Major sports networks use music themes in order to get fans amped for the game taking place. Televised sporting events just wouldn't be the same without a little pre-game music. That raises the question, what are the greatest American sports themes past and present?
Different people may have different responses to that question, so we'll settle the debate. Here is our list of the 25 greatest sports jingles of all time.
Hockey Night in Canada is a staple for NHL programming north of our border. The name of the song is Canadian Gold. It was composed by Colin Oberst, and it serves as the theme song for the show carried on CBC.
I'll admit I'm not much of a golf fan but, for those who are, this will excite anyone getting ready to watch a major tournament. This theme debuted on the Golf Channel in 2009 and has a nice tune. It's not the most flashy or exciting music, but the trumpets along with the soft percussion suits the game of golf perfectly.
College hoops fans everywhere would agree, CBS' college basketball theme is pretty catchy. While it may not "amp" one up like some of the more intense NFL themes, it certainly puts many in the mood to watch NCAA basketball.
Boxing is starting to make a comeback in terms of modern popularity, so why not bring back the same theme music? This tune was used by HBO in the mid '90s for the World Boxing Championship.
This theme was short-lived, only being used on ESPN for three years. However, many college football fans wouldn't mind seeing this theme make a return.
Does anybody remember this theme? Anyone who watched baseball in the early '90s will agree it has a nice nostalgic feel to it. It encapsulates the easy-going ways of the game of baseball.
If you haven't noticed, the tunes on this list are starting to pack a little more energy. This is the current NBA theme on ESPN.
This is an absolute classic. Unless you are in your 40s, you probably won't remember this theme, but it encapsulates the playing days of guys like Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Namath.
Who can listen to this without thinking of Ernie Johnson, Kenny "The Jet" Smith, and Charles Barkley? TNT combines this theme with highly entertaining basketball coverage.
Like any golf theme, this one used by NBC is very classy and puts you in the mood to play a round of 18.
I'm not big into boxing, but I love music and this theme is brilliant. Boxing 24/7 airs on HBO and uses this music by Amy Beauchamp and Jose Cancela of A&J Music Productions. Makes you want to enter the ring, doesn't it?
Ah...the good old days. Sportscenter hasn't changed much over the years; the current theme is just more of a modern, new age version of this old theme, but it's still nice to revisit fond memories.
Many fans are calling for the NHL to make a return to ESPN simply for the theme music, and I can understand why. This theme is very catchy.
Wimbledon is the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, and the theme suggests nothing otherwise. Played in the town of Wimbledon in the United Kingdom, NBC's tune has a little bit of a royal feel.
*Theme music at 0:25*
Apologies, I couldn't find a full-length version of the theme to Sunday NFL Countdown, so we will have to settle for this commercial with the jingle at the end. It also serves as the intro to NFL Live with Trey Wingo, and it always gets me in the mood for everything football.
Top 10, here we go!
This is one of my favorite football themes. It was composed by John Williams, who also did the music for the Star Wars saga. This music really gets me in the mood for football, and I actually prefer it to the Monday Night Football tune.
ESPN's Sportscenter has of the most recognizable sports themes in the world. Need I say more?
The Thursday Night Football music will send chills down the spine of any die-hard fan. The bells in the beginning give a little bit of a playoff feel, don't they? Not even the most casual sports fan will associate this theme with any game other than football.
Are you ready for some football?! Monday Night Football has been the premier event in regular season sports for decades, and the theme song by which it is represented has become quite popular itself.
I don't know this for a fact, but I believe Bugler's Dream is one of the longest tenured sports themes in history. It has been used by the Peacock network for coverage of the Olympic games for years, and currently there are no signs indicating that it will be replaced.
If this doesn't pump you up for afternoon football, I don't know what will. I will sometimes deliberately tune to CBS five minutes before actual football coverage starts, just so I can hear this theme (with a DVR, sometimes more than once). Considering the fact that the majority of CBS broadcasts are local/regional, the network holds its own against ESPN and NBC when it comes to theme music.
This used to be the MLB on FOX theme until 2007 when a slightly newer version was introduced. To be honest, I think FOX was trying to get a little too cute with this theme by altering it; it was fine just the way it was. Listening to this almost always gets me thinking of October baseball, more specifically the 2004 playoffs (Red Sox fan).
I wish I could include them all, but I had to be selective and pick one. Of the many (15 or something) NFL Primetime songs, this is my favorite. I can't listen to this without thinking of Chris Berman saying, "HE COULD...GO...ALL...THE...WAY!" (I still don't know if that's a good or bad thing.)
This type of music would fall under the category of "epic." I mean come on, who doesn't get absolutely amped listening to this? Doesn't it make you want to go out and just tackle somebody and then talk some smack? Or at the very least it might make you want to sit on the couch with your buddies and watch some NFL football.
It pains me as a sports fan and product of the '90s to rank (what I think is) the greatest sports theme of all time, second on this list. It epitomizes basketball in the 1990s. When people hear this they think of the golden age of basketball when legends like Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon dominated the game.
Who doesn't get goosebumps at the 35-second mark, where it shows "the shot"—MJ's clutch jumper at the free-throw line to beat the Cavs? The only reason Roundball Rock it is not No. 1 is because it is somewhat of a forgotten theme (NBC doesn't currently have NBA broadcasting rights). Hopefully, someday, professional basketball will return to the NBC airwaves, and we will hear this spectacular tune again.
One of the most iconic tunes in the history of American sports, the NFL on FOX has been a staple for football coverage. It is widely regarded as the greatest and probably most recognizable sports theme in the United States and will give any fan goosebumps and visions of Super Bowls past and present. That is why it is ranked No. 1 on the list of 25 Greatest Sports Jingles of All Time.
A native of Wellesley, Mass., Aashish is a lifelong fan of the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. He graduated Wellesley High School in 2008 and is currently a senior at the University at Buffalo in Amherst, N.Y. You can follow him on Twitter.