From The Red Zone Channel To The Golden State Warriors, Here’s Why We Love Sports – Sports Illustrated

We live in very divisive times. It’s harder and harder to find levity and appreciate the good things in life. We here at Extra Mustard want to put the negative aside right now and focus on the positives. We want to pay tribute to all the reasons we love sports. From athletes who excel on the field to social media stars who make us laugh to technological advances that enhance your experience as a sports fan, here are 77 things in the world of sports that bring us joy and happiness on a regular basis.

1. NFL RED ZONE CHANNEL

If you don’t have DirecTV or if you have DirecTV and don’t want to spend the money for the Sunday Ticket package, this is your salvation each and every Sunday. — Jimmy Traina

2. JOEL EMBIID’S TWITTER

Trust the process and trust that you will laugh a lot if you follow the Sixers big man. — JT

3. HAIL MARYS

Football’s answer to the buzzer-beater, but at least 20 times harder to pull off. — Dan Gartland

4. LEBRON JAMES

Some people like to find the faults in LeBron’s career. They’ll miss him when he’s gone. He’s about to enter his 15th year as the Greatest Show on Earth in the NBA. — JT

5. PAUL POGBA’S HAIR 

Bonjour😂😂

A post shared by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba) on Feb 9, 2016 at 6:34am PST

6. LIONEL MESSI’S EVERYTHING 

7. JJ WATT

His charitable endeavor after Hurricane Harvey will be remembered for a long time. — JT

8. JEFF VAN GUNDY’S NON-NBA TANGENTS 

Whether the topic is Tim Tebow, Beyonce or the DH in baseball, Van Gundy’s bizarre and off-topic rants always make NBA games a little more interesting. — Andy Gray

9. GIANCARLO STANTON

Nobody in the sports can assault a baseball like the Marlins’ slugger. — JT

10. VINCE McMAHON’S STRUT

Nobody has ever walked with more purpose than Vince McMahon strutting to the wrestling ring. Call it swag. Call it bravado. There’s nothing quite like it in sports. — AG

11. ​ MLB AT-BAT APP 

MLB has some of the best tech of any consumer media company and this app is the perfect place to find baseball stats, scores and highlights. — DG 

12. BILL BELICHICK PRESS CONFERENCES

Nobody is better at saying less than than the Patriots coach. We’d tell you more of our reasoning, but we’re keeping that in house. — AG

13. THE ROCK’S INSTAGRAM

Nobody does Instagram better than The Great One, who mixes funny with inspirational with self-deprecation. — JT

14. JOE THOMAS ON TWITTER

The Browns Iron Man is as funny as he is durable. — JT

15. BAT FLIPS

Because screw baseball’s archaic unwritten rules. —Daniel Rapaport

16. HBO’S “REAL SPORTS”

Twenty-two years after its debut, this is still the best sports show on all of television. — JT

17. MARV ALBERT

At 76 years of age, Albert is still the voice of the NBA and still on top of his game. — JT

18. THE “SOMETHING TO WRESTLE WITH” PODCAST 

A weekly, long-form podcast that covers one subject and gives you never-heard before insight from longtime WWE office worker, Bruce Pritchard and co-host, Conrad Thompson. — JT

19. YOUR FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT

This day is the peak of your fantasy football season. — JT

20. ED HOCHULI’S GUNS

An NFL Sunday isn’t an NFL Sunday until we see the most famous biceps in the sport. — JT

21. THE WWE NETWORK

The combination of the entire WWE archive plus getting access to the company’s two pay-per-view events each month makes this more than worth the $9.99 monthly fee. — JT

22. THE FIRST DAY OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT 

When you get sports from noon ET until about 1 a.m. on a Thursday, it’s a beautiful thing. — JT

23. TONY ROMO IN THE BOOTH

In a very short period of time, the former Cowboys quarterback has become a must-listen every week since replacing Phil Simms on CBS’ top announce team. — JT

24. ESPN’S “30 FOR 30” SERIES

This is the best thing ESPN does. By far. — JT

25. OREGON’S FOOTBALL UNIFORMS 

They may not always be pretty, but it’s also fun to see what combination of they come up with to assault our eyeballs. — JT

26. RUSSELL WESTBROOK AND CAM NEWTON’S CLOTHES 

These guys get almost as much attention for their outfits than for how they perform. — JT

27. BILL WALTON AFTER DARK

You don’t need to watch the game. Just put audio of Walton and play-by-play man Dave Pasch on as background noise and take in all the weirdness. — JT

28. TNT’S “INSIDE THE NBA”

Best studio show on TV, period. — JT

29. MARSHAWN LYNCH IS BACK

He’s back and dancing up a storm. — JT

30. WOJ BOMBS

When Adrian Wojnarowski tweets, the world stops. — JT

31. BRYCE HARPER’S HAIR

Best flow in the sport. — JT

32. MARTELLUS BENNETT

To say the Packers tight end is unique would be an understatement. The self-proclaimed “Black Unicorn” has released albums, written children’s book and dishes out thoughtful commentary on Twitter. — JT

33. LAS VEGAS

It’s still the best destination for any sports fan who is looking to have fun and gamble legally. — JT

34. WATCHESPN APP

A must-have app, especially if you’re a college football game. The amount of games produced each Saturday is staggering. — JT

35. JAMES HARDEN’S BEARD

36. GREGG POPOVICH 

The longtime Spurs coach isn’t afraid to speak his mind, gives the best in-game interviews and is good at his actual job, too. — JT

37. THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

The most entertaining team in all of sports right now. — JT

38. LEE CORSO PUTS ON A MASCOT HEAD
A Saturday morning tradition like no other. — JT

39. “HARD KNOCKS”
From creating a storyline for undrafted players to giving us a behind-the-scenes look at how teammates interact, HBO’s summer series is a necessary bridge to the football season. — JT

40. “FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS” ON NETFLIX

Even if you’ve seen the outstanding NB C series, it’s comforting to know that you can always fire up Netflix to check in on Coach Taylor, Riggins, Saracen and the rest of the Dillon High Panthers. — JT

41. NYC TABLOID BACK PAGES

When a crazy sports story happens, checking to see the outlandish puns and word play from the “New York Post” and the “New York Daily News” is a must. — JT

42. SIGNS AT “COLLEGE GAMEDAY”

College kids never fail to come up with a few entertaining zingers every Saturday. — JT

43. WALT “CLYDE” FRAZIER’S SUITS

This has been the only good thing about the Knicks for a long, long time. — JT

44. LAMEAU LEAP

This is one of the great traditions in all of sports. There’s also always the possibility that something could go horribly wrong, which adds to the fun. — JT

45. JOHN CENA

It took wrestling fans a long time to warm up to him, but now that he’s slowing down just a bit to focus on other things, people are starting to appreciate what he brought in and out of the ring. No athlete or celebrity has granted more Make-A-Wish requests than Cena. — JT

46. STREAMING RSNs ON FOX AND NBC APPS 
National sports networks have had streaming apps for a while now but watching your local teams on a device other than a TV had been difficult. Now new partnerships between regional sports networks and NBC and Fox Sports, you can watch local sports anywhere. — DG

47. LUCHA UNDERGROUND ON NETFLIX
If you like wrestling but don’t want to commit to spending hours following WWE, LU’s 45-minute episodes of high-quality lucha libre action are the perfect solution. — DG

48. REDDIT

​There is no better place to go for instant highlights, intelligent discussion with fans of your team or league, and off-beat storylines. –DR

49. STUBHUB/SEATGEEK
I can’t remember the last time I paid full price for a ticket. — DG

50. JOHNNY CUETO’S INSTAGRAM 
His food looks frankly disgusting but no one else in baseball can pose as seductively as Johnny. (The dead horse thing was weird, though.) — DG

51. PREMIER LEAGUE SOCCER IN THE MORNING 
Don’t watch NFL pregame shows on Sundays. Watch the Premier League on NBC. — DG

52. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DURING THE WORKDAY 
Or are we the only ones who can get away with spending our Wednesday afternoons watching soccer? — DG

53. MINOR LEAGUES
Sometimes it’s fun to see relatively high-quality live sports without paying an arm and a leg. — DG

54. FAT GUY TOUCHDOWNS

When a large fella gets the ball in his hand with a chance to score, every single person watching holds their breath and wishes like heck they can make it to the end zone. — JT

55. THROWBACK JERSEYS

There’s no better way of showing off your long-time affiliation than throwing on a jersey from the 70’s. Plus, you can where these in any social setting—it’s kinda weird to rock a brand-new jersey to a bar. — DR

56. BAT DOGS
Good dogs. — DG

57. MIKE BREEN’S “BANG”

58. OLD BASEBALL CARDS

The ultimate nostalgia conduit for the most nostalgic sport. — DG

59. CRISTIANO RONALDO’S JUMP CELEBRATION THING

Whether you like the guy or not—and you’re forgiven if you don’t—it’s hard not to get hyped when he lets out that primal scream after the jump. — DR

60. THE ALL-WHITES AT WIMBLEDON

I’m not a fan of the tie-dye style tennis shirts that made a comeback at the U.S. Open. There’s something undeniably special about seeing the world’s best pay homage to the tournament by respecting the dress code. — DR

61. ROGER FEDERER

​Enjoy his astounding greatness while you can, because he won’t be here for much longer. –DR

62. NBA STARS RECRUITING EACH OTHER

Is it sort of childish? Sure. But who wouldn’t love to be recruited? — DR

63. SERENA WILLIAMS’ GIDDY CELEBRATIONS AFTER WINNING A MAJOR

Watching her transform from a hyper-focused machine to a giddy champion who can’t help but dance is incredibly refreshing. –DR

64SIDELINE TOE-TAP CATCHES

When done properly, it’s the most visually appealing play in all of sports. — DR

65. RHYS HOSKINS
Hoskins’s historic tear quenched our thirst for dingers amid Aaron Judge’s second-half slump. Now A’s rookie Matt Olson is doing the same thing. Long live the random homer machine. — DG

66. MOBILE TICKETS

Never again will you have to turn around because you realize you forgot your tickets on the counter. — DG

67. PAC-12 AFTER DARK

Mike Leach’s team is definitely best viewed after getting home from the bar. — DG

68. “GLOVEWORK” ON INSTAGRAM
The edits are a little over-the-top sometimes but I love this modern answer to Baseball Tonight’s Web Gems. — DG

What can’t @josealtuve27 do? #Glovework

A post shared by #Glovework (@glovework) on Sep 15, 2017 at 8:01am PDT

69. SHOHEI OTANI COMING TO AMERICA
He’s the best pitcher in Japan and the best hitter. — DG

70. COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPSETS

It’s awesome to know you’re witnessing a moment those players will talk about for the rest of their lives—on both sides. — DG

71. HOCKEY MULLETS
It’s cheesy. It’s ugly. It’s Canada. Hockey is the only sport that can be identified through a hairstyle, and the mullet reigns supreme. — AG

72. TRAVIS KELCE’S ANTICS

Not only is he a great tight end for the Chiefs, but his TD celebrations and mocking of referees are second to none. — JT

73. MICHAEL JORDAN’S FASHION
He may be the GOAT on the basketball court but not so much in the style department. It’s okay to wear clothes that fit you, Michael. — AG

74. “GOOD MORNING FOOTBALL”

The complete opposite of all the unwatchable Hot Take shows that get all the social media attention, the NFL Network’s GMFB mixes hardcore football with light-hearted banter and skips on the contrived yelling. — JT

75. NBA IMPERSONATOR, @BDOTADOT5  

His real name is Brandon Armstrong and he does remarkable impressions of NBA stars that always go viral, as you can see on his YouTube page. — JT

76. THE INDIANS’ WIN STREAK

Yes, it’s over, but it was something we hadn’t seen in literally 100 years. — DG

77. THE SI SWIMSUIT ISSUE

Yes, this considered a sports item. — JT

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