This week, I’m bringing back Videos of the Week and I’m doing sports TV themes. Some themes like TSN’s Hockey Song or NBC’s Roundball Rock are as identifiable with the sports they represent. Some such as ESPN’s old Sunday Night Football theme are forgettable. But today, I’m going work in my favorite sports themes of all time. I’ll try to pare them down to two or three each per sport. And I hope to do the worst sports TV themes of all time.
Let’s do this and let’s get busy.
Of course, Fox’s theme which has been mostly been the same since the package’s inception since 1996 is well known to this generation of fans. It’s also pretty good.
I’ve been looking for this particular theme for ages and I’ve found it. The original ABC’s Monday Night Baseball theme that ran from 1976 until 1979. While ABC’s coverage of baseball was horrible from 1976 until about 1983, their music was pretty good. Here’s the original Monday Night Baseball theme from July 23, 1979 as the then-California Angels took on the Red Sox and Keith Jackson was behind the mic.
I’ll give you one from each NFL TV partner to make this fair. And we’ll go alphabetically.
From ABC’s Monday Night Football, I loved this particular version that was used in the late 1970′s. This is from the Houston Oilers and Miami Dolphins contest played in 1978 and the best announcing team for MNF, Frank Gifford, Dandy Don Meredith and Howard Cosell.
CBS’ best theme was from the late 1980′s and it was called “Pots and Pans” because it sounded like pots and pans banging together. For each TV contract signed, CBS would change its theme music and this only lasted from 1987 until 1990. It should be used today in my opinion. This is from a late season Giants-Jets game from December 18, 1988. Uncle Verne Lundquist is at the mic.
Fox has only had one theme for the NFL since it started broadcasting the sport in 1994, but it’s still very good.
This is from NBC and was used for all sports from 1973 until 1979. I loved this theme and here’s the NFL open from 1973.
I’ve never liked ESPN’s Sunday Night Football themes nor am I fan of “All My Rowdy Friends” for Monday Night Football so they’re not being posted.
This has been CBS’ theme for college football dating back to 1988 and was originally used for Super Bowl XXI, but has been exclusively for college football whether it be for CBS’ CFA or SEC packages. This is the theme in its entirety.
When ESPN actually gave ABC its own identity in the 1990′s and early aughts, it had this theme for college football. I like it.
I give you the two best themes ever and this was during a period when I actually watched the NBA. This is from CBS and its theme that was used from 1982 until 1990 when CBS lost the package to NBC. This is a clean copy of the 1982 open without voiceover and video that CBS would splice in to introduce each game.
You know where I’m going next, don’t you? Yes, NBC’s Roundball Rock composed by John Tesh. This is one of the best themes of all time. Gets you in the mood for basketball. Used from 1991-2002.
When Fox took the NHL contract from 1995 until 1999, it used a very cool theme and I give you two versions of its theme that is still used on the Fox Sports Net affiliates across the country. This is a few remixes of the NHL on Fox theme.
Of course, I use this as an excuse to bring back, Fox is Doing Fine, It’s Cup Time and its original NHL on Fox theme. This is from 1995 and note the funky original Fox Sports logo.
The best hockey theme and the best theme in all of sports is the original Hockey Night in Canada theme now used on TSN. This is the version CBC used in 2007. CBC now has a new theme.
That’s going to do it for now. Next week, I’ll post the best themes for college basketball, tennis, and various pregame shows.