Category Archives: Rivalries

Rivalries: Good, clean old-fashioned hate

Every lady has a woman in their life they just hate (or maybe just mildly loathe or slightly abhor).

You get a Blackberry, she gets an iPhone. You get a BMW 3-Series, she gets an Audi A6. Your new boyfriend is an even 6-feet tall with four-pack abs, her’s is 6-foot-4 with chiseled six-pack abs.

She always seems to one-up you and you can’t stand her for it. Much like the girl in Mean Girls who dupes Rachel McAdams’ character into eating weight gaining bars, you live to one-up her. That’s a rivalry (and yes, I know all about Mean Girls and I think Devil Wears Prada is a terrific movie. Still haven’t seen The Notebook, though. Don’t judge, but I digress)

Here are the top-10 rivalries in sports based on level of hatred between the teams.

10. University of Florida versus University of Georgia (Football)

9. Oklahoma University versus University of Texas (Football)

8. South Africa versus New Zealand (Rugby)

7. San Francisco Giants versus Los Angeles Dodgers (Baseball)

6. Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal (Tennis)

5. Boston Celtics versus Los Angeles Lakers (Basketball)

4. University of Michigan versus Ohio State (Football)

3. New York Yankees versus Boston Red Sox (Baseball)

2. Duke University versus University of North Carolina (Basketball)

1. Brasil versus Argentina (Soccer)

Honorable Mention: University of Alabama vs. Auburn (Football), Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Baseball), Southern Cal vs. Notre Dame (Football), USA vs. Mexico (Soccer), Miami Dolphins vs. NY Jets (Football)

When that lady-rival walks into the room, there is a noticeable tension present. Your adrenaline is pumping, your insults cut deeper, and you notice every fashion faux pas that even Stacey and Clinton wouldn’t pick up (What Not to Wear is just a good show, I’m sorry. Actually I’m not sorry, I’ll watch a marathon of that show any day).

The same holds true for sports rivalries. Yanks-Sox games just feel more important than any other match-up that day. The added pressure of rivalries often fires up players to play above and beyond their normal capabilities. Others wilt under the pressure.

A victory over a rival makes food taste a bit better, traffic seem not so stressful, and phone bills seem not so bad. Kinda like grabbing the last Marc Jacobs bag on sale just ahead of your hated rival. Oh ya…

Something to try: My favorite team is the SF Giants so there’s nothing wrong with referring to the LA Dodgers as the f%&#ing Dodgers. Or being a Hurricane – the f%&#ing Seminoles and f%&#ing Gators. Try doing it with your team’s rival (but not at church or in the presence of sophisticated company).

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