Rivalries spark sports world

All Sports consist of great rivalries. Some are pictured here.

All Sports consist of great rivalries. Some are pictured here.

Rivalries have been a part of sports for so long. It could be because of the proximity of schools or the differences between schools that drive the players and students crazy. Players train all off season so that they come back stronger and faster not just for the season, but for that one game that they all circle on the calendar just seconds after the final horn from the previous season.

Rivalries have changed the culture of sports. If we didn’t have rivalries, sports would miss some of the greatest moments. We wouldn’t have those games that have us on the edge of our seats, have us screaming as loud as we can to pump up a defense or to give that player the energy and adrenaline to keep fighting.

Every play and every pitch means that much more when we’re playing “that team up north” or “that team over on north bend”. In honor of one of the biggest games of the year for the Panthers, I have picked out some of the biggest rivalries in sports history.

Ohio State and Michigan

You know it’s the week of “The Game” when Ohio State fans are taking the M’s out of their names on social media. This rivalry of neighboring states has made the sight of maize and blue or scarlet and gray drive fans crazy. These two schools hate each other and the angst dates back all the way to 1897. These two schools have dominated the Big Ten for years. Michigan leads the series 58-45-6. But even though the series is in Michigan’s favor, the Buckeyes have dominated the series in recent years.

New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox

This rivalry goes all the way back to the beginning of baseball. This is hands down the best rivalry of America’s past time. The clubs have their fair share of bench clearing brawls. Pitchers throwing at batters is never an uncommon sight when these two clubs are squaring off on the diamond. Boston traded away the Great Bambino, and for those of you who don’t know who that is, it’s Babe Ruth. Babe Ruth is one of the most iconic players in the game, and the Red Sox traded him to the Yankees. It is still a sour topic ion Boston since it delivered the curse of Babe. The cursed was not lifted until 2003 when the Sox’s came back from a 3-0 series deficit and won the series, winning four straight games, and later winning the World Series.

Auburn and Alabama

This rivalry has torn the state of Alabama and its households apart who have one Bama fan and one Tiger fan. The Iron Bowl has been one of the greatest sports rivalries and has been dubbed as the “wildest rivalry in sports”. How could one disagree?  In 2010, a Cam Newton jersey was placed on the beloved Bear Bryant statue after Newton lead the Tigers back from a 24 point deficit. One man was angered like no other, Harvey Updyke. He has lived and breathed “Roll Tide” all of his life. He decided to poison the twin oak trees on Toomer’s Corner, which is and was considered a state landmark. If this doesn’t tell you how crazy this rivalry is then I don’t know what else does. This rivalry is one of the most heated and fans take it personally when something of theirs is damaged or “disgraced”.

Duke and North Carolina

This one has the basketball world always on edge. They two schools are 10 miles away from each other, along Tobacco Road. If you think Elder students are crazy when they play a GCL foe, these students from the respective schools make us look like pre-school kids. The Cameron Crazies really can get under a player’s skin. Screaming right behind you, almost touching you; imagine how that would feel. Some of the greatest to ever coach have been a part of this rivalry, Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams. Now, those are just the coaches who have coached the game, the guys who play their hearts out for the bragging rights of North Carolina are even better. Does Michael Jordon ring a bell? These guys have shaped this game into one of the biggest rivalries in sports history.

Elder and St. Xavier

Well how could I not include this during X week? GCL football is upon on us, and it always starts with that school over on North Bend Road. The two schools have brought many championships back to their respective schools. A win and the student body goes nuts, and a loss stings like no other. Every game has a playoff atmosphere to it and that’s why it is so enjoyable to watch. The two schools go after it on the field every year. Just as much as the players are fighting for the win, the cheering section are often in a competition as well. Who can be the loudest, and rowdiest. Elder kids can’t stand to see the “Bombas” walk around like they are all that. Every game is full of excitement and energy and I don’t expect it to be any different this Friday.