UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Beeline: Best all-time rivalries

With 2011’s first installment of the “River City Rumble” set for tonight as the UNF men’s basketball team takes on the cross-town rival Jacksonville University Dolphins, it got me thinking about rivalries.

I’m a big rivalry guy myself. I hold grudges in sports. I still hate the Pittsburgh Steelers for all those games the Jaguars played against them back in the days of the AFC Central, which is why I will be eating cheese and wearing green come Super Bowl Sunday. Go Packers. And don’t even get me started on the Titans, Colts and Texans. The day Peyton Manning retires will be the day I can really be happy again.

Rivalries build sports popularity, and there is nothing wrong with a little bad blood from time to time. So in the spirit of the UNF-JU rivalry week, let’s take a look at some of my all time favorite sports rivalries.

Boston Red Sox vs. the New York Yankees
This one is a no-brainer. The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is possibly the best rivalry in all of sports. The fights this rivalry has sparked have been epic. And the best thing about them is they have no limits. They don’t care who you are or how old you are because if you are wearing the other uniform, you’re fair game for a good pounding. Who can forget in 2003 when Yankee’s assistant Don Zimmer charged the mound at Pedro Martinez, only to be grabbed by the head and thrown in the dirt he was as old as?

The hatred goes back a long way, and most of the last 100 years, the Red Sox came out on the bottom. Always getting beat by the “Evil Empire.”

However, the rivalry came full circle in 2004 when the Red Sox made history by coming back from a three-games-to-none deficit to beat the Yankees in the American League Championship Series. They would go on to rid the ghosts and win their first World Series in almost 100 years. The Yankees had won 25 by that point. This rivalry will never die.

Magic vs. Bird
For this rivalry, I’m going with two people instead of two teams. Irving “Magic” Johnson and Larry “Legend” Bird were destined to be life-long rivals. The rivalry started in their college days when Bird, nicknamed “the Hick from French Lick,” was playing at Indiana State University, and Johnson was putting on shows at Michigan State.

People loved these two playing against each other from the get go. The 1979 NCAA National Championship Game in which Johnson and the Spartans took down Bird and the undefeated Sycamores was the highest rated National Championship of all time.

Once the two got to the NBA, they took it to another level. They were arguably the two best players of their eras. With Bird on the Celtics and Magic on the Lakers, they brought a level of excitement to the game fans had not seen before.

They met three times in the NBA Finals, with Magic taking the title in 1985 and 1987. However, Bird got his ring first when the Celtics stood atop the NBA in 1984.

Bird vs. Magic is second to none when it comes to player rivalries instead of team rivalries.

Ohio State vs. Michigan
People down south think they know college football rivalries. But these down south rivalries like Florida vs. Georgia, Florida State vs. Florida or Florida State vs. Miami are right were they belong when it comes to ranking college football rivalries. They are south and cannot compare to the best rivalry in all of college sports, which is the Ohio State Buckeyes vs. the Michigan Wolverines.

This has everything that makes a good rivalry, and there is no shortage of hate between the two teams. Check that, the two states. Former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes would not even mention the name of Michigan. Instead he would only refer to the Wolverines as “that school up north.”

The two teams have met 107 times with Michigan, holding a 57-44-6 head-to-head advantage. However, Ohio State has won the last seven.

Arguably the best matchup between the two teams was in 2006 when No. 1 Ohio State hosted No. 2 Michigan. It marked the first time the two teams had met when they held the top two spots in the nation. Ohio State edged out Michigan 42-39 in a great game. Fans were begging for a rematch in the National Championship.

The annual Ohio State vs. Michigan game is always saved for their last game of the season. They save the best for last. Other rivalries can’t hold this one’s jock strap.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

Spinnaker intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, slurs, defamation, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and will be removed if they do not adhere to these standards. Spinnaker does not allow anonymous comments, and Spinnaker requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All UNF Spinnaker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • C

    ChadJan 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Saw your article while poking around for rivalry research. Liked your addition of the Bird/Magic comparison, and while the big boys get more publicity, I think the smaller schools’ rivalries can be just as heated–if not more.

    PS. I saw that UNF dropped their game to the Dolphins in OT. That should make the trip to Jacksonville a little more intense. Good luck.