Notable moments in championship parade history


The Los Angeles Rams and their fans celebrated the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory since 2000 with a parade through LA On Sunday, the Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI 23-20.

LA became the second team to win the Super Bowl on their home turf (SoFi Stadium), a feat last achieved by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.

The Rams’ parade on Wednesday was particularly sweet as neither the Los Angeles Lakers nor the Los Angeles Dodgers — who both won titles in 2020 — were able to have a celebratory parade because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rams’ Hollywood-worthy celebration got us thinking about all of the awesome parades we’ve witnessed, whether they were 108 years in the making like the 2016 Chicago Cubs or celebrating three titles in four years like the 2018 Golden State Warriors.

Here’s a look back at some of the best parade moments:


In Feb. 2021, the Buccaneers celebrated their first Super Bowl since 2002 with a parade along the Hillsborough River near the Tampa waterfront. It wasn’t a traditional parade either, as Bucs players and personnel partied on boats. Then-Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, fresh off his seventh championship, brought a $2 million yacht to ride along the river.

Brady’s expensive cruiser didn’t receive nearly as much attention as what he did during the parade.

He tossed the Lombardi trophy from his yacht to tight end Cameron Brate on a different boat. Brady’s daughter, Vivian, can be heard yelling, “Dad, no” as he underhanded the hardware across the river. Brate secured the catch, and the party continued.

After the team returned to shore, Brady appeared to have trouble walking on his own after disembarking. Backup quarterback Ryan Griffin helped him stay upright. The seven-time champion responded to the video on Twitter.


The Braves’ 2021 World Series win over the Houston Astros brought fans out in droves for their celebratory parade. The team traveled from downtown Atlanta to Truist Park, the Braves home field, on a double-decker bus for the festivities.

Outfielder Joc Pederson’s pearl necklace was the talk of the MLB postseason last year. He was present at the parade, and he even had some extras to toss to fans in the streets.

The parade bus’ speed also grabbed people’s attention. The vehicle zipped through the streets of Atlanta and kept the same energy on Interstate 75. The brisk pace of the bus didn’t seem to bother pitcher Mike Soraka. He took photos with the World Series trophy in one hand on the roof.

The parade bus’ speed also grabbed people’s attention. The vehicle zipped through the streets of Atlanta and kept the same energy on Interstate 75. The brisk pace of the bus didn’t seem to bother pitcher Mike Soroka. He took photos with the World Series trophy in one hand on the roof.


US women’s soccer team

Megan Rapinoe, Women’s FIFA World Cup, 2019

Rapinoe, who won the Golden Ball (best player) and the Golden Boot (top goal scorer) en route to helping the USWNT win the World Cup, gave an impassioned speech about unity and equal pay during the team’s ticker-tape parade in New York .

“This is my charge to everyone. We have to be better. We have to love more, hate less. We’ve got to listen more and talk less. We’ve got to know that this is everybody’s responsibility,” Rapinoe said about “making the world a better place.”


MLB

Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies, 2008

Utley and the Phils ended Philly’s 25-year pro sports championship curse with their World Series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The star second baseman — whose clutch play helped the Phillies snag the title — gave an expletive-laden start to his speech in front of fans at Citizens Bank Park.


Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs, 2016

Rizzo, the Cubs and much of the city of Chicago were giddy as the franchise broke its 108-year championship drought with a come-from-behind, seven-game World Series victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Rizzo, one of the Cubs’ young stars, used his time at the podium of the championship parade to give an emotional tribute to David Ross, the team’s elder statesman who had announced his retirement.


NFL

Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles, 2018

play

5:30

From the Super Bowl parade podium, Jason Kelce scorches all of the people who doubted the underdog Eagles during the season.

The Eagles’ Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots — their first — was a long time coming. Enter Kelce. Wearing quite possibly the most unique outfit in parade history, Kelce delivered an epic speech in celebration of an underdog Eagles team.

He gave a shoutout to all of the Eagles haters and was dressed in the garb to match the fury.


Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots, 2017

play

0:33

Rob Gronkowski gives Patriots fans what they want and is the life of the party at New England’s Super Bowl parade.

Shirtless beer-chugging, a WWE belt and partying with fans? Just Gronk being Gronk.

The New England tight end, who was injured and unable to play in the Patriots’ huge comeback over the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl, didn’t hold back during the championship parade in Boston.


Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers, 2009

Polamalu found himself crowd-surfing in the streets of Pittsburgh during the Steelers’ parade in celebration of a Super Bowl victory over the Arizona Cardinals — just as the safety did a few years prior when the Steelers celebrated winning Super Bowl XL.


NBA

Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors, 2019

play

0:17

Kawhi Leonard reenacts his well-known laugh from Media Day in 2018 during the Raptors’ title celebration.

Everyone’s favorite Board Man, who did get paid, made fun of his infamous “Kawhi laugh” during the championship parade celebrating the Raptors’ first NBA title in June. The laugh first surfaced during media day before the 2018-19 season when he claimed he was a “fun guy.”

Leonard won Finals MVP with the Raptors before leaving to join the LA Clippers, where he is still providing great internet memes.


Mark Madsen, Los Angeles Lakers, 2001

Shaq rapping and Madsen dancing on stage? What more could a Lakers fan ask for?

Celebrating the first of what would be three consecutive Lakers titles, Madsen, who gave an exuberant speech, showed off his moves while Shaquille O’Neal rapped.


JR Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers, 2016

play

0:31

From the Cavaliers’ pit stop in Las Vegas, to arriving in Cleveland as champions and the victory parade, one thing has remained constant — JR Smith is still shirtless.

Smith, LeBron James and the city of Cleveland celebrated the end of a 52-year title drought when the Cavs topped the Warriors in an epic comeback in the NBA Finals.

While many parade moments were memorable, including a speech from James, the enduring image from the celebration will always be Smith partying down the parade route, sans T-shirt.


Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks, 2011

Singing seems to be a theme at parades. And that was no different in Dallas after the Mavs upset James and the Miami Heat. In celebration of his — and the Mavs’ — first title, and amid MVP chants, Nowitzki belted out an a cappella version of Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”


Pat Riley, Los Angeles Lakers, 1987

Guarantees have always been a hallmark in sports. But this proclamation of back-to-back titles — made by Lakers coach Riley during parade euphoria — proved to be true. The Lakers won it all again in 1988, backing up Riley’s bold claim.


Steve Kerr, Chicago Bulls, 1997

Kerr has been in plenty of parades. He has been in them while playing with the Bulls and the Spurs and as the head coach with the Warriors. In 1997, Kerr had Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen laughing when he shared a story about him making the winning shot, instead of Jordan, in Game 6 of the Finals. Or his version of it, anyway.


NHL

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, 2018

play

0:57

Alex Ovechkin celebrates the Capitals’ first Stanley Cup like no other before him and does not seem like he will stop anytime soon.

Ovi’s parade speech was part of the party that never ended all summer long after the Caps won their first title — and DC’s first in the four major sports leagues since the Washington Redskins’ in 1992. The ongoing celebration, which began in Las Vegas after the Caps topped the Golden Knights and continued in the DC area, was one of the longest in recent memory.


Mark Messier, New York Rangers, 1994

The Rangers broke a 54-year Cup-less streak with a seven-game series victory over the Vancouver Canucks, and an appreciative crowd of roughly 1.5 million lined the streets of Manhattan to pay tribute. Messier, who had won five Cups with the Edmonton Oilers, talked about the lifetime achievement that winning the Cup in New York would bring him.




www.espn.com