Better Championship Bling: College vs Pro

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2014

Better Championship Bling: College vs Pro

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    The one thing that every single athlete plays for is the bling.

    Sure, there are a few guys out there who do it for the money, but at the end of the day, winning trumps everything else.

    And since there are a number of different trophies that are symbolic—especially when comparing professional to collegiate awards—I'm giving you some reasons to determine which ones are best.

NCAA: Men's Basketball Trophy

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Changed over the years, the NCAA D-I men's basketball trophy uses a blend of gold, glass and dark wood to make it one of the more classy trophies on this list.

    Although this is the NCAA version of recognizing the champion of that year, the National Association of Basketball Coaches also gives the winning team a nice, little gift—in the form of an elaborate crystal basketball.

    I'm not sure which was of these two is cooler—and I'm sure whoever earns them doesn't really care to differentiate, either.

NBA: Larry O'Brien Trophy

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Unlike a few of these other trophies, the NBA's Larry O'Brien Trophy isn't one that's recycled each season, given to the most current champion.

    Instead, a new one is freshly molded and handed out, allowing teams like the Boston Celtics, L.A. Lakers, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs—who have the most trophies—display them proudly in cases to help entice free agents and remind themselves of there success.

    Better Basketball Trophy: Pro Sports.

Championship Shirts

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    Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

    OK, so I know that a championship isn't bling, but it's still something that is given as a memento for teams and players to enjoy a title.

    While they give out hats and shirts to each champion every single year in nearly every single sport, those early-'90s designs with caricatured rosters are, hands-down, the coolest things ever.

    Can we please get these back?

    Better Championship Shirts: Pro Sports.

Championship Hats

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Much like the aforementioned championship shirts that teams get following a major victory, the title hats that players put on their heads have become some of the coolest in sports.

    And, although I'm not a Miami Heat fan in the slightest, the ones that the squad got back in 2013 when they won their second-straight NBA title were probably some of the coolest I've ever seen.

    Whether college or sports, these designs are really dope.

    Better Championship Hats: College Sports.

Maurice Podoloff Trophy

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Given to the top player in the league based off his regular season performance, the Maurice Podoloff Trophy is the NBA's league MVP award.

    Named after the former president of the league, it is a bronze statue that sits atop a black base and, as Kevin Durant showed in his speech this year, is something that is desired by every player in the league.

Naismith Award

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    Cooper Neill/Getty Images

    Like the Heisman Trophy in college football, the Naismith Award is given to the best player in both men's and women's hoops.

    Although it doesn't often come with the stigma that comes with winning the Heisman—I bet most people weren't aware that former Creighton star Doug McDermott won it this past season—it's still the highest individual honor that a college basketball player can receive.

    Named after the inventor of the sport, I'd say it's pretty darn cool to have in your bedroom.

    Better Basketball MVP: College Sports.

Better Fan Celebration

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    One thing that college kids know how to do is party—especially following a big win by one of its sports teams.

    While pro sports teams often keep it classy by having a parade down a major street in the middle of their city—which is a really cool tradition—collegiates everywhere are known for crazy celebrations like burning couches and flipping cars.

    Sure, it's pure mayhem when it happens, but it has to be one of the top-three moments for any kid to experience.

    Better Fan Celebration: College Sports.

NCAA: College World Series Trophy

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    With the same design as most of the other NCAA trophies—using a stained wood blended with gold and glass—the College World Series trophy stands the test of time.

    Still, as pretty as it is to hold after a championship season, it's not quite as nice as the World Series trophy that MLB teams get after winning the whole thing.

    It's nice to have on the mantel of any university, but it's not as pretty to look at as the MLB version.

Commissioner's Trophy

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    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    One of the most iconic trophies in all of sports, the Commissioner's Trophy is awarded to the champion of Major League Baseball each season.

    Made of sterling silver and gold, the two-foot tall trophy also features a flag of all the 30 current MLB teams, with a globe embedded on the top of the base, making it both unique and extremely one-of-a-kind.

    Better Baseball Trophy: Pro Sports.

Coaches' Trophy

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Awarded to the national champion of college football, The Coaches' Trophy might just be the most-coveted trophy in collegiate athletics.

    With so many people most passionate about their alma maters and the love of football at an all-time high, The Coaches' Trophy is the one football that no player ever wants to fumble.

    Thankfully, it will be awarded to a national champion who goes through a playoff this year.

Vince Lombardi Trophy

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Named after one of the most-recognized names in all of football—and the preemptive champion in the sport—Vince Lombardi, the Lombardi Trophy is a masterful display of what a trophy should look like.

    A little less than two-feet tall, the seven pound trophy looks as though all one needs to do is take the life-sized football off the top and start throwing it around.

    Of course, that would never happen, but it looks like it could.

    With a clean, shiny, sterling silver finish, the Lombardi Trophy is both simple and prestigious, making it one of my personal favorites.

    Better Football Trophy: Pro Sports.

NFL: MVP Award

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    Marcio Sanchez/Associated Press

    For being arguably the most popular sport to watch in America, the NFL MVP doesn't really have as much fanfare as some of these other trophies.

    A fairly unassuming award that's given to the best player in the league after each regular season—with Peyton Manning winning a record fifth this past season—it might be a privilege to win for any player, but it's not as nice to look at as some of the other individual awards out there.

Heisman Trophy

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Without a doubt, the Heisman Trophy is the most-prestigious award in all of team sports.

    Awarded to the most outstanding college football player in the country every season, it represents everything that college football is.

    It has tradition, it recognizes and rewards its past winners and includes an entire nation of writers to determine who will take it home.

    Most college kids rush for a fraternity. But there isn't a frat any better than the Heisman fraternity.

    Better Football MVP: Heisman Trophy.

Championship Rings

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Although there are a variety of different designs for each sport's championship rings, when it comes to being over-the-top ridiculous, there are few that can compete with pro sports.

    Don't get me wrong, winning a national championship in college has to be an amazing feeling—and getting a ring to wear around campus is great—but when it comes to blinding the thing out with diamonds and bling, there are few things that can compete with one of the four major sports rings.

    Better Championship Rings: Pro Sports.