A Brief History Of Championship Wrestling Belts In Professional Sports
If there’s one thing that we’ve all dreamt about in our life, it’s doing something so dope that we get to hoist a championship belt over our heads, toss it onto our shoulder and strap it around our fucking waist.
There isn’t anything that gives more instant credibility than having one, as a few athletes have taken notice of pro wrestlers, either getting title belts for themselves or receiving one as gifts from WWE superstars to increase their swag.
With a few instances better than others, we’re giving you a brief history of championship wrestling belts in pro sports.
Otis Anderson Is The Original (1991)
There’s no telling for sure, but when it comes to using a championship wrestling belt in sports, there’s a good chance that former New York Giants running back, Otis Anderson, was the first to strap the thing around his waste in celebration.
After taking home the Most Valuable Player Award during his team’s Super Bowl XXV victory in 1991, Anderson was named the Potamkin “Professional Athlete of the Year,” which came with a sick belt that resembled one that a WWE/WWF Superstar would don.
Yeah, ol’ dude got a Chrysler, too, but, fuck that, his championship style belt doesn’t need no oil change, just some shining!
Rasheed Wallace Reps The Reigning Champs (2004)
If there was one team who was counted out in a championship round before the damn thing even started, it was the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals, who were huge underdogs against a team featuring four future Hall of Famers in Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone and Gary Payton.
With the Lakers completely self-destructing after a 20-point blowout in Game 3, the Pistons shocked the hoops world by winning the title in five games, then rubbed it in the faces of all the haters.
Following the victory, Detroit big man Rasheed Wallace made it known that he didn’t want people to forget who the reigning champs were, carrying a championship belt into the arena with him, seemingly, every game.
Sheed was so proud of the title belt that he even gave each of his Pistons teammates their own, which is a boss fucking move.
Freddie Mitchell Was A World Champion Trash-Talker (2004)
There are a lot of athletes who have done great things to earn themselves a championship belt. Former NFL wideout Freddie Mitchell isn’t one you might think of.
Sure, the man known as FredEx desperately believed that he was a top receiving threat who defenses needed to be cautious of, but other than an insane 4th-and-26 grab for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Green Bay Packers in a 2004 playoff game, no one remembers a damn thing about Mitchell—except for his penchant for carrying around his self-given title belt.
This isn’t to put down the guy for the career he did have—after all, he did play in the NFL, while I sit here writing about him—but other than one big play on a big stage, FredEx was often late on his delivery.