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Famous Sports Speeches

Updated June 3, 2019 1.3k votes 806 voters 337.0k views10 items

Famous sports speeches highlight some of the greatest speeches about sports in the history of athletics. From famous speeches by athletes to legendary speeches by coaches, many of the most memorable sentiments in sports history are here on this sports speech list. This list includes motivational speeches for athletes, pump up speeches, and just the most all around famous sport speeches.

If "great moments are born from great opportunity," then these famous sports speeches helped those opportunities become great moments by providing the motivation to achieve the impossible. What are the most famous sports speeches? From the pre-game pump-up speeches by coaches before championship games to the reflection speeches given after great careers, these famous sports speeches are some of the best ever.

What are the greatest speeches in sports? While sports movies like Any Given Sunday and Hoosiers give plenty of fictional inspiring speeches, these speeches took place in real life and inspired generations to come.

The next time you need that extra push to accomplish something great, look to these wise speakers for that motivation. Have a favorite sports speech that we didn't list? Add it below and tell us why you're inspired!
  • Babe Ruth
    Video: YouTube

    Frail and in pain from nasopharyngeal carcinoma, the legendary baseball player Babe Ruth made one last appearance at Yankee Stadium for "Babe Ruth Day" on April 27, 1947, to give his farewell speech. The Bambino addressed the sell-out crowd of over 60,000 by reflecting on his journey to the big leagues and inspiring generations to follow in his footsteps.

    "Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

    You know how bad my voice sounds -- well it feels just as bad.

    You know this baseball game of ours comes up from the youth. That means the boys.

    And after you're a boy and grow up to know how to play ball, then you come to the boys you see representing themselves today in your national pastime, the only real game -- I think -- in the world, baseball.

    As a rule, some people think if you give them a football, or a baseball, or something like that -- naturally they're athletes right away.

    But you can't do that in baseball.

    You've gotta start from way down [at] the bottom, when you're six or seven years of age. You can't wait until you're fifteen or sixteen. You gotta let it grow up with you. And if you're successful, and you try hard enough, you're bound to come out on top -- just like these boys have come to the top now.

    There's been so many lovely things said about me, and I'm glad that I've had the opportunity to thank everybody.

    Thank you."
    Is this a great speech?

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  • Vince Lombardi
    Video: YouTube

    Easily considered one of the best National Football League coaches ever, the great Vince Lombardi gave this final speech to his players on the Green Bay Packers prior to Super Bowl II on January 14, 1968. Lombardi's team defeated the Oakland Raiders 33-14 to win their second-consecutive Super Bowl. His legacy was later honored with the Super Bowl trophy being renamed the Lombardi Trophy.

    "You are the only team maybe in the history of the National Football League that will ever have this opportunity to do it twice. Boys, if I were you I would be so proud of that I would just fill up. It' not going to come easy. This is a club that's going to hit you. They are going to try and hit you. You are just going to take it out of them, just hit, just run, just block and just tackle. You do that and there is no question what the answer is going to be in this ball game. Keep your poise. There is nothing that they can show you out there you haven't faced a number of times. Right? Right!"
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  • Jack Buck
    Video: YouTube

    On September 17, 2001, less than a week after the country was shook by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck recited a heartfelt poem to the crowd at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. Titled For America, Buck read the emotional poem to open the game, which was the first since the attacks.

    "Since this nation was founded under
    God, more than 200 years ago,
    We've been the bastion of
    The light which keeps the free world
    We do not covet the possessions of
    Others, we are blessed with the
    Bounty we share.
    We have rushed to help other
    Nations... anything... anytime...
    War is just not our nature... we
    Won't start, but we will end the fight.
    If we are involved we shall be
    Resolved to protect what we know is
    We've been challenged by a
    Cowardly foe, who strikes and then
    Hides from our view.
    With one voice we say there's no
    Choice today, there is only one
    Thing to do.
    Everyone is saying the same thing
    And praying that we end these
    Senseless moments we are living.
    As our fathers did before, we shall
    Win this unwanted war.
    And our children will enjoy the
    F*ture, we'll be giving."
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  • Michael Irvin
    Video: YouTube

    Following a career with a few speed bumps, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver reflected as he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 4, 2007. "The Playmaker" was emotional during the speech as he talked about mistakes he made, his relationship with his family and why no one should ever give up.

    "I doubted I would ever have the chance to stand before you today. So when I returned home, I spoke with Michael and Elijah . I said, That's how you do it, son. You do it like they did it. Michael asked, he said, Dad, do you ever think we will be there? And I didn't know how to answer that. And it returned me to that threshing floor. This time I was voiceless, but my heart cried out. God, why must I go through so many peaks and valleys?

    I wanted to stand in front of my boys and say, Do it like your dad, like any proud dad would want to. Why must I go through so much?

    At that moment a voice came over me and said, Look up, get up, and don't ever give up. You tell everyone or anyone that has ever doubted, thought they did not measure up or wanted to quit, you tell them to look up, get up and don't ever give up."
    Is this a great speech?

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