Past or present, what is the biggest rivalry in sports history?
No matter the level of sports, rivalries are a part of sports.
Rivalries are what fuel sports, they make sports fun. Players, coaches and fans all love rivalries because it brings out the best in players.
Big-name players make big-game plays when they take on rival teams.
All levels of sports have witnessed rivalries such as Army versus Navy back in the 40’s and 50’s, AFL verses NFL along with individual rivalries like Jerry Rice against Deion Sanders.
No matter the rivalry they all have a story behind them.
Ryan and Brendan debate on what they believe is the best rivalry in sports history.
There are a lot of sports rivalries that come to mind when I think about the greatest but the single one that pops out in my mind is Auburn University versus the University of Alabama.
The rivalry started on Feb. 22, 1893 and immediately sparked controversy. Auburn won the matchup 32–22 and both teams argued whether the game should count for the 1892 or 1893 season. The controversy ensued from there on.
The teams battled back and forth for years until they took a 40 year hiatus from 1908 to 1948 before the teams finally stepped on the field to face each other once again.
For the longest time Alabama always held the game in Tuscaloosa, Auburn never liked the fact they could not host the game and reasoned that’s why Bama leads the series 42–32–1.
All of those years I was not alive for, but the main reason I believe this rivalry is the best is because of the 2013 Iron Bowl. A miraculous finish to a game that, statistically, should have not been that close.
In a game where Chris Davis did the unthinkable, a game where the War Eagles, statically, should not have won.
We all know how that game developed and ended but its plays and games like the one that occurred on Nov. 30 that make rivalries so special.
After that game I expect the Auburn vs. Alabama rivalry to thrive for many years to come.
When it comes to sports rivalries this one is that all others are compared to and is arguably the greatest of all time, the New York Yankees versus the Boston Red Sox.
This rivalry has been going strong for more than 100 years ever since the two teams first faced each other in 1901.
In 1919 the series heated up. Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees and began the “Curse of the Bambino.” Red Sox faithful believed by trading Ruth they were cursed.
The curse lasted for 86 years, during that span the Red Sox did not win a single World Series while the Yankees went on to win 26 titles. The curse was snapped in 2004 when the Red Sox swept the Cardinals in the World Series.
Whenever these two teams play each other it draws national attention. The games are always a high profile event and attract widespread media coverage. Yankees versus Red Sox games are the most watched games of the season, according to MLB.
These two teams do not like each other. Throughout the years there have been plenty of fights and altercations leading to the benches clearing out and players running onto the field.
Most notably was the 2003 ALCS when Roger Clemens threw a pitch in the direction of Manny Ramirez’s head. Ramirez started to approach the mound and the benches immediately cleared.
Yankees assistant coach Don Zimmer was roughed up when Pedro Martinez grabbed Zimmer by the head and threw him to the ground.
This rivalry has only carried into the playoffs three times but it has been some of the greatest playoff matchups in recent memory, including the 2003 and 2004 ALCS.
In 2003 Yankee first basemen Aaron Boone hit a game seven walk-off home run in the 11th inning off of Tim Wakefield’s first pitch of the inning.
The Red Sox got revenge just one year later in the 2004 ALCS, in the most improbable fashion that no one could have predicted. The Yankees quickly jumped out to a 3-0 series lead but the Red Soxs battled back and won the next four games.
These two teams are in the same division, which means they play 18 times in one season and have played over 2,000 games since the start of the rivalry.
The Red Sox are the defending champions and N.Y. made some great off season trades, leading to a high chance of these teams meeting in the playoffs this season.