What Is The Best Sports Theme of All Time?

The sports theme song. An overlooked art. I sit firmly in the camp that a theme song for programming sets the tone for the upcoming contest. So, in the spirit of the Super Bowl, NBA All Star announcements, Baseball Litigations (I’m looking at you Lincecum), the Winter Olympics and every other February sporting event, I’ve decided to dissect a little talked about area of sports: The Theme. I always think it’s awesome when someone’s cell phone goes off and it’s a sports theme. You can tell a lot about a person by what theme they choose. I have my favorite theme. There is NO argument that this is THE best theme in sports. I have the full length version on my Ipod. I get excited when I hear it on TV. It is THE quintessential sports theme. Β (look for it at the bottom of this post!) But I would like to briefly dissect some of the best and worst sports themes that really get you going for The Big Game. Note: This is NOT a stadium theme countdown.


I will admit, it was close race between the NFL on Fox and the NFL on Fox. I chose this one because the drum beats in contrasts with the horns at the beginning really get you ready to go. The song really embodies the football sport. It’s a battle theme, with a great amount of energy. The NFL on CBS is too lackadaisical.


This theme song sounds like a soundtrack in one of the racing levels in the SNES game F-Zero. Just saying.

GOOD: The Olympics

This theme song EMBODIES the olympics. It’s regal and worldly. It sets the tone for the serious and important nature of the contests. It’s strong and at times it’s beautiful and soft. Β It is a sports theme masterpiece. It really, truly is.


I just find this one EXTREMELY irritating. It’s an Olympic wanna be.

Good: NHL ON Versus

This kicks the SNOT out of the NHL on NBC theme. It’s a little slow to start but I think it meshes perfectly with the sport. (Apparently, from this post, NBC needs to invest in some better theme musicians and composers…what a job that would be!)


This one isn’t as bad as the others, but compared to the other great NFL intro’s this one needs some work:

Before we get to the BEST THEME OF ALL TIME. I have two honorable mentions, and I know I’m gonna get flack for one of them. The first honorable mention is the MLB on Fox. This theme song is AWESOME. Definitely pumps you up and gets you ready to go.

The next is the Faith Hill intro to Sunday Night Football on NBC. I know what you’re saying … GAG ME. It’s not Hank Williams Jr.’s ‘Monday Night Football’ theme, but it’s catchy. Yes, I know that they are using the hook to ‘I hate myself for loving you’ by Joan Jett. Yes, I know the country diva probably knows squat about football. But she’s the ONLY female act in this town and I think she does a pretty good job making the SNF game look like a prime time event. Oh, and, if you say it’s not catchy, then you’re a liar and she looks gorgeous while doing it.

So what is the best Sports Theme of all time? Have you figured it out? It really is Β a NO BRAINER. Seriously, there is no way to argue with this one.

The best theme of all time is….

THE NBA ON NBC! (May it rest in peace!)

The sports world lost a lot when the NBA moved from NBC, mostly because this song went kaput. It has resurrected a little in recent years with comeback at the 2008 Olympics and its hook used intermittently on the NBA on ABC theme. This is the BEST sports song. I can’t even tell you why. You just have to listen to it. I’ve provided the clip as well as the live version performed by John Tesh. Yes, THAT John Tesh. (The funniest part of the whole video is watching John Tesh ROCK OUT as he plays this…like he’s in AC/DC) The amount of musicians needed to carry out this live performance is unbelievable. There are a lot of thinks to make fun of John Tesh for but all of them negate after finding out that he is responsible for penning the best sports theme of all time, aptly titled “Round Ball Rock,” I think we need to let it all slide.

Official Clip

Live…check out the guitar/violin battle half way through

What do you guys think? Do you agree with the NBA on NBC? Did I leave any off the list? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Talk to me people πŸ™‚



15 Responses to “What Is The Best Sports Theme of All Time?”

  1. 1 Eric
    February 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    “This is the BEST sports song. I can’t even tell you why. You just have to listen to it.”


  2. February 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    My vote(s) go to the Olympics theme song and the NBA on NBC theme songs. They are awesome and very appropriate to their sports.

    You should totally do a post about the best “Jock Jams!” I already have my favs lined up πŸ™‚

    • February 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm

      I agree with those two as my fav πŸ™‚ I think part of the NBA on NBC theme’s draw is that we don’t get the privilege of hearing it that often anymore.

      I will do a part two for stadium/themes and jock jams…are you a fan on ‘Hey!’ by Gary Glitter? πŸ˜‰

  3. 5 Kel Varnsen
    February 3, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    The Olympics Theme was done by John Williams. No relation to Hank Williams Jr. sadly.

    I hope you reference the Chicago Bulls Theme in your next post. With all the flashing lights and the smoke, it’s no wonder people prone to seizures were not big fans.

    • February 3, 2010 at 3:55 pm

      I can’t say that I have been exposed to the Bulls theme yet! (This is my first year in Chicago!) but it definitely sounds interesting. I just catapulted it to the top of my to do list! πŸ™‚

  4. 7 SportingDude
    February 3, 2010 at 3:50 pm


    Great write-up! In a time when most sports blog posts amount to re-working sports coverage from a major market newspaper, yours stand out. Well done!

    My friend, Grammy-winning drummer and long-time Lakers and KC Chiefs fan, John Jr Robinson, would agree.

    I recall during the the Lakers Shaq-Kobe run of 2000-2002, John Robinson remarked how great the Tesh written NBA on NBC theme song is and that he wish he had the royalty checks since it played often.

    Check out my friend John Stack here [ http://youtu.be/iw5WjsetGvg ] here. That song, from 0:16 on would make a great sports theme song.

    Then again, many of John Stack’s songs would be great for sports show themes or right on your mp3 player, like this one here [ http://bit.ly/a7L20y ]


    • February 3, 2010 at 3:58 pm

      Thank you! He’s definitely really talented…maybe he should contact the Chiefs and ask if they would use his stuff? πŸ™‚ I hear that a lot, the NBA on NBC seems to be the holy grail of sports themes…everyone loves it!

  5. 9 Sean_T
    February 3, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Oh Samamtha…we need to talk! lol

    My first question…bad on the Monday Night Football theme? You might as well have said Led Zeppelin was a decent garage band! There’s a single tear running down my cheek.

    Next…good on the NFL on Fox? I’m thinking it sounds like “Sleigh Bells” (Giddy up, giddy up let’s goooo…).

    Finally, Faith Hill. The song totally sux, but the eye candy is amazing!

    But in the end, you are right on point! The NBA on NBC is by far the best, may it rest in peace!

    By the way…love the posts! You are a great writer.


    • February 3, 2010 at 9:13 pm

      Now that you mention it Sean, there IS a certain Christmasy feel to the NFL on Fox theme! I knew I was gonna get some flack for including Faith Hill, but I stand by my statement she totally rocks as a FEMALE sports singer.

      I’m gonna pour out some of my booze for the NBA on NBC next time I’m drinking. It was gone way before it’s time 😦

      Thanks for the compliments, comments and reading!! πŸ™‚

  6. 11 Andy
    February 4, 2010 at 1:12 am

    OK…first, the live version of the NBA on NBC theme = greatest. of. all. time. That brings back so many memories.

    Your bias against NBC is unfortunate…yet shared with about 150 million people. sigh.

    Awesome list that brings back too many memories. Except the Faith Hill one, which makes me want to vomit. Some rare favorites I will never forget:

    World Series on CBS theme (yes, CBS!) (from when I first started watching baseball): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95kTST5KtLw

    NHL on ESPN: for all 15 seconds it lasted, it was a great theme. Reminds me of the dynasty Devils. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PReim0Axt4

    …and if you accept mini-themes, the best NFL highlights song ever.

    And for a Chicago resident, where is the Bulls theme!?

    • February 4, 2010 at 7:20 am

      Ah! The NHL on ESPN IS a good one! I completely forgot about that gem!
      I agree, the Blitz’s recap song is the BEST recap song, hands down!
      I’ve heard a lot about the BULLS, as a Chi-town newbie, I can’t say I’m too familiar with it…BUT i think that song would qualify as a ‘stadium anthem’ … no? πŸ™‚

  7. 13 Scary
    February 5, 2010 at 10:07 am

    The only Olympic theme song I need is the lullaby that is Morgan Freeman’s voice. MMmmmmm.

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