OT: The Top 10 Sports Theme Songs

Submitted by DoctorDave on February 17th, 2010 at 1:41 PM

“Music can evoke lots of emotions. It can bring back old memories, make you instantly happy, pumped up, or wistful. And if you are a sports fan, part of the soundtrack of your life must come from the sports world…

“As a sports fan, some of the music that will forever be in your head are the themes to your favorite televised sporting events. All you need is a few notes of your favorite sports TV themes and instantly memories begin to flow… The Top 10 Sports Theme Songs are:

10. The Wimbledon Theme. There are actually two – an American and a British one, both immediately recognizable by their respective audiences.
9. NFL on FOX. The background music for the dance moves of Cleatus, FOX’s robot.
8. Champions League Anthem. Adapted from Handel’s Zadok the Priest.
7. The Masters Theme Song. Appropriately, the slowest theme song on the list.
6. Hockey Night in Canada. Canada’s second national anthem and referred to by Wayne Gretzky as “the greatest song in Canada.”
5. ESPN SportsCenter Theme. Nearly 20 years old. (Worth watching the clip just to see Olberman’s 80s-look.)
4. CBS College Basketball Theme. March Madness anyone?
3. __________________________________
2. __________________________________
1. __________________________________

Before looking, what are your guesses as to what numbers 3, 2, and 1 are?

Need a hint? One was composed by then-conductor of the Boston Pops, John Williams. One was composed by John Tesh. The other was composed in 1971 for the BBC.



February 17th, 2010 at 2:10 PM ^

The Wide World of Sports theme I'm guessing is the John Williams bit. Edit -- Nope

Hockey Night in Canada should be number one. That theme is fucking awesome.

It's a shame that themes are being replaced with AC/DC, Dave Matthews, and Randy Travis.

The ABC College Football theme from '97 through '05 was great.


February 17th, 2010 at 2:15 PM ^

Hockey Night in Canada theme should be ranked higher. The NHL on ESPN theme should be on this list for sure. I think the NFL on CBS theme (no singing, just the music) is alot better than the NFL on Fox's Theme. The College Football on ABC from the late 90's was also epic.


February 17th, 2010 at 2:25 PM ^

I like the NBA on NBC theme, but it was composed by John Tesh which surely knocks it down a few spots right? In the following video Tesh talks about how he composed it, including a voice message he sent to himself when he had the initial idea.


February 17th, 2010 at 4:55 PM ^

John Tesh, while super cheesy, is kind of cool in that despite being super cheesy, he is very genuine in his cheesiness.

He also did a very minor guest spot in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He got really into it when he was on the set for Entertainment Tonight, and asked to be part of it.


February 17th, 2010 at 4:19 PM ^

Two hundred years from now people will be listening to Williams' music with the same awe and reverence that many of us experience when we listen to Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, et. al.

Actually, I already listen to Williams with the same awe as those brilliant masters because of such classics as:

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Star Wars
The Empire Strikes Back
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Jurassic Park
Schindler's List
etc., etc.

One word....Genius!


February 17th, 2010 at 3:43 PM ^

I was just about to say that the NBA on NBC should have been #1, even though MNF theme is epic, but I completely forgot about that ABC CFB theme...man that takes me back. Now the battle is between my memories of awesome NBA playoffs games with Jordan vs. awesome Michigan football games. Dammit, that is tough. If Tesh didn't drag the NBA down a hair this would be a Ditka v. Ditka tie situation.

Wide Open

February 17th, 2010 at 6:38 PM ^

The old NBC World Series theme would give me chills. And it hasn't been around in 21 years.

But the following year came...Baseball Tonight, which is still one of my faves.

(Damn either time flies, I'm old, or both..)


February 17th, 2010 at 6:54 PM ^

CBS college football (probably b/c I grew up in the South watching SEC), ABC college football like 10 years ago, and College Gameday (not the intro song, but the regular one)


February 17th, 2010 at 8:44 PM ^

1. Bugler's Dream- it means the Olympics. Got callouses playing Decathalon on the Atari to the strains of that. 1980 Hockey on ABC (Jim McKay had it all over NBC). And really, John Williams, as great as he is, shouldn't be getting credit for it. His original contribution was that lame theme NBC used (and still uses some) when they didn't have the rights to the one true Olympic theme.

2. MNF. And not the weak shit they play now. Old school, when you really got the base in the Ba Da Da, DA DUMP!

3. I was swayed by this thread...Wide World of Sports brought music and phrases into our lexicon. Agony of Defeat indeed.