Ranking the Best Sports Theme Music

Kyle Koster
3 of 3

3. SportsCenter

A classic. After all these decades, there’s something the final notes of the SportsCenter diddy that amplify anticipation. Call it nostalgia, call it Pavlovian, call it what you like. Special shoutout to the truncated version that became synonymous with an outstanding play.

2. Roundball Rock

We’re probably going to get some flack for not naming this the top overall theme, but we like to go against the grain at The Big Lead. The theme is powerful, and there was nothing quite like Marv Albert narrating the scene before a Jordan-era Bulls playoff game that bled into the NBA on NBC theme. We’re never getting those days back, although it is a small consolation that Fox Sports licenses this theme for its college basketball coverage now.

1. NFL Primetime

There was NOTHING like Chris Berman and Tom Jackson doing big NFL highlights. This was before the Red Zone Channel when we’d seen all of them, and it was the best way for big football fans to catch up on what happened the rest of the day. NFL Primetime going away when NBC got the exclusive rights to Sunday Night Football was the end of a wonderful era, and it’s rare that a Sunday goes by where that show is not missed.