We love our sports in the Beehive State. Whether it is college football, NBA basketball, or even one of the many minor league sports played in Utah, the fans will always get behind their team 100%. But there hasn’t always been much to celebrate, unfortunately.
If you are looking for a good sportsbook on www.onlinsportsbetting.net it is unlikely that any of them will have any of our teams high up on the list of favorites. But that isn’t to say that a national championship will never come the way of Utah.
We thought we would take a look at the great teams that call our wonderful state home to see if their history, or current state of play, suggests that a ticker tape parade might be on the horizon.
The biggest major league sports team in Utah is undoubtedly the NBA’s Jazz. But it is one of only ten franchises never to have won a single championship. That number was 11 until earlier this year when the Denver Nuggets finally claimed its first rings. It hurt for the Nuggets to become the first team from the Mountain West to win the NBA championship.
But it is not as if Utah has never been close. Unfortunately for hoops fans in the state, the best Jazz teams peaked at the same time as Michael Jordan did. He was very rarely beaten and even the greats, such as Karl Malone and John Stockton, couldn’t quite do enough to make the most of any rare slip-up.
If it wasn’t for Michael Jordan ruining the party, Hakeem Olajuwon would come up and snatch the chance of glory away from Utah back in the 1990s.
The Jazz now seem to be starting yet another rebuilding process and the NBA doesn’t do parity in the same way as the NFL, so we could be waiting a while for success. But, then again, the Nuggets finally won one – so why not Utah?
Amidst the anticipation of a potential sports championship, it’s worthwhile to explore tips for enhancing athletic motivation, as they can be instrumental in achieving championship-level performance, connecting to the ideas discussed in the related article.
Real Salt Lake – Actual Champions
Before we get too down about the lack of a national championship coming Utah’s way, we should acknowledge that one pro sports team has already celebrated that achievement. Playing its first season as an MLS expansion team in 2005, RSL took only four years to go all the way and win the MLS Cup in 2009.
An incredibly strong home record propelled Real Salt Lake to the top of the standings in the early months of the season, but it only just sneaked into the playoffs in 2009. But the team went on to beat the celeb-favorite LA Galaxy on penalties to claim the cup.
The team then almost went all the way in the continental CONCACAF Champions League the next year, narrowly losing to Mexican side Monterrey in the final.
Although the postseason has been a regular date for RSL throughout its history, there haven’t been any deep runs for a while. But this season is currently looking pretty good – and wouldn’t it be perfect to get to the MLS Cup final once again and ruin Lionel Messi’s arrival in the league?
The Return of the Royals
We will soon have another major league soccer team to get behind, as the Utah Royals are scheduled to make a return to the NWSL next year. The team played two seasons before the COVID pandemic wiped out the year in 2020.
Even though the team attracted a lot of support – and some of the biggest names in the game at the time – the franchise then ceased operations and was moved to Kansas City.
But now the Royals are back. The new owners of Real Salt Lake wanted women’s soccer to return to the state as well and now the team will play at the same stadium as the men’s in Salt Lake City.
We will wait to see what caliber of player the new Royals will be able to attract, but with the women’s game at an all-time high, it is very good news that Utah will have a representative again.
Minor Sports Making Major Moves
We mentioned earlier that there are plenty of other sports outside the usual Sportscenter broadcasts that are well-supported in Utah. One of the most successful in building a fan base in recent times is the game of rugby.
More known as a European-based game, there is a Major League Rugby operating in the US and Canada – and Utah has a team.
The Utah Warriors have been a part of Major League Rugby ever since the inaugural season in 2018 and have made it to the playoffs on two occasions. The best-ever performance was making it to the Western Conference final in 2021.
The last two years have not been as successful but the sport is still growing in this country and it is exciting to have Utah involved from the start.
Utah may not have an NFL team. But that doesn’t mean that football fans don’t exist in the state. If you asked which football team most people from Utah got behind it would probably be the Utes of the Pac-12.
Denver and Arizona may get a look in if the question was open to NFL teams but Utahans are quite happy rooting for their college programs. The Aggies at Utah State have a decent recent record when it comes to basketball – and we can’t forget about BYU when it comes to college sports either. National championships are pretty thin on the ground here as well though.
It seems unlikely that Utah will ever get its own NFL team, what with the costs involved in bringing a team here. There has been expansion talk in the MLB and the NHL always seems keen to bring the game to new places. But, the fact is, Utah is already overachieving when it comes to pro sports.
We are the second-least populous state to even have its own major league pro sports team. Only the arrival of the Vegas Knights in Nevada pushed us from the top of that particular ranking.
So, there might not seem to be a national championship coming Utah’s way anytime soon. But just being part of the conversation is to be applauded when it comes down to it.