What is the Best Rivalry In Sports?

Posted: March 24, 2012 by Rob Barros in MLB, NBA, NCAA Football, NFL, Sports

Everyone has their opinions on what is the best rivalry in sports. Here is what we each believe is the best rivalry in sports.

Shawn: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers. The best rivalry in all of sports has to be the Celtics and the Lakers. The two have met in the in the NBA Finals Twelve times (Celtics have won 9, Lakers 3). They have a rivalry going back to the late 50’s and arguably the biggest player-player rivalry in all sports as well (Larry Bird-Magic Johnson). The Celtics and Lakers, unlike most rivalries, have been competitive in almost every decade since the beginning of it. Combined they have 33 championships, Celtics 17 and Lakers 16, and the rest of the NBA has 65, which means that just these two teams have over half of all the championships in the NBA. In closing these two teams represented more than just a sports rivalry, it is also blue-collar men (Bostonians) vs. the rich, upper-class (whatever you call people from Los Angeles).

Rob: New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox. To me, the greatest sports rivalry is the Yankees and the Red Sox. Whenever you have a rivalry that is over a century long, you know it is something special. Of course, the rivalry really became something special on December 26th, 1919, on that date, Babe Ruth was officially sold from the Red Sox to the Yankees. That began what would be an 86 yearlong championship drought known as “The Curse of the Bambino.” This rivalry has had its share of heated moments. Like the Pedro Martinez/Don Zimmerman incident and, the A-Rod/Varitek fight. With 100 yearlong rivalries, comes the historical moments. One moment that the Yankees will always remember, and the Red Sox will want to always forget is Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. Aaron Boone’s name will forever live in Yanks/Sox lore with his series winning homerun in the bottom of the 11th inning against Tim Wakefield. The main thing the Red Sox will always remember and the Yankees want to forget happened in the 2004 ALCS. The Red Sox became the only team in sports history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win the series. As expected, their opponent was the Yankees. Now the Yanks and Sox are two of the highest spending teams in the MLB. Both teams are always in the running for a star player, and it is those star studded rosters that make each meeting something to see. Every time these 2 teams meet, you can expect some fireworks to ensue, nothing less should be expected in this classic rivalry this season, and for the years ahead.

Jonny: Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks. One of the most intense rivalries if the not the most intense rivalry in the NBA would in my opinion have to be between The Miami Heat and The New York Knicks. This rivalry has gone on for the past decade, and every time these two teams play each other it is always a heated match. It seemed to start when the former head coach Pat Riley who ironically left the Knicks to coach the Heat became their coach back in 1991. He brought a much more aggressive style of coaching to the Knicks which he in turned brought to the Heat. These two teams became the first teams in NBA history to play each-other in the playoffs for 4 consecutive seasons, with each series going to the maximum number of games. The biggest game these teams ever played against each other would have to be the 1997 Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 5. The fight between Knicks’ Charlie Ward, and the Heat’s PJ Brown, was a deciding factor in the series. This resulted in the Knicks’ Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston, and Charlie Ward to miss Game 6. Larry Johnson and John Starks were suspended for Game 7. PJ Brown would miss the rest of the series. Those suspensions proved to be huge as the Heat came back from a 3-1 series deficit to win the series in game 7. Another thing that was always big in the Knicks/Heat rivalry was the matchups between Patrick Ewing of the Knicks, and Alonzo Mourning of the Heat. Those two were never a bore to watch because they always brought their “A” game. Today, the rivalry has some more flare back to it with the Heat putting together the ‘Big 3’ of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and the Knicks adding star players like Carmelo Anthony, and Amare Stoudemire.

Brennan: Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes. (NCAAF) You have Boston vs. New York, UNC vs. Duke, and you also have Michigan vs. OSU. Michigan vs. OSU is arguably the biggest rivalry in all of sports. The Michigan/OSU rivalry started in 1897 with Michigan winning 34-0 over the Buckeyes. Michigan owns the biggest victory in the series which was an 86-0 win in 1902. Michigan also owns the overall series record at 56-43-6 as well as the longest winning streak at 9 which was from 1901-1909. The Game is much more than a game since it puts up two of the most storied programs in college sports. Although the Buckeyes have owned the Wolverines the past 7 years Michigan beat their rivals this past year. ‘The Game’ has produced such stars as Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard, Archie Griffin, Ted Ginn Jr, Chris Carter, and AJ Hawk. The rivalry will only get larger with the addition of Urban Meyer as the Buckeyes new head coach. As for now GO BLUE.

Honorable Mentions: Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins, New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins, Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants, Duke Blue Devils vs. UNC Tar Heels, Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks (1990’s), Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier. If you feel any other rivalries should be added, feel free to say so in the comments.

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Comments
  1. joe barros says:

    Jets vs Dolphins should at least be an honorable mention.

  2. Rob Barros says:

    Figured you say that.

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