Sports

The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals 

Ranker Sports
Updated January 30, 2020 2.6k votes 78 voters 111 items

List Rules Only 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.

list ordered by
1
Boston Celtics is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Basketball

Location: Boston

Founded: 1946-06-06

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
Ice Hockey

Location: Montreal, Québec

Founded: 1909

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
Basketball

Location: Los Angeles

Founded: 1946

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
Baseball

Location: New York City, The Bronx

Founded: 1901

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
Dallas Cowboys is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
American football

Location: Arlington

Founded: 1960

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

6
New England Patriots is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
American football

Location: Foxborough

Founded: 1960

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

7
Boston Red Sox is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Baseball

Location: Boston

Founded: 1901

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

8
San Antonio Spurs is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Basketball

Location: San Antonio

Founded: 1967

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

9
Los Angeles Dodgers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Baseball

Location: Los Angeles

Founded: 1958

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

10
Toronto Maple Leafs is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Ice Hockey

Location: Toronto

Founded: 1917

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

11
Cincinnati Reds is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Baseball

Location: Cincinnati

Founded: 1881

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

12
Pittsburgh Steelers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
American football

Location: Pittsburgh

Founded: 1933-10-20

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

13
Detroit Red Wings is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Ice Hockey

Location: Detroit

Founded: 1926

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

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

Location: San Francisco

Founded: 1946

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

15
FC Cincinnati is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Soccer

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

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

Location: Green Bay

Founded: 1919-08-11

2x Super Bowl champions (1996, 2010)

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

Location: Indianapolis

Founded: 1967

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

Location: San Francisco

Founded: 1958

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
Ice Hockey

Location: Denver, Colorado

Founded: 1972

2x Stanley Cup champions (1996, 2001)

20
Dallas Mavericks is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Basketball

Location: Dallas

Founded: 1980

2011 NBA champions

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

Location: Atlanta

Founded: 1966

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

22
LA Galaxy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Soccer

Location: Carson

Founded: 1995

5x MLS champions (2002, 2005, 2011-2012, 2014)

23
D.C. United is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Soccer

Location: Washington, D.C.

Founded: 1995

4x MLS champions (1996-1997, 1999, 2004)

24
Chicago Blackhawks is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Ice Hockey

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: 1926

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

25
Edmonton Oilers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sports Teams Not Named After Animals
Ice Hockey

Location: Edmonton

Founded: 1972

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