By Daniel Friedman
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We love our sports teams, which means we hate the ones that try getting in the way. What can we say? We’re passionate about these things. And when our teams aren’t involved, it sure is exciting to watch other rivals square off. Here are the 11 best rivalries in sports:
Honorable Mention: Barcelona/Real Madrid, Blackhawks/Red Wings, Islanders/Rangers, Knicks/Nets, Penguins/Flyers
11. A-Rod/Bud Selig
Sometimes, the back-and-forth between these two gets more attention than their own sport.
They started out battling for supremacy of National League baseball in New York. Migrating to the West Coast hasn’t changed a thing. These two teams still hate each other.
They’re two of the best teams in football, and they’ll probably compete for Super Bowl appearances for years to come. Oh, and they’re located relatively close to one another.
This one goes back a while, but even though the Jets have been disappointing recently, Rex Ryan has kept the fire burning.
7. Duke/North Carolina (basketball)
Both programs are usually among the best in the NCAA, and both have a great deal of excellence and tradition. Both can’t be the best, and that’s made for epic competition between the two sides.
Two of the NHL’s “Original Six,” the Canadiens and Bruins have been going at it for decades. They’ve met each other several times in the playoffs recently, and it’s abundantly clear that they still hate each other’s guts.
It’s the oldest rivalry in the NFL, the one that all other rivalries are measured against. Doesn’t matter how much time has passed since it first evolved — it will always be this way.
4. Michigan/Ohio State (football)
I’ve heard stories about people with Michigan license plates being pulled over in Columbus. I believe those stories, because the rivalry between the two programs is that strong.
One need not go back to the days of Bird and Magic — just look at what transpired not too long ago, when Kobe Bryant and Paul Pierce were fighting for NBA titles.
2. Yankees/Red Sox
Babe Ruth, Bucky (f****n) Dent, the 2004 playoffs, Pedro Martinez vs. Don Zimmer. I could go on, but I think you get the point.
1. Canadiens/Maple Leafs
Toronto vs. Montreal is not only one of the deepest-rooted rivalries in pro sports, but it also has several undertones. It’s the French vs. English, blue-collar vs. white-collar and so on. It might not be on your radar, but it should be. This is everything you could ask for and more in a thrilling, dramatic sports rivalry.
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