Duke/UNC, Sox/Yanks, Cubs/Cards, Cats/Cards, Vols/Tide…See a pattern? Any time these teams play one another the opposing fans absolutely loathe the other team. Hell, in most cases the teams hate one another.
In team sports, rivalries do a lot of things. They rile emotions, set the table for epic battles, and most importantly to The Man, they sell tickets. But where does all this hatred stem from?
Rivalries stem from one of four places: proximity, competition, tradition, or a moment. Each of these factors can add up to a rivalry and it is highly debatable which type of rivalry is the most exciting. Hit the jump to see some examples of each type of rivalry. Who knows, your team might just be kicking the shit out of Jefferson High (they’re our rivals!)
Competition breeds hatred in sports. Nothing says competition like Bosox and Yanks. These have been playing one another for over one hundred years and the Yankees lead the series by a little over 100 games (after nearly 2,000 played). Each team has lost to the other over 800 times. That is a lot of heartache and heartbreak for one team to dish out on another.
Regular season battles are fun, but what sets this rivlary apart is in recent history they have taken the ALCS by storm. The Sox have squared off with the Yanks 3 times in the last 8 ALCS. That has been the biggest stage in baseball lately as the AL has won 6 of the last 9 World Series. The ALCS has turned into the Yankees and Red Sox play ground and basically has been for the championship when they’ve played one another.
Add to all this that simply walking into Yankee statium with a “B” hat on or into Fenway with a “NY” hat will get you mugged at least. Raped is probably the more accurate term for what will befall you. These fans flat-out hate one another. The rest of America’s baseball fans hate both teams and still can’t help but watch when they play. It doesn’t get much more competitive than that.
Duke/UNC is a classic example of proximity fueling a rival. It can be argued that competition (both being high sucessful ACC teams) fuels this rivalry, but these two teams absolutely battle even when one isn’t that good. Eight miles is all that seperates these two schools and that is what fuels their hatred for one another.
These two schools have been playing one another since 1920. That’s a lot of years for this rivalry to grow. Also, it’s a college rivalry and what fires up a college rivalry better than money? No, not the amount that the dean paid that tranny to move to Vegas, we’re talking private vs. public. The rich kids vs. the poor kids. The Socs vs. the Greasers. Alright, you get the point. But the fact that Duke is private (and full of assholes) and UNC is public (and full of white trash) does not do one thing to ease the tension in this rivalry.
Finally, we visit with the Dukies one more time here to introduce a rivalry that is about as odd as they come. We’re of course talking about UK-Duke folks. In one second (okay 2.1 seconds) Christian Laettner’s 17-footer changed the course of UK history. No longer could Cats fans just hate IU and Louisville. They had a blue-brother to hate.
To this staff’s knowledge, there aren’t many (any?) other rivalries that boil down to one play. That single shot in 1992 has fueled an intense hatred for Duke University in the Bluegrass state. There may be more interesting rivalries to watch in sport, but it simply can’t be possible that one has a more interesting beginning.
Some will claim this rivalry started in 1930 because that is truly the first time the Universities matched up with one another. The truth is that 1992 was the beginning of this rivalry, and it will never stop. By the way, UK does lead the all-time series 11-8. Just in case you were wondering.