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The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals

Updated January 30, 2020 3.6k votes 79 voters111 items

List RulesOnly professional teams from the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS.

Sports teams have been named after animals since organized sports have been around, but did you ever wonder how many profession sports teams are not named after animals? Football and baseball teams in particular have looked to other places for inspiration.

The Houston Astros, LA Galaxy, and Dallas Stars come from the astronomy world, while other teams like the Tennessee Titans and the New York and San Francisco Giants take their inspiration from Greek mythology. The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Islanders are even named after their city, and the Houston Texans are named after their state. These teams are champions full of Hall of Famers and MVPs, and they have accomplished all of that without naming themselves after animals.

So check out this list of all the professional sports teams not named after animals, and vote up the franchises that have had the most success in their sports. Then, head over and check out all the teams named after animals to get the other side of the coin.

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  • 1
    Boston Celtics is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    58
    34

    Boston Celtics

    Basketball

    LocationBoston

    Founded1946-06-06

    17x NBA champions (1957, 1959-1966, 1968-1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984-1987, 2008, 2010)

  • 2
    Montreal Canadiens is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    58
    37

    LocationMontreal, Québec

    Founded1909

    24x Stanley Cup champions (1916, 1924, 1930-1931, 1944, 1946, 1953, 1956-1960, 1965-1966, 1968-1969, 1971, 1973, 1976-1979, 1986, 1993)

  • 3
    Los Angeles Lakers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    51
    32

    LocationLos Angeles

    Founded1946

    16x NBA champions (1949-1950, 1952-1954, 1959, 1962-1963, 1965-1966, 1968-1970, 1972-1973, 1980, 1982-1985, 1987-1989, 1991, 2000-2002, 2004, 2008-2010)

  • 4
    New York Yankees is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    52
    35

    LocationNew York City, The Bronx

    Founded1901

    27x World Series champions (1923, 1927-1928, 1932, 1936-1939, 1941, 1943, 1947, 1949-1953, 1956, 1958, 1961-1962, 1977-1978, 1996, 1998-2000, 2009)

  • 5
    San Antonio Spurs is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    38
    20

    LocationSan Antonio

    Founded1967

    5x Super Bowl champions (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)

  • 6
    Dallas Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    51
    34

    Dallas Cowboys

    American football

    LocationArlington

    Founded1960

    5x Super Bowl champions (1971, 1977, 1992-1993, 1995)

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  • 7
    New England Patriots is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    48
    31

    New England Patriots

    American football

    LocationFoxborough

    Founded1960

    6x Super Bowl champions (2001, 2003-2004, 2014, 2016, 2018)

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  • 8
    Boston Red Sox is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    48
    34

    LocationBoston

    Founded1901

    9x World Series champions (1903, 1912, 1915-1916, 1918, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2018)

  • 9
    Toronto Maple Leafs is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    34
    18

    LocationToronto

    Founded1917

    13x Stanley Cup champions (1918, 1922, 1932, 1942, 1945, 1947-1949, 1951, 1962-1964, 1967)

  • 10
    Los Angeles Dodgers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals

    LocationLos Angeles

    Founded1958

    6x World Series champions (1955, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988)

  • 11
    Detroit Red Wings is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    32
    20

    LocationDetroit

    Founded1926

    11x Stanley Cup champions (1936-1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954-1955, 1997-1998, 2002, 2008)

  • 12
    FC Cincinnati is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    21
    7

    LocationCincinnati, Ohio

  • 13
    Cincinnati Reds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    44
    34

    LocationCincinnati

    Founded1881

    5x World Series champions (1919, 1940, 1975-1976, 1990)

  • 14
    San Francisco 49ers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    31
    20

    San Francisco 49ers

    American football

    LocationSan Francisco

    Founded1946

    5x Super Bowl champions (1981, 1984, 1988-1989, 1994)

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  • 15
    Pittsburgh Steelers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    44
    35

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    American football

    LocationPittsburgh

    Founded1933-10-20

    6x Super Bowl champions (1974-1975, 1978-1979, 2005, 2008)

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  • 16
    Green Bay Packers is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    32
    22

    Green Bay Packers

    American football

    LocationGreen Bay

    Founded1919-08-11

    2x Super Bowl champions (1996, 2010)

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  • 17
    Indiana Pacers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    32
    22

    Indiana Pacers

    Basketball

    LocationIndianapolis

    Founded1967

  • 18
    San Francisco Giants is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals

    LocationSan Francisco

    Founded1958

    8x World Series champions (1905, 1921-1922, 1933, 1954, 2010, 2012, 2014)

  • 19
    Colorado Avalanche is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    32
    24

    LocationDenver, Colorado

    Founded1972

    2x Stanley Cup champions (1996, 2001)

  • 20
    Chicago Blackhawks is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    25
    15

    LocationChicago, Illinois

    Founded1926

    6x Stanley Cup champions (1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013, 2015)

  • 21
    New Jersey Devils is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    24
    14

    LocationNewark

    Founded1974

    3x Stanley Cup champions (1995, 2000, 2003)

  • 22
    Atlanta Braves is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    30
    21

    LocationAtlanta

    Founded1966

    3x World Series champions (1914, 1957, 1995)

  • 23
    New Orleans Saints is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    21
    11

    New Orleans Saints

    American football

    LocationNew Orleans

    Founded1967

    2009 Super Bowl champions

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  • 24
    Edmonton Oilers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    31
    24

    Edmonton Oilers

    Ice Hockey

    LocationEdmonton

    Founded1972

    5x Stanley Cup champions (1984-1985, 1987-1988, 1990)

  • 25
    Los Angeles Kings is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
    31
    24

    LocationLos Angeles

    Founded1967

    2x Stanley Cup champions (2012, 2014)

Sports TeamsSportstop 100