Thursday, February 09, 2012

My personal top 5 rivalries

Last night, Dick Vitale spent much of the evening saying how there was no argument that Duke-UNC was the greatest rivalry in the world. Well, I think there is an argument. First off, it depends on your definition of what makes a rivalry great. Is it the number of people involved with a rooting interest? Well, then it's probably an international soccer rivalry, like China versus Japan. Lots of people in both countries, and historic animosity. And really, more people hate both teams than pick a side with Duke-UNC. Is it the level of animosity between the two sides and their fan bases? More than 70 people were killed after a match in Egypt this past week. When was the last time there was that kind of an incident at Duke-UNC? (This is a good thing that this hasn't happened, for the record).
No, the greatest rivalries are all personal. I couldn't care less about the Yankees and Red Sox or Duke and North Carolina. These are rivalries I actually care about. Matchups that, when they occur, really get my blood boiling, because of my own personal experience.

5) Purdue vs Wisconsin (college football): This is a matchup that will likely only ever appear on my own personal list, but since I grew up in Minnesota and learned to hate Wisconsin, and then had the team rip out my heart in 2004, thanks to a Kyle Orton fumble and subsequent Wisconsin touchdown return, they have always been a source of anxiety, every time I see them on the field.

4) Purdue vs Indiana (college basketball): Purdue is a basketball school, first and foremost, and their annual games against the Hoosiers are always a highlight. I learned early that the Hoosiers are not to be trusted.

3) Twins vs White Sox (Baseball): The Twins are my favorite team in all sports, and I have a high level of disdain for all American League Central teams (and the Yankees, but that's not really a rivalry, so much as a complete destruction), but having lived near Chicago for a few years, and having a team that more or less is on the same overall success arc as the Twins over the last decade pushes the Sox to the top of my "greatest rivalry" list. Well, in baseball, anyways.

2) Wild vs Canucks (Hockey): Ever since Matt Cooke, I just can't ever take it upon myself to wish anything but harm on the Canucks. I actually hate Vancouver so much, that I am glad the NHL is realigning, so I don't have to see their ugly faces as much.

1) Colts vs Patriots (Football): I am a pretty mellow sports fan, especially when it comes to the NFL. I am what you might call coldly analytical. I am OK with watching games in silence, because I usually do. That would be the reason for surprise when I yell at my TV whenever the Colts and Patriots play. While this Super Bowl proved to me that I don't unconditionally hate the Patriots, it did prove to me that I do feel that way about Indianapolis. Why else would I feel so passionately about the Colts beating New England? There is no greater feeling than the Colts beating the Patriots.

At least, not in my book. Like I said, this is all about your own perspective.

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