Okay, it would be impossible to come up with a Top 10 list of the greatest rivalries in sports history.
That's just not possible because, well, there are 10 rivalries in college football that stand out right now. So, I’m going to take a different approach and just list the top rivalries of all time in each of the following sports: the NFL, college football, golf, hockey, horse racing, boxing, college basketball, NBA basketball and MLB baseball.
That should do it!
Top Rivalries of All Time
NFL Football —Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Forget it. Sure, the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons hate each other and the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins despise each other, but the Packers and Bears are just big time, throw it down, old school football rivals.
I could write a book on how badly these teams hate each other. You think Packer fans are upset that Favre plays for the Vikings? Put him in a Bears’ uniform and then we can talk about being upset!
This rivalry goes back to the dawn of football as we know it and the fact that both teams are decent in 2009, means that the rivalry will continue to be as hot as it always has been.
College Football —Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines
This rivalry is so intense that HBO did a documentary on it .
How intense is this?
Former Buckeye’s Coach John Cooper had a winning team with Ohio State and won a Rose Bowl, but was still fired because he couldn’t beat Michigan. So intense, that if Rich Rodriguez beats Ohio State in 2009, his job will be secure. If he doesn’t, alumni will call for his head.
So intense, that an a-hole like Woody Hayes could continue to beat up his players year in and year out and keep his job because he goes after the Wolverines. Just beat Ohio State, Michigan and just beat Michigan, Ohio State.
That’s all that anyone involved with either one of these teams cares about. They’d rather go 1-10 every year if the lone victory is against their hated rival, than go to the Rose Bowl every year forever.
Golf —Jack Nicklaus vs. Arnold Palmer
The Golden Bear, that’s Nicklaus, out dueled Palmer for seven major titles between 1962 and 1967. So, there wasn’t really a rivalry. But golf is more of a public opinion sport than anything and Arnold Palmer was the most popular golfer to ever walk the earth until Jack came around.
Today, the two men are still rivalries in the advertising world as both of them continue to fight for pitchman dollars.
Hockey —Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadians
From 1944 to 1978, the Leafs and Canadians met each other in the playoffs 12 times and faced off in the Stanley Cup Finals five times.
This rivalry is also symbolic of two seemingly different cultures. Montreal is French-Canadian; Toronto is not. That’s the real reason that the fans from these teams can’t stand each other.
Also, for the longest time, there wasn’t a team in Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton. You were either a Leafs fan or a Canadians fan.