The 10 Best Rivalries in Sports
All this recent talk about the Duke-North Carolina rivalry has had me wondering about that age-old question: Which is the best rivalry in sports?
Fans have been arguing this question since what seems like the dawn of time.
Rivalries are what make sports so great. They often fill stadiums and arenas to capacity just so fans can see the epic battle of two rivals.
Every sport from college basketball to tennis has their rivalries that often leave fans buzzing about it for days.
Week after week there seems to be some heated discussion about a rivalry matchup that is coming up. Some rivalries are monumental while others are hardly mentionable.
A team could be having a horrible year, but if they beat their arch-rival, then some good can still come out of the season.
Rivalries often decides championships, divisions, and above all, who gets those bragging rights.
Whenever you are analyzing a matchup between two rivals, normal statistics can normally be thrown out. Players and fans alike pour their hearts and souls into these game more so than any other game.
No matter how bad a team may be playing, teams always seem to step it up a notch when their rival comes up on the schedule.
Everyone has their own argument about which is the best rivalry in all of sports. I would be here for days trying to narrow that down, and there would never be a clear consensus on the which is the best.
So instead of trying to narrow it down to just one, I narrowed it down to 10, which is still extremely tough.
And before I get tons of feedback saying I left out their team's respective rivalry, I am fully aware of leaving out many great rivalries. This slide show would go on forever to name every great rivalry.
The biggest rivalry to come out of women's college basketball features the two most dominant teams ever in the sport. The two teams have a combined 13 national titles and are consistently ranked in the Top 5.
UConn has dominated in their four championship meetings with the Lady Vols and leads the all-time series 13-9.
9. Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer
The Nadal-Federer rivalry may not be as old as some other sports rivalries, but the fierceness still remains. Nadal recently took the meeting between the two tennis stars in five sets at the Australian Open. Nadal also owns the overall series 13-6.
8. Canadiens-Maple Leafs
Not only is it the oldest rivalry in the NHL, it is also probably the nastiest. These two teams from Canada have met in the Stanley Cup Finals five times.
What makes this rivalry so much bigger is the much larger rivalry between the two cities of Montreal and Toronto. Fans of these two teams take their hockey very seriously.
The rivalry had died off somewhat, but both teams are still in the same division which makes for plenty of meetings between the two each season.
The game known as the "Red River Rivalry" has been a part of college football since 1900. For anyone that's not a history buff, Oklahoma was still considered a territory back then.
When these two teams get together you can always expect a shootout. A majority of the series has been played in Dallas, which is a neutral site. The series sits at 58-40-5 in favor of Texas and the Longhorns have also won three of the last four.
6. Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears
The Packers-Bears rivalry is the oldest the NFL has to offer. The teams first took the field against each other in 1921, when the Bears were actually called the Staleys.
The series is almost even with the Bears having a slight edge 91-80. There is also six ties in the series history.
5. San Francisco Giants-Los Angeles Dodgers
What makes the Giants-Dodgers rivalry so great is the rich, fertile history it possesses. The clubs first met in 1883 and have since played 2,294 times.
With both teams being in the NL West, the fans get plenty of opportunities to see the Giant-Dodgers rivalry. As long as the series is, its almost deadlocked with the Giants only having a 18-game lead over the thousands of game they've played.
4. Los Angeles Lakers-Boston Celtics
This is perhaps the best NBA rivalry of all-time. These two teams have met 11 times in the NBA Finals, including last season's epic battle where the Celtics took the series 4-2.
The Celtics have taken the NBA Finals from the Lakers all but two times in their history.
3. Michigan-Ohio State
The Michigan-Ohio State rivalry has been a little weak as of late, but the history between these two teams is vast. This game usually comes at the end of every season, and usually decides the Big Ten title, which is the recipe for a good rivalry.
The first meeting between the two teams was in 1897 and Michigan leads the overall series 57-42, along with six ties.
2. Duke-North Carolina
Duke and North Carolina continue their fierce rivalry tonight as the team's meet for the 226th time. North Carolina won their last meeting 76-68 on 16 points from Tyler Hansbrough.
1. Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees
You really didn't think I would leave out the best rivalry in all of sports did you? Well, I saved the best for last.
No other rivalry in sports matches this rivalry's energy and passion. Whether you're a baseball fan or not, when the opening pitch of Yankees-Red Sox series is thrown, odds are you're watching.
The rivalry dates all the way back to 1901 but first got big when Babe Ruth was traded to the Yankees, thus creating the "Curse of the Bambino."
This rivalry has never weakened and perhaps only gets stronger and stronger each year. With the exception of last season's Cinderella story of the Tampa Bay Rays, these teams have battled for the AL East crown almost every year, which usually comes down to the last week.