Rivalries: some are just getting old, boring

By Kevin Spitz

Rivalries are one of the nuances in sports that make the games extra special. There are many different kinds of rivalries that exist today, some entrenched in lots of history. For instance, today the Bears and Packers remain very fierce rivals, though the people involved in the initial rivalries are long gone.

It all began when George Halas shut the Packers down for an entire year after the team fielded college players. Once the Packers were thrown out of the league, Halas signed the college football players to the Bears, and the Packers were reinstated.

Every game the Bears play against the Packers has a lot of hype and is extremely exciting. That’s what happens when bitter rivals play each other only twice per year.

Many Cubs and White Sox fans definitely do not see eye to eye. The crosstown series between the White Sox and Cubs always sell out U.S. Cellular and Wrigley fields and are filled with some of the most creative heckling to come out of the Windy City. But, personally, though I am a White Sox fan, I don’t wish any ill will toward the Cubs.

A lot of White Sox fans absolutely hate the Cubs. The only thing better than a Sox win to these fans, is a Cubs loss. That’s not the way I like to look at it. To me the Cubs are just another team. They do not play in the White Sox’s league. Certainly the games against the Cubs are exciting for bragging rights, but when the Sox and Cubs do not play against each other I don’t really care.

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The Sox and Cubs face each other six times per year. They play against each other just enough to make the series remain exciting.

Now turn to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. Tomorrow they play their fifth game of the season against each other. That means five nights of being the lead story on SportsCenter, and I for one am already bored. I don’t even know how I am going to get through the next 14 games they play against each other.

The fact of the matter is 19 games against each other make this once historic rivalry old and boring. In the context of a division rivalry, it works. In every sports league, be it professional or amateur, teams play their division rivals more than other teams across the league.

It makes sense that in baseball a team plays others in its division a good number of times.

But this rivalry has gotten to the point where it has very little to do with the fact that these two teams are division rivals, and a lot more to do with the two teams come from New York and Boston. When you discuss these two teams, though, it’s important to recognize that the city rivalry is all a fake.

Every time these two teams play each other, the hype from ESPN is overwhelming, as if the players on these two teams have an innate hatred for one another.

Give me a break.

Let’s hype up the teams that are playing well against each other – that present interesting stories and matchups. The Red Sox versus Yankees “rivalry” is old and boring, as anything would become if it were shoved down your throat 19 times per year. It no longer stands on its own merits. One game in 19 just does not have much meaning.

Give me a good game, not another recycled rivalry.

Kevin Spitz is a senior in Engineering. He can be reached at [email protected]