Definitive Sports Trophy Rankings

Austin Lentz, Contributor

Sports are a cornerstone of American culture. Often times when a professional sports team wins a championship for a city or state, riots break out due to excitement in terms of celebration. A city or state would be beyond elated to win a championship, but what trophies are the most decorated? 

Where are the trophy rankings?

I am here to put an end to the trophy ranking discussion, in this piece I will be laying down the definitive rankings for American trophies.

The criteria for this ranking will consist of the major league sporting championships, no golf, and no singular accomplishments. Thus The Heisman, Rocket Richard, CY Young, and respective MVP trophies will not be included. 

The seven major leagues that I will take into consideration for this ranking are of course the biggest of American sports, NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA. The other leagues that I will include and take into consideration are a bit smaller in terms of scale: MLS, PLL, and WNBA. 

Now that the leagues are established, let’s get right into it. 

7. Premier Lacrosse League Championship

As a former Lacrosse player myself, my biases will not come into play with the sports championship ranking. The league made its debut in 2019 and was founded by brothers Paul and Mike Rabil. The league has a lack of history due to its infancy as a competition. But the league is steadily increasing in viewership. The lack of history and viewership makes it an easy choice to fall into last place on this list. 

6. WNBA Championship

The WNBA debuted in 1997 and has had multiple franchises win League Titles. This doesn’t necessarily add more glitz and glamour to the Championship as repeated winners have occurred. However, being the largest Women’s League in the world does add credibility to the Finals Trophy. Parades are not nearly as extravagant or lavish as its competitors on this list, but I do think sixth place is fair placement. 

5. The MLS Cup

The MLS Cup, similar to the PLL, is at its infancy on a national stage. Bringing in a reported 1.017 million viewers for its 2020 championship makes it an easy number five on this list. I predict this league to climb to mountainous heights in the future, rivaling other top-flight leagues across the world, but only time will tell on that end. 

4. The World Series Trophy

Baseball, America’s pastime. When I think of the World Series the first thing that comes to mind is the Houston Astros most recent win and the controversy that surrounded it. Baseball is the most tainted league, dealing with steroids, gambling, and cheating issues to follow. I think that this cheapens the overall feeling of winning a World Series Trophy. I would be elated for my Minnesota Twins to be holding the trophy, but it does not necessarily have the same feeling some of the other great leagues. 

3. The Vince Lombardi Trophy

The Vince Lombardi Trophy could possibly be number one on many others’ lists. The most-watched sporting event in the United States would make one believe that it is the most valuable trophy in the country. However, most people only partake in the holiday of the “Super Bowl” and do not really care which team claims champions of the year. This brings it down in its overall ranking for me. 

2. The Larry O’Brien Trophy

The Larry O’Brien Trophy has been featured in and produced some of the most iconic images in sports history. Michael Jordan crying and hugging it after his first win, and Kobe making a similar rendition of the image wearing a letterman’s jacket. There is no denying that The Larry O’Brien Trophy is synonymous with the greats of the game, and should be respected as such. 

1. The Stanley Cup

Lord Stanley is without a question the most valuable trophy in all of United States Sports. The undoubtedly most grueling and trifling journey, just to have your name forever etched on a piece of hardware. The history surrounding the Stanley Cup cannot be understated. Every winner of every team is engraved into the trophy. The trophy comes in at 34.5 lbs, making it the heaviest trophy in the United States, but also the most elegant standing at nearly three feet tall. Many players will not touch the cup without winning it themselves in fear of cursing their career, adding to the story of the cup itself. 

Writers Note: 

I struggled to make these rankings and adjusted them on multiple occasions. Even writing this article I flip-flopped and tweaked my rankings numerous times. I can not say that these rankings will stand the test of time, as I cannot predict the future, but I can say that this article took all of my brainpower and will to complete.