Top 10 Most Prestigious/Iconic Sports Trophies
With the Super Bowl on Sunday, I thought it would be fun to make a list of the top 10 sports trophies of all time. The Patriots and Giants will be fighting this weekend for the Lombardi Trophy, which is definitely a symbol of athletic greatness. Will it make the list? We’ll see…
10. Heavyweight Title Belt (boxing)
Shared by the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and Mike Tyson, the heavyweight title belt represents the best of the best in boxing – the top fighter in the top weight class in the world. In my opinion, though, merely defeating the defending champion isn’t entirely worthy of the title. Maybe it’s just me, but I enjoy brackets and a systematic way of determining a champion.
9. Commissioner’s Trophy (MLB World Series)
Awarded to the winner of the World Series, this trophy is an attractive and symmetric display of all of the teams in the sport and of both leagues. Although it represents reaching the pinnacle of America’s pastime, the trophy is only 44 years old, first given to the St. Louis Cardinals following their 1967 World Series win. Also, the trophy has changed its face over the years as more teams have entered the league since 1967. Nonetheless, the winning team has conquered Major League Baseball without question.
8. NCAA Basketball Net
In my opinion, the net is a far greater trophy and is more iconic than the actual NCAA basketball trophy. The tradition has been going strong since the 1940s, but began in the 1920s with some Indiana high school teams wanting a souvenir. Unlike most trophies, each player gets their own piece of it to love and cherish for the rest of their careers, which makes it special in my eyes. However, because it is not an official trophy, it only sits at 8.
7. Claret Jug
The Claret Jug is awarded to the winner of golf’s British Open. Although it is small, and not the most attractive trophy in the world, the trophy caps off an inevitably difficult week for the victor. It is also golf’s oldest major championship trophy, and when played at St. Andrew’s in Scotland, is awarded at the birthplace of golf.
6. Larry O’Brien Trophy (NBA Championship Trophy)
The Larry O’Brien Trophy is awarded to the victor of the NBA Finals. This trophy has been around since 1984, and is a simple design of a ball teetering on the rim of a basket. Comparisons could be made to the World Series trophy, but unlike the top baseball prize, the Larry O’Brien Trophy has not been changed since its inception.
5. Lombardi Trophy
Yeah, it made the list. As many of the Patriots and Giants players have found out in the past decade, the Lombardi Trophy symbolizes one team’s dominance over the other 31 NFL teams. Like the Commissioner’s Trophy, the Lombardi Trophy dates back to 1967 and was first awarded to the Green Bay Packers following Super Bowl I. Its age, design, and attractiveness rank the Lombardi Trophy over its NBA and MLB counterparts.
4. Green Jacket
Although it lacks the appearance (and quite frankly, attractiveness) of just about every other trophy imaginable, the Green Jacket is still one of the most coveted awards in sports. It goes every year to the winner of the Masters golf tournament, held annually at Augusta National in Georgia. Putting the Green Jacket on means joining an exclusive club that very few golfers have ever been a part of. Coupled with the tradition of the previous winner adorning the new champion with the jacket, the Green Jacket easily ranks as one of the most iconic trophies in sports.
3. Heisman Trophy
As tempted as I was to put the legendary Desmond Howard pose from 1991, I felt that I should actually put the real trophy in here. That said, every football fan knows what the Heisman Trophy is. It has been awarded to the best college football player of the year since 1935, and is the oldest overall award given in college football. Fans can constantly be seen imitating the famous trophy (albeit incorrectly), and former Notre Dame quarterback Joe Theismann even changed the pronunciation of his last name to rhyme the famous award.
2. FIFA World Cup Trophy
It would be a crime to not include the most prestigious award for the most popular sport in the world in this list. Although it is played once every four years, the World Cup is among the top national events in the entire sporting world. In fact, one could definitely argue that because the World Cup is held once every four years, the value and prestige of the award increases (I am clearly making that argument). Regardless, hoisting this trophy not only means that you’re the champion of the soccer world, but it also brings a tremendous amount of national pride to your homeland.
1. Stanley Cup
Without a question, the Stanley Cup is the most iconic and prestigious award in sports. Presented to the champion of the NHL playoffs, each player gets his name engraved on the trophy for future champions to admire. Before that happens, though, each player takes a skate around the rink with the cup in hand, and gives the cup the famous kiss that every player dreams of. Then, in one of the coolest traditions in sports, each player gets an entire day with the cup to do whatever he wants (personally, I would either eat all of my meals out of it or bathe my baby in it). An amazing tradition for the most prestigious trophy in all of sports.
So there, my Top 10. Whether you feel the same or think I’m completely crazy, let me know how you feel!