Losing their Luster: Power Ranking the 10 Most Overrated Rivalries in Sports Today
Since the very beginnings of sports, there have always been rivals. You know—that guy who you just can't stand? The guy who just rubs you the wrong way?
Well, it's true.
Rivalries are what fuel the fire that is sport—they are the very essence of competition, and they play a colossal role in how sports (and the world, for that matter) function on a day-to-day basis.
Some rivalries are the cream of the crop, while others are complete media build-ups that never quite reach the limelight, or are completely overrated.
Here are (in no particular order) the 10 most overrated rivalries in sports today.
Follow Alec Dopp on Twitter: @doppler9000.
Probably the biggest media overkill in sports history, the LeBron James-Kobe Bryant strife has yet to even reach a tipping-point that would qualify it as a "rivalry."
The two have played just 16 games against one another since James entered the league back in 2003, and have yet to compete in a postseason contest.
How does that qualify the two as "rivals"?
My guess is as good as yours.
The Cowboys and Redskins have participated in some of football's most exciting and physically gruesome games in NFL history, but their so-called "rivalry" has failed to live up to the captivating history.
Sure, last season the two teams went down to the wire on Sunday night football in a 13-7 Redskins victory, but where has the "take no prisoners" mentality gone?
Now, there's no disputing that both Crosby and Ovechkin are superstar talents in their own right, but the media-generated hype surrounding the rivalry between the two is completely and utterly overrated.
The two have cooperated in 21 games upon their entrance to the NHL back in the 2005-2006 season, but have become completely overshadowed by the rest of the league's success in the 2010-2011 season.
Granted, Crosby missed a bulk of his season with a concussion, but if the two were truly the "best in the business," you'd expect them to carry their respective teams to the NHL Finals by now.
For the time being, this is just a completely overestimated rivalry.
The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is without question the most historic clash between two organizations in sports history, but the lack of fuel to the fire lately makes it simply an overblown event when the two get together.
Normally, when these two teams go head-to-head at either Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium, there is an undeniable feeling in the air—the feeling like a fight could break out at any time.
I can't remember the last time the two tussled on the field.
Even so, the two are still the cream of the crop atop the AL East, so this rivalry will always maintain the hatred necessary to survive the test of time.
Where did the animosity go?
For as far back as anyone can remember, there has never been a more "soft" time in NASCAR history than what is currently happening each Sunday of the 2011 season.
What happened to Tony Stewart's temper? How about the Busch brothers?
NASCAR has a serious problem on its hands.
When Tiger Woods took his fall from grace back in November of 2009, his historic rivalry with Phil Mickelson may have fallen with him.
For the better part of 12 years, the two participated in some of the most memorable and well-known bouts in sports history.
Now, Mickelson hasn't won a major since his 2010 Masters victory, and Tiger is now winless since his unforgettable US Open victory back in 2008.
This rivalry is so one-sided, it's embarrassing.
The tradition and lore associated with the Ohio State-Michigan football rivalry dates back to the very beginnings of college football, and will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports history.
Be that as it may, it is the Buckeyes who have thoroughly dominated the rivalry—winning seven straight against the Wolverines and nine of the last 10 meetings between the two.
Sure, there will always be undeniable bitterness between the two football programs. But as far as the statistics are concerned, Ohio State-Michigan should be just another game on the schedule.
Honestly, will this fight ever happen?
The rumored fight (and by rumored, I mean completely impractical) between Paquiao and Mayweather has been running amok for the last few years now, but it's highly doubtful these two ever step into a ring together.
It's amazing, though. The two have never fought, yet they'll remain bitter rivals until the end.
Another rivalry between two classic foes, the Cardinals-Cubs hatred hasn't lived up to what it has represented for the past three decades.
Since the very first game way back on October 14, 1885, the two franchises have played each other 2,156 games—clearly enough to classify the two as rivals.
However, as we know well in full, rivalries are based upon a series of brawls and conflicts. Where has that gone in this particular rivalry?
Where to begin?
The Notre Dame-USC rivalry dates back to 1926, marking the commencement of one of the most important inter-sectional rivalries in college football.
Now 81 games later (Notre Dame leads with a 43-33-5 overall record), this rivalry is regularly scheduled each year. The only difference is, the two teams aren't the powerhouses they claim to be.
Still, the media continues to rave about the historical importance of the game itself, but is it really one of the best rivalries in sports?
I didn't think so.