big-time feel to the series along with an intimidation factor.

I am a big NBA guy, but out of the four sports on the list, winning the title is less prestigious. I’m waiting for a non-LeBron led team to win it all, or someone to stop Golden State before I reconsider The Finals.

3. The World Series (MLB)

America’s pastime caps off their 162-game regular season with an additional month of baseball, leading up to the almighty World Series. Starting in 1903 with the first ever World Series, the “Fall Classic” has been an American staple ever since. All but seven current franchises have won the World Series in the franchise’s history, with the New York Yankees appearing in 40 and of winning 27 titles.

Junior Gabe Stowe experiences what life is like for an MLB player on a daily basis during the summer. A batboy himself, and with his dad as the equipment manager of the Cincinnati Reds, Stowe says this about the grind that leads up to the playoffs:

“I think the fact that they play 162 games leading up to the playoffs helps make it what it is. No other sport plays nearly as much.”

Boston Herald
Alex Cora and the Boston Red Sox celebrate another World Series title in 2018ys near as much.”

To go along with this previous answer, Stowe told me what it’s like for the players, saying, “And during that long of a time the guys in the clubhouse become family pretty much because they see each other more than their wives.”

Baseball is a funny sport. Games are often unpredictable; one day you may score eight runs, and the next struggle to break out a couple of hits. One day your pitcher may be lights out, and the next he may seem like he is throwing batting practice. It’s hard to go out on a daily basis in baseball, and expect dominance every single game, especially in the postseason where players are not well rested and play through just about any little injury.

The World Series trophy is great. The Commissioner’s Trophy is made of sterling silver, and contains 30 gold plated flags, one flag for each franchise in the league. The trophy is a work of art, and it looks so good being doused with champagne in the locker room of the winning club.

All around, the Fall Classic is a classic. Baseball at its best, it’s hard to top the World Series. But, it is topped.

2. Stanley Cup Final (NHL)

If you want to watch grown men act like children after they get the birthday present they so desperately desired, the Stanley Cup Final is for you. You do not see players in any sport act so gleefully after winning like NHL players winning the Stanley Cup Final. This was proven by Alex Ovechkin, who partied like a rockstar after winning the Cup in 2018.

Winning the Stanley Cup Final brings about a different side of the greatest athletes in the sport. After winning his first Stanley Cup, the greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky said:

“Lifting the Stanley Cup for the first time. There’s nothing like it. It’s the greatest story. In my era, they used to say you couldn’t be a superstar without winning one. I remember thinking when I lifted it, “Now they can’t say that about me.”

zig.com
The first of many Alex Ovechkin Stanley Cup celebrations

Lord Stanley’s trophy has been a part of the NHL since 1926, but was first presented to a Canadian hockey club in 1893, not affiliated with the NHL.

The Stanley Cup trophy is the greatest trophy in sports. It has been around for 125 years, and has been in the NHL for 92 years. Each member of the winning club has their name forever inscribed onto the Cup. Also, each member over the span of the off season gets to spend 24 hours individually with the Cup, having the freedom to do whatever with it.

Players have done just about anything with the Cup. From eating cereal out of it to taking it to local hospitals to show children, players have done extraordinary things.

The road to the Cup is largely unpredictable. Fights are the norm in the playoffs, which makes the playoffs and the Stanley Cup Final a must watch. Also, there’s nothing better than playoff beards. These guys look like werewolves by the time the playoffs are over.

1. The Super Bowl (NFL)

Coming in at #1 on the list is none other than the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is the biggest sports stage on planet Earth. More people in America watch the Super Bowl than any other event on television the whole year.

To go along with the unbelievable amount of viewers, the Super Bowl contains some of the best commercials we see all year. The Super Bowl is famous for its hilarious and sometimes iconic commercials. Whether these commercials go for the laughs, use famous celebrities, or address controversial topics, the commercials are always a memorable part of the Super Bowl. Here’s a clip of the famous Coca-Cola commercial starring “Mean” Joe Greene.

Elder student Mike Connolly talked to me about his thoughts of the Super Bowl’s popularity, and most of it is due to the advertisement aspect, according to Connolly. He explained how people do not even care for the game at all, just all of the advertisements, specifically the commercials. “The numbers are inflated due to the fact that some people not even interested in the game just watch to see commercials.” says Connolly.

WBUR
Tom Brady fired up after winning his 5th Super Bowl

Along the same lines as the commercials, the Super Bowl always consists of a very epic and dramatic concert during the halftime show. Performing at the Super Bowl is a huge honor for musicians, as many great musicians and bands have played at halftime.

The Super Bowl has its own day. “Super Bowl Sunday” is pretty much a holiday. There are tailgate-like parties all across America on the first Sunday of February, no matter who is playing in the game.

The game itself is the biggest sports game on the planet, according to me. Bigger than any Olympic event. Bigger than the World Cup final. Bigger than any championship game in America.

It’s simply the best sports championship. It’s the world’s biggest stage, pretty much on any level. The Super Bowl is bigger than any modern concert, award show, newscast, whatever. Nothing lives up to the hype that the Super Bowl lives up to.

And, really, the Super Bowl is more than just a football game. It’s an event. There are so many promotional opportunities in the Super Bowl, that the game almost, not quite though, takes a backseat to all of the advertisements. But there is not greater sports event than the Super Bowl. Period.

I hope that one day I get to experience winning a championship as a sports fan. Cincinnati is desperate. Believe me. It’s long overdue. But I’m optimistic about it.

Will it ever happen in the 513? I don’t know. But I still like to think about a parade at Fountain Square in the future.

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About the Writer
Mason Berger '20, Staff Writer

I'm the rookie and the vet. I throw footballs between my legs and baseballs off a hill for your Elder Panthers. Earnin' and burnin', snappin' necks and...

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The ultimate championship