Friday, October 15, 2010

Rivalry Week- What is a Rivalry?

Just what does it mean to be a rivalry? Does location have to do with it? What about tradition? Community pride? Those are three of the elements that are put into play when it comes to a rivalry.

However a rivalry can be summed up like this. You play for the Broad Street Bulldogs, and the big game against the Main Street Marauders. These two teams have been playing for years, and regardless of where the game is being played, each team is sure to bring on their own fanbase.

That is what a traditional rivalry is all about. And in sports, there are a lot of great rivalries.

National Basketball Association (NBA):
Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics- These two teams have won a combined 32 NBA Championships, and have played each other in two of the last three NBA finals, splitting those two Championships, and 12 NBA finals overall, with the first seven championship matchups between 1959 and 1969. The biggest heyday of the rivalry was in the 1980s, when you had Magic Johnson of the Lakers on one side, and Larry Bird of the Celtics on the other. Johnson and Bird's first matchup was in the 1979 NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship when Johnson led Michigan State to a 75-64 win over Bird and Indiana State. The Lakers and Celtics met in the 1984, 1985, and 1987 NBA Finals, with the Celtics winning in 1984, and the Lakers in 1985 and 1987. Close to the Magic Johnson-Larry Bird rivalry was the original rivalry in the 1960s, when these two teams met six times between 1962 and 1969 in the NBA Finals. Bill Russell led the Celtics to victory in six different best-of-seven series over greats such as Elgin Baylor and Jerry West for the Lakers.

Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat- On July 8, 2010 was the biggest day in infamy for the city of Cleveland since a man named Art Modell packed the Cleveland Browns and rechristened them as the Baltimore Ravens. But, we learned something from that day...what NOT to do if you're a big name NBA star making a decision on where you'll play next season. The city of Cleveland was desperate to keep their hometown hero LeBron James in Cleveland...for life. They went all out, with PSA's from Gov. Ted Strickland and the cast of "Hot in Cleveland", to a pep rally, and even attempting to woo college hoops coach Tom Izzo to come to Cleveland. That all failed. And so, LeBron decided to have a one-hour special on ESPN, and so, you could see the suspense building up. If he's going to make it this big extravaganza, he's staying in Cleveland, right? Well...with technology being the way it is in 2010, word leaked out real fast, even hours before the aforementioned sideshow. And so, # 23 for the Cleveland Cavaliers is now # 6 for the Miami Heat.

Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs- this was a big postseason rivalry for a big part of the 2000s, as it was an annual rite of passage for these two teams to bump into each other in the playoffs. Between 1999 and 2005, the Western Conference Champion was either the Lakers or the Spurs.

Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons- these two teams met in the NBA finals three times (1988, 1989, and 2004), with the Pistons winning two of the three matchups in the NBA finals by a combined 8 games to 1, as the underdog team from Motor City held their own from the All-Star producing factory of the Lakers.
Major League Baseball:
New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox- In the 1910s, a man by the name of George Herman Ruth played for the Boston Red Sox, and led the team to World Series wins in 1917 and 1918. Then in 1919, Babe Ruth was traded to the Yankees, also known as the Curse of the Bambino. The Red Sox went without a World Series title for 86 years, eventually winning two World Series in 2004 and 2007, while the Yankees have won 27 World Series titles, more championships than any other professional sports franchise.

Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants- This rivalry is the only one to have full roots on both coasts. These teams were originally known as the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, respectively.

New York Mets and New York Yankees- The Mets and Yankees met in the classic "Subway World Series" in 2000, the first all-New York City World Series since 1956, when the Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Oakland A(thletic)'s and San Francisco Giants (The Bay Bridge Series)- The pinnacle moment for this series was in the 1989 World Series, delayed 10 days because of an earthquake that hit the Bay Area. The A's swept the Giants in four games, but the series birthed one of the most modern-day classic sports rivalries in baseball.

Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs- Both of these Chicago teams have seen their hard times, and streaks of postseason futility, but Chicago baseball fans stick with them through and through.

Los Angeles/Anaheim/California Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers (The Freeway Series)

Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals (Beltway Series)

National Football League (NFL):
Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals (The Battle of Ohio)
Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers
Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins
New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts (Memorable Moment: "4th & 2"- last season)
New England Patriots and New York Jets (Memorable Moment: Spygate- 2007)
New York Jets and Miami Dolphins (Memorable Moment: "Monday Night Miracle"- 2000)
Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs
Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers
Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers (NFL's Oldest Rivalry)
Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers (Memorable Moment: "The Catch"- 1981 NFC Championship Game)
Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings (Brett Favre has played for both teams)
San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders
The Governor's Cup: Texas (Houston Oilers/Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys)
The Governor's Cup: Missouri (Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Cardinals/St. Louis Rams)
The Governor's Cup: Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles)
The Governor/Mayor's Cup: New York/New Jersey (New York Jets and New York Giants)
Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles (Memorable Moment: "Bounty Bowls I & II"- 1989 regular season)
New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons
Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins (Donovan McNabb, longtime Eagles QB, now is the Redskins QB)
Washington Redskins and New York Giants
Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders (Memorable Play: "The Immaculate Reception"- 1972 AFC Divisional Playoffs)
San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams

NCAA Basketball:
Tennessee Lady Vols and Connecticut (UConn) Lady Huskies
North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils
Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines
Michigan State Spartans and Ohio State Buckeyes
Purdue Boilermakers and Indiana Hoosiers
Cincinnati Bearcats and Xavier Musketeers

NCAA Football:
Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines (The Game)
Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners (The Red River Rivalry/R3)
Harvard Crimson and Yale Bulldogs (The "Other" Game)
Otterbein Cardinals and Capital Crusaders (The Battle of the Columbus Suburbs)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Southern Cal Trojans
Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans (Paul Bunyan Trophy)
Michigan Wolverines and Minnesota Golden Gophers (Little Brown Jug)
UCLA Bruins and Southern Cal Trojans
Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies
Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers
Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators
Georgia Bulldogs and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Tennessee Volunteers and Alabama Crimson Tide (The Third Saturday in October)
Tennessee Volunteers and Florida Gators
Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles
Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes
Nebraska Cornhuskers and Colorado Buffaloes
Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers (The Civil War)

(Top Five Rivalries)
Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines (The Game)
Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners (The Red River Rivalry/R3)
Harvard Crimson and Yale Bulldogs (The "Other" Game)
UCLA Bruins and Southern Cal Trojans
Miami Hurricanes and Florida State Seminoles

Central Ohio High School Football:
Columbus Bishop Watterson Golden Eagles and Columbus St. Francis DeSales Stallions
Upper Arlington Golden Bears and Thomas Worthington Cardinals
Columbus Beechcroft Cougars and Columbus Brookhaven Bearcats
Columbus Walnut Ridge Scots and Columbus Eastmoor Academy Warriors
Bexley Lions and Columbus Academy Vikings (the Mayor/Headmaster Trophy)
Newark Wildcats and Zanesville Blue Devils (The oldest rivalry in Central Ohio- going back to 1903)
Lancaster Golden Gales and Logan Chieftains
Pickerington Central Tigers and Lancaster Golden Gales
Pickerington Central Tigers and Reynoldsburg Raiders (the Battle of 256)
Dublin Scioto Irish and Worthington Kilbourne Wolves (the Battle of Hard Road)
Hilliard Davidson Wildcats and Dublin Coffman Shamrocks
Westerville North Warriors and Westerville South Wildcats
Delaware Hayes Pacers and Delaware Buckeye Valley Barons
Delaware Hayes Pacers and Lewis Center Olentangy Braves
Olentangy Braves and Sunbury Big Walnut Golden Eagles
Delaware Hayes Pacers and Sunbury Big Walnut Golden Eagles
Powell Olentangy Liberty Patriots and Lewis Center Olentangy Braves
Columbus Bishop Ready Silver Knights and Columbus Bishop Hartley Hawks
Bexley Lions and Whitehall-Yearling Rams
Granville Blue Aces and Heath Bulldogs
Upper Arlington Golden Bears and Hilliard Davidson Wildcats
Gahanna Lincoln Lions and Pickerington Central Tigers
Pataskala Licking Heights Hornets and Pataskala Watkins Memorial Warriors (The Battle of Broad Street)
Westerville Central Warhawks and Sunbury Big Walnut Eagles (The WarEagle Trophy)
Pickerington North Panthers and Pickerington Central Tigers

(Five Past Rivalries)
Columbus Mifflin Punchers and Gahanna Lincoln Lions
Bishop Watterson Golden Eagles and Upper Arlington Golden Bears
Columbus East Tigers and Columbus St. Charles Cardinals
Bexley Lions and Columbus St. Charles Cardinals
Columbus Franklin Heights Falcons and Columbus South Bulldogs

(Five Best Rivalries in the Columbus Area)
1) Bishop Watterson Golden Eagles vs. St. Francis DeSales Stallions
2) Brookhaven Bearcats vs. Beechcroft Cougars
3) Worthington Kilbourne Wolves vs. Dublin Scioto Irish
4) Bishop Hartley Hawks vs. Bishop Ready Silver Knights
5) Westerville South Wildcats vs. Westerville North Warriors

(Five Great Neighborhood Rivalries)
1) Bexley Lions vs. either Bishop Hartley Hawks or St. Charles Cardinals
2) Westerville North Warriors vs. either Westerville South Wildcats or Westerville Central Warhawks
3) Bishop Watterson Golden Eagles vs. St. Francis DeSales Stallions
4) Pickerington Central Tigers vs. Pickerington North Panthers
5) Licking Heights Hornets vs. Watkins Memorial Warriors

(Five Rivalries that are Under the Radar)
1) Columbus East Tigers vs. Columbus Linden McKinley Panthers
2) Galloway Westland Cougars vs. Grove City Central Crossing Comets
3) Gahanna Lincoln Lions vs. Reynoldsburg Raiders
4) Washington Court House Blue Lions vs. Washington Court House Miami Trace Panthers
5) Delaware Hayes Pacers vs. Buckeye Valley Barons

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