I can’t stand the term “World Champions” for Super Bowl winners. I tweeted as much after Jim Harbaugh’s
petulant hissy fit the Ravens hoisted the Lombardi. The game is played by club teams playing only in America (and Toronto, if you count the Bills as an NFL franchise). Nearly all the players come from America or American territories. Dubbing the victors “World Champs” is basically a manifestation of this map.
Instead, I propose a list of teams and organizations that can be properly dubbed “World Champs,” as well as a criteria for further selection:
1) League/tournament is international (i.e, not the English Premiership – foreign players playing for the English title doesn’t count. Sorry Mr. Dempsey).
2) Team competes primarily against global opposition.
3) Cannot be named North Korea or Lance Armstrong.
So, here’s the initial list. Add more as you see fit.
FIFA World Cup Champions: Obvious inclusion is obvious
UEFA Champions League Champions: Club teams, but they’re not limited to playing their own national league. Subject to verification of match-fixing.
FIBA World Cup Champions: Apparently basketball has one too?
ICC Cricket World Cup Champions: Okay, one more rule: if your tournament is named “World Cup,” you’re probably okay.
World Baseball Classic Champions: You’re welcome, Japan.
Little League World Series Champions: Minor rant: I’ve never seen a Saudi kid on the Saudi Arabian team. Can’t they be renamed AramCo?
Olympic Medal Count Winners: Except North Korea. Because the 3,000 Gold’s, 2,175 Silver’s and 3 Bronze medals didn’t actually happen. Also wary of automatically including China, without receipt of female gymnasts birth certificates.
America: Back-to-back World War champs. Three-peat, for those of you adding the Cold War.