Famous Sports Speeches

Over 900 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Famous Sports Speeches

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!

  • Jimmy Valvano
    Video: YouTube
    254 VOTES

    Jimmy Valvano

    Appearing at the first ESPY Awards on March 3, 1993, former North Carolina State basketball coach Jimmy Valvano gave an emotional and motivational speech while accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award. Valvano was suffering from cancer at the time, announcing The V Foundation and urging everyone to laugh, think and cry everyday, words that also appeared on his tombstone after he lost his battle with cancer less than two months later.

    "Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all."
    254 votes
  • Lou Gehrig
    Video: YouTube
    151 VOTES

    Showing strength and optimism in the face of adversity, baseball legend Lou Gehrig gave the famous "Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth" speech during a New York Yankees game on July 4, 1939, which was also deemed Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day.

    Only days earlier, the six-time World Series champion had retired from the game after he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

    "Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans... So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Thank you."

    151 votes
  • Herb Brooks
    Video: YouTube
    214 VOTES

    Speaking to his players prior to a game at the 1980 Winter Olympics, legendary hockey coach Herb Brooks inspired his squad to complete the impossible and beat the dominant Soviet team. They did just that, completing the "Miracle on Ice" and went on to win the gold medal.

    Though the original speech was done in a private locker room, in the 2004 film Miracle, Kurt Russell recreated the speech.

    "Great moments are born from great opportunity, and that's what you have here tonight, boys. That's what you've earned here tonight. One game; if we played them ten times, they might win nine. But not this game, not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight we stay with them, and we shut them down because we can. Tonight, we are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players—every one of you, and you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw 'em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it!"

    214 votes
  • Muhammad Ali
    Video: YouTube
    304 VOTES

    Prior to fighting George Foreman on October 30, 1974, Muhammad Ali read this poem as part of the build-up for the fight known as "The Rumble in the Jungle." Ali won the fight in the eighth round, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in the history of boxing.

    "Last night I had a dream, When I got to Africa,
    I had one hell of a rumble.
    I had to beat Tarzan’s behind first,
    For claiming to be King of the Jungle.
    For this fight, I’ve wrestled with alligators,
    I’ve tussled with a whale.
    I done handcuffed lightning
    And throw thunder in jail.
    You know I’m bad.
    just last week, I murdered a rock,
    Injured a stone, Hospitalized a brick.
    I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.
    I’m so fast, man,
    I can run through a hurricane and don't get wet.
    When George Foreman meets me,
    He’ll pay his debt.
    I can drown the drink of water, and kill a dead tree.
    Wait till you see Muhammad Ali."
    304 votes
  • Babe Ruth
    Video: YouTube
    72 VOTES

    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."
    72 votes
  • 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!"
    65 votes