The 10 Greatest Rivalries in Sports

Hamza AhsanCorrespondent IJuly 22, 2010

Rivalries are what sports fans of different teams use to connect to each other.

Whether it's a rivalry in high school, college, or even pro teams, a big rivalry never changes the hatred you have toward that other team.

Looking back in sports history, some of the best games played have been between rivals. A lot of the most exciting moments in sports happen when one team is facing a rival.

Whenever a sports fan thinks of a game to go to, the first thing that pops up is usually his/her favorite team facing their rival.

Rival games are arguably the most important game to win not only for the fans, but for the organization to have bragging rights on the other. Now, let's check out the top ten greatest rivalries in all of sports. 


10.   USC vs.   Notre Dame

Started:   1926

Record:   Notre Dame leads, 42-33-5

Two of college footballs biggest powerhouses have had one of the most exciting rivalries in NCAA football history.

The two teams usually have great games and teams in each of their meetings during this long-lived rivalry. They have combined for the most national titles (22), Heisman Trophy Winners (14), and NFL players.

The things that makes the rivalry so unique is all the big time players that have played in it and the media coverage that the rivalry receives.

Out of all the games in college football, none of them get the media coverage that ESPN gives the USC-Notre Dame rivalry, especially Lee Corso.


9.   Montreal Canadiens vs.  Toronto Maple Leafs

Started:     1917

Record:   Montreal Canadiens Lead, 329-281-88

One of the most historic and talked about rivalries in NHL history, the Maple Leafs vs. the Canadiens is always a series that has the people of Canada on its feet.

The rivalry, that started with the creation of Original Six, has given fans the opportunity to watch two of the best franchises in NHL history face off against each other five or six times per year.

What makes this series so special is that the teams have played each other often in the playoffs and even have played each other in the Stanley Cup five times, with Toronto leading 3-2.

Although this series is not as talked about, a lot of the big time hockey fans know that this rivalry is the most important in all of hockey.


8.   Los Angeles Lakers vs.   Boston Celtics

Started:   1948

Record:   Boston Celtics Lead, 152-120

The biggest series in basketball has been known to showcase the greatest games, the greatest players, and the greatest teams in NBA history.

Whenever you think of rivalries in the NBA you might think about the Bulls vs. the Pistons or the Rockets vs. the Spurs, but the answer that you would probably think of in terms of history, popularity, and the excitement the rivalry brings, is probably going to be the Lakers-Celtics rivalry.

Even though the rivalry started play in 1948, it didn't get big until the 1960's, when the Lakers and Celtics had some of the best teams in their franchises' history.

The big selling point to making this the top NBA rivalry was the big rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

With these two players meeting so frequently in NBA Finals and providing their best basketball gameplay during the Lakers vs. Celtics games, this series picked up and has ended up to be a huge rivalry to this day.


7.   Barcelona vs   Real Madrid

Started: 1929

Record: Real Madrid Leads, 68-62-30

The biggest soccer rivalry in the world features two of the winningest soccer franchises in Spain and always seems to be a big-time event.

The soccer match showcases two of La Liga's original teams and has been known for tearing apart the cities of Barcelona and Madrid.

The match, known as El Clásico, has been known to occur more frequently than during the regular season because a lot of the times, both teams have had to face off in major Cup games.

El Clásico has been a rivalry that has shown many of the top talents who have ever played the game of soccer.

Players like Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Raul, Luis Suarez, and Kaka are some of the top stars that have played this game.

If you are looking for a great soccer rivalry and great game play, check out matches of El Clásico.


6.   Army vs.   Navy

Started:  1890

Record:  Navy Leads, 54-49-7

When you think of the Army and the Navy you probably think of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan, but what you don't usually think of is the hard fought rivalry between these two teams.

The Army-Navy rivalry has been one of college football's longest standing rivalries.

Even though you don't hear too much about these teams nowadays, there still is no denying how intense this rivalry actually is.

I have heard a lot from football players from both schools, and they have told me that this game is the one game on their schedule that they look forward to.

This rivalry was even more intense in the 1940's and 1950's when both schools had some of their best teams of all time.

These schools provided such hard fought games between each other and the highlights of past games demonstrate how much fun and heart that these players have.


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