The Best Team Celebrations in Sports
Not all celebrations are created equal. Sure, it's great for the Yankees and their fans when they win yet another World Series. But you'd be hard pressed to find anyone outside of New York that has anything but a vague recollection of some of those victories.
It's the underdog victories and the last-second buzzer-beaters that really stand out. And when a team wins its first championship ever—or its first championship in nearly a century—you're pretty much guaranteed one heckuva celebration from both the team and the fans.
Here are the best team celebrations in sports.
10. Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA Championship
After years of belligerent complaining in the general direction of NBA referees, billionaire Mark Cuban finally got the one thing he couldn't pay for outright—his Mavs won that previously elusive championship.
9. San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series Victory
The Giants' World Series drought wasn't quite on par with the Red Sox or Cubs' nearly century-long droughts. But before their 2010 victory, it had been 56 long years since the last time the Giants had won the World Series.
8. University of Texas 2006 BCS National Championship
The heavily favored USC Trojans faced off with the Texas Longhorns in the 2006 Rose Bowl with a 34-game winning streak on the line.
Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush hadn't lost a game in two years, but Vince Young changed that in what was one of the greatest college football games of all time.
7. New York Giants 2008 Super Bowl Victory
The Patriots were playing for perfection.
Actually, having filed the paperwork to trademark "19-0" before even playing the game suggests they weren't just playing for it—they were planning for it. But I guess that's why we play the games, right G-Men?
The Giants celebrated their improbable Super Bowl victory over the near-perfect Pats in grand fashion, and it felt like the whole country (outside Boston) celebrated right along with them.
6. Valparaiso Defeats Ole Miss: 1998 NCAA Tournament
The early round buzzer-beater upsets are the best part of the March Madness. There have been countless memorable upsets over the years, but Valparaiso's stunning 1998 upset of Ole Miss is definitely one of the greatest of all time.
Valparaiso's Cinderella story ended in the Sweet 16, but the Crusaders celebrated after making "The Shot" as if they had already won their championship.
5. Grizzlies Defeat Spurs in 6 Games: 2011 NBA Playoffs
The Spurs finished the 2010-11 season with the best record in the NBA, making them the top-seeded team in the playoffs. The Spurs won the honor of meeting the eighth-seeded Grizzlies, and the Grizzlies won the series.
Until that series the Grizzlies didn't have a single playoff victory through 15 years, and they were just the second No. 8 seed in NBA history to beat a No. 1 seed in a best-of-seven series.
4. Florida Gators 2009 BCS National Championship
Some people have called Gator great Tim Tebow the greatest college football player of all time. Agree or disagree, there's no denying that Tebow's performance against Oklahoma in the BCS championship game is what has defined his career.
Smashing into the line each time, Tebow carried the ball on the final six plays for the Gators and carried the team to victory.
3. NC State 1983 NCAA Basketball Championship
In 1983, NC State pulled off one of the most unlikely upsets in NCAA tournament history by defeating a heavily favored Houston team in dramatic, last-second fashion.
It was the first time a team had won the championship with 10 losses, and it was made all the more remarkable by the fact that it had trailed in the last minute of seven of its last nine victories.
2. New Orleans Saints 2010 Super Bowl Victory
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints found each other and gave the city of New Orleans some much-needed hope.
Brees took a risk coming to a battered franchise, and the franchise took a risk on a quarterback coming off a serious shoulder injury.
The risk paid off for everyone, including the entire city, when Brees and the Saints brought home the Lombardi Trophy after defeating Peyton Manning's Colts in the 2010 Super Bowl. And it wasn't just the Saints that celebrated—fans hit the street after the game and partied straight through dawn.
1(a). Boston Red Sox 2004 ALCS Victory
Tell me you thought the Red Sox had a chance at breaking "the curse" after dropping the first three games of the 2004 ALCS to the Yankees, and I'll tell you you're lying!
The Sox defied the odds and came one step closer to ending nearly a century of misery for fans when they came back to win four straight over the Yanks—maybe the greatest comeback of all time?
1(b). Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Victory
Had the Sox and Yankees roles been reversed, that ALCS victory might have actually overshadowed the World Series victory that was to come. Thankfully for Sox fans, we'll never know.
Their celebration marked the end of a century's worth of frustration and bad luck for both the franchise and fans—leaving the Cubs and their fans alone in their misery.