28 Sports Trivia Facts so You can Pretend You’re an Athlete

(Last Updated On: May 10, 2021)

Nobody is really going to blame you if you’re not doing some kind of sport at the moment. After all, the vast majority of people who even compete in NCAA sports often have a less than 10% chance of continuing to the major leagues (it’s like 1% in football and basketball). Even less than a quarter of NCAA athletes move on to even being draft eligible. Anyway, point being that if America is anything to go by most of us aren’t athletes. But we can kind of pretend with generalized sports knowledge. So here are some sports trivia facts. Maybe don’t pretend to be an athlete around actual athletes, though. 

28 Sports Trivia Facts

1. Of the 73 NBA Finals that have been played, 41 have featured the Lakers or Celtics. 

2. Those two teams have won a combined 33 of 73 championships. They’d win more if they started working together.

3. Almost half (19 out of 39) of all NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships have been won by either Connecticut or Tennessee. Maybe they should work together too. 

4. 2004 and 2014 were the only years where the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments were won by the same team — and it was Connecticut both times. Connecticut really popped off. 

5. Gary Payton is the only point guard to ever be named NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

6. Hakeem Olajuwon auctioned off his first NBA championship ring due to his Muslim faith, which forbids men to wear gold. When the Rockets won the title again the next year, Olajuwon got a platinum ring.

7. The Miami Marlins have never won their division, but they’ve won the World Series twice. So they’ve basically won, right?

8. Deion Sanders is the only athlete to play in both a World Series and a Super Bowl. He lost that World Series but won both Super Bowls he played in.

9. Sanders is also the only person to both score a touchdown and hit a home run within the same week. 

10. Robert Horry is the only player in NBA history to win multiple championships with three different teams. He is also the only non-Celtic player to win more than six titles. Maybe he’s just his own team. 

11. Minneapolis-St. Paul has not seen any of its sports teams win a championship in almost thirty years (by far the longest drought for a city with teams in each of the Big Four sports). 

12. The National League hasn’t had a team win back-to-back World Series since the 70s. Sounds like they just need a National Series. 

13. Darko Milicic is the youngest player to ever win an NBA championship. Darko was the #2 draft pick in 2003, famously chosen ahead of guys like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.

14. Michael Jordan scored at least 20 points in every Finals game in which he played. He’s the only player to ever do that.

15. The Seattle Mariners are the only active team to never play in a World Series. Ouch.

16. The Arizona Diamondbacks team name was chosen by vote; they were nearly named the Arizona Phoenix. Rising from ashes or whatever sounds like a pain anyway. 

17. In 2019, LeBron James attempted to trademark the phrase ‘Taco Tuesday’. He was denied that trademark. 

18. The average NFL game only has about 11 minutes of actual play time.

19. Only once in the history of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament has a 16-seed beat a 1-seed: UMBC over Virginia 74–54 in 2018.

20. Ski Ballet used to be featured in the Winter Olympics. Ski Ballet included similar spins, jumps, and movements to other dance art forms, but it was done on skis on a snowy mountain. That sounds awesome. 

21. You’re not allowed to do a backflip in Olympic figure skating. That didn’t stop French figure skater Surya Bonaly from doing one as a huge “screw you” to the Olympic committee, though.

We will never be as cool as someone who can do backflips with blades on their feet. (Joel Richardson/The Washington Post)

22. Speaking of figure skating, the only event women were allowed to compete in at the first Winter Olympics was figure skating.

23. From 1912 to 1948, the Olympic Games awarded medals in architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture

24. Eli Manning and Nick Foles are the only QBs to beat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.

25. The first reference to a woman playing golf came in 1567, when Mary, Queen of Scots was seen playing a round just days after the murder of her husband.

26. The odds of filling out a perfect March Madness bracket are about 1 in 9.2 quintillion.

27. The lowest scoring NBA game of all-time ended with just 37 points scored between the Lakers and Pistons.

28. Wayne Gretzky is such a good hockey player he’s literally nicknamed “the Great One.”

See if you know all the Big Four teams here.



About Kyler 705 Articles
Kyler is a content writer at Sporcle living in Seattle, and is currently studying at the University of Washington School of Law. He's been writing for Sporcle since 2019; sometimes the blog is an excellent platform to answer random personal questions he has about the world. Most of his free time is spent drinking black coffee like water.