Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Rivalries that aren’t

Today, I am reminded of a story.
A friend of mine started talking to a couple of us about how our college (small, liberal arts, Midwest, Jesuit) was a HUGE sports rivalry to his college (small, liberal arts, Midwest, Benedictine). I was kind of shocked to hear this because not only had I barely heard of his school (though it is a good one), I was positive that my college acknowledged no such rivalry. We teased him about it and that was that.

Then, I met some people from St. Louis who loved to talk about the rivalry between St. Louis and Kansas City. Being a loyal KC girl, I laughed as we do not acknowledge such a rivalry because St. Louis is an effing dump that isn’t fit to wipe KC’s ass.

Of course, the great example of the rivalry that isn’t is New York City vs. Boston. I find it hilarious that Bostonians think the city is even in the running as a rival place to New York. I mean the ratio of cool bars, museums, entertainment and culture in general is just too overwhelming to even compare. And, though I am a Red Sox fan, come on, you think the Yankees are really feeling that rivalry, really?

I am quite sure there are many, many other examples outside of sports and cities. And, it’s almost cute when people try to claim some sort of a rivalry when it’s clear such feelings are very, very one-sided.


Blogger Washington Cube said...

I'm a Red Sox fan myself, but Boston is a sleepy little burg next to NYC, and I speak as someone who loves Boston, as well. I was re-reading a novel by Evelyn Waugh this summer, and he was writing about a New York of the 1930's, when he said, "...for in that city there is neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistake for energy." I thought that was an interesting insight, (from a Brit.) ;)

12:26 PM  
Blogger Ar-Jew-Tino said...

When I met my girlfriend, I learned she went to Univ. of Missouri (she's from St. Jo) and I immediately started into her about the famous college b-ball game between her school and my UCLA Bruins in 1995, when Tyus Edney went coast-to-coast to win the game. She could not have cared less. Rivalries, it seems, are VERY subjective.

12:28 PM  
Blogger V said...

WC: That's a great quote and certainly relevant today. Now i want to go to New York this weekend...

12:29 PM  
Blogger V said...

Ar-jew-tino: That may be more a product of how bad Mizzou sucks...but that's just me :) I kid, I kid, but yes, such things are subjective.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Ashburnite said...

One of my friends went to Maryland and I went to Penn State. He is constantly trashing Penn State, and the funny thing is- Penn Staters never even think about UMD. Same goes for Pitt- they see us as rivals, we barely acknowledge their presance.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I'm about to say I intend to say in the least disrespectful manner possible. You are CLEARLY from Kansas City and have no understanding of the rivalry between Boston and NYC. The rivalry is not about which city is larger, who has better entertainment/music, culture, etc. The rivalry is about identifying our home grounds and appreciating the territory as superior to the other because it's drastically different from the rival city. If I was a NYer I would be damn proud of my city and it's bustling nightlife, amazing musicals and productions, shopping, and Yankee empire. On the other hand, If I was a Bostonian I would be proud of my city's long history, amazing music scene, educational focus/best colleges, minds in the country, liberal innovative leaning, strong sports team, and quaint setting on the Charles River. More importantly, the rivalry began when planes did not take us across the country and back in one day and our cities were major trade hubs for the U.S.

Please refer to Wikipedia's definition of a rivalry. A rivalry must exist between two teams so if one team fiends a rivalry than there is a problem- if both teams accept a rivlary it is a fact whether or not you can understand it's history and origins.

From Wikipedia: "Many factors can lead to a rivalry developing. Simple geographic proximity is frequently sufficient to foster a rivalry. Frequent meetings in important games can also lead to a rivalry. Social and political tensions can also be played out by proxy in a sports rivalry."

New Yorkers and Bostonians are very different people or at least that's what we like to think...ironically, neither of us has much in common with Kansas City natives and thus, zero need for a rivalry with you. Stay out other people's business (sorry ESPN tried to involve the entire country- above your heads).

1:30 PM  
Blogger Carrie Broadshoulders said...

When at UVA, we always assumed that Virginia Tech was the rival school, particularly in sports (clearly not in level of education), but I found after two years of being there that William & Mary saw UVA as their rival school. I had no clue until I visited a friend who went there and they were all totally rude and smug and made comments like, "Oh, you got you UVa. Blech." I was surprised. I mean unlike Virginia Tech, UVA is superior to W&M in not only sports but also academics. At least Tech had one thing over

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you've clearly never sat in the seats at Fenway or the Bronx and if you have you were too drunk or blind. Sox fans don't need another fairweather fan or someone who feels bad for us as the underdogs. If you don't understand the rivalry you don't understand us.

Until you become a true fan please don't wear anything Boston related, thanks.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Virgle Kent said...

Any Maryland Basketball fan that thinks Duke is its rival needs to end their life right now. Are we for realz! Every one knows Duke's real rival is UNC, duh.

1:42 PM  
Blogger V said...

All: I like these examples of rivalries that aren't. Thanks much--

To Anon1: I'm not from KC, actually, I'm from a small town in Oklahoma (where Mickey Mantle is from, in fact). Being an okie may make what you are saying even MORE "over my head" (even though I am aware that ESPN makes a lot out of baseball history).

To your point, I understand what a rivalry is, hence the title of my post "Rivalries that aren't."

Anon 2: I have in fact sat in Fenway and even had my picture in front of the Green Monster. I also enjoyed Sox fans chanting "Yankees Suck" while they were playing the Mariners. Futhermore, I am no expert, but I do understand the history and hatred between the two teams, however, I still don’t think there is much of a rivalry considering how much better the Yankees have performed. And, screw you before I stop wearing my Johnny Damon shirt I wore while watching the Sox march toward their World Series victory. I loved him when he was a Royal, and I even love him as a Yankee.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect you sticking to one player and not a team but I have zero tolerance for people who believe a team is better because they have ridiculously high payrolls and thus, get the better team. If you think that's a strong team than by all means cheer for the Yankees and burn those Red Sox shirts.

Just please clarify to everyone that you are a Damon fan and not a Red Sox fan before you wear that shirt. You don't want to confuse Red Sox nation.

1:58 PM  
Blogger V said...

Actually, my fan loyalty goes Royals, Nats, Red Sox. The first two should be obvious and I like the Sox because I went to Fenway when I first started loving baseball, and I have a good buddy who I would watch Sox games with.

I should be clear here, I DO NOT like the Yankees. And, thanks for the tip on the shirt, but I have to keep it as I refuse to wear him in stripes.

2:02 PM  
Blogger J. Serpentine said...

For my fellow midwesterners: K-State is the worst offender in making up rivalries. They insist their football rival is Nebraska, which has historically pounded them to submission. Then they have the gall to suggest that the great Kansas Jayhawks, who have been spanking the Wildcats thoroughly for the past 25 years, are their rival in basketball. Furthermore, Nebraska's natural rivals have always been Oklahoma and Colorado, and KU's rival has been Missouri since bushwackers were fighting jayhawkers during the Civil War.

2:03 PM  
Blogger doubleonegative said...

DC totally owns Richmond. Period. It's not even fair.

2:09 PM  
Blogger NotCarrie said...

Unknown rivalries are pretty amusing.

<3 Richmond, by the way.

2:18 PM  
Blogger JoJo said...

As a gal who went to University of Illinois, during football season we always pretended that University of Michigan were rivals. But, c' was always Michigan vs. Ohio State. The venerable U of I was an afterthought.

Of course, if you're gonna talk about basketball rivalries...Go Illini!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Does that one anon suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder?

"New Yorkers and Bostonians are very different people or at least that's what we like to think...ironically, neither of us has much in common with Kansas City natives and thus, zero need for a rivalry with you."

However, from a strictly baseball point of view, I think the BoSox/Yankme thing is a legit rivalry. It usually comes down to one of those two in the AL East. As a lifetime O's fan (redheaded stepchildren, all of us) I can tell you Yankees/Orioles would be a perfect example of a rivalry that isn't. People in "Charm Shity" think just because they have a nice stadium, the Yankees give a crap. Fucking Peter Angelos.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Scarlett said...

I have to agree with Mr. Serpentine that the K-State fans are totally crazy. It must be all the purple and the lack of any other civilized person within a 200 mile radius. They tried to make a rivalry with the great University of Oklahoma due to Coach Stoops having coached under Snyder. Too bad we beat their sorry asses every time. I smell college football season coming!

V I think you really hit on something ecspcially after reading the comments that really drive home the point of differing views of rivalries. (p.s. I have a Boston Red Sox shirt and I don't even like baseball)

3:13 PM  
Anonymous bill said...

Many Rivalries that aren't, I think, are promoted by those who need to feel that they would win at something, even if no such competition exists. Others are "apples and oranges" comparisons, as some have described the Boston vs NYC "rivalry." Yes, it exists in sports, but on other levels the two really can't be compared. I've lived in Boston for a long time, and I like it, but New York is where I go for the best of art, dining, entertainment and so forth.

You have hit on something, V, as you so often do, which is fundamental: people want to feel superior about something. They will create rivalries or claim associations to achieve that goal. Thanks for getting people to talk about it.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous rcr said...

Carrie - yeah, totally had the same experience with some UofR kids.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

We had a brief rivalry with Shields and Yarnell at one time, that ended when we killed Shields.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

VKent-Terps fans (aka me) don't think of Duke as rivals-we just hate Duke. :-) Still love you though. You know it.

Ash-One of my sister's went to PSU and no one from Maryland that I know would EVER think of us having a rivarly esp bc we are known for BBall and PSU for Football. BUT my sis did say Bucknell thinks they have a rivalry with you guys and she always thought that was hilarious. :-)

8:31 PM  
Blogger KassyK said...

AAAAAAAAH that Anon above was me but it wouldn't let me put my name in. :-(

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Chuck Chillout said...

Carrie, I'm with you on the W&M thing. I have many friends who went there, and the hatred they have for The University is weird - I mean, I always thought of them as that nice girl in your HS geometry class. Cute, but nothing spectacular.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I hate Duke. Grew up in a UNC family, even if I refused to go there. I am always amused, though, talking to people from UNC Wilmington. They claim a BIG rivalry with UNC. No UNC fan that I've known cares at ALL about UNCW. And I think Bill hit on the real reason for the fake rivalries: If something smaller can pretend that it is competiting with something bigger, the smaller one feels more important.

Also, after growing up with the whole Duke/UNC rivalry, most of the midWestern rivalries seem a bit of a joke. I went to Indiana and people talked about Purdue being our rival. But most Hoosiers don't HATE Boilermakers (what a stupid mascot, though. A train? Really?). They just would prefer to beat them in everything but football, where we obviously suck and count any wins as lucky.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to USC and we always though of our rival as UCLA - but heck - we kill them in football, and they would kill us in basketball....I guess we're more the 'cross town rivals' than anything else. Private relatively white university vs. public relatively asian university.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Rudy and Blitz said...

Fake rivalries rule. As a born and raised Manhattanite, nothing makes me laugh more than talking to a Bostonian who thinks there is a rivalry between the cities. It's hillarious, like the anon poster who chimed in about Boston's "history, quaint location, etc". Who cares?

I guess Boston is cool, in the same way I'm sure that there are great parts of Queens - they may exist, but who cares to find them?

The Sox/Yanks thing is so played out, almost entirely from SOX fans, who are unbelieveably emo. I'm surprised Dashboard doesn't sing the national anthem every game, and lead the Fenway Faithful in a quiet cry and pout after each loss.

But, Boston does have a great history, what with forced busing, race riots, and being the most racist city in the north. Sweet!

9:49 AM  
Blogger Pagan Marbury said...

I grew up in the heart of the Georgia-Florida very real rivalry. Then again, everyone in the SEC considers Florida their biggest rival. I am so glad I don't have to care about football anymore. Except the Redskins.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They tried to make a rivalry with the great University of Oklahoma due to Coach Stoops having coached under Snyder. Too bad we beat their sorry asses every time. I smell college football season coming!

35-7, bitch. Over the "greatest team in college football history."

What's really fun is to hear people in Lawrence, Kansas (pop. 80,000) pretend they live in some sort of great cultural center on the plains, just because they let a few smelly would-be hippies panhandle on their main drag.

10:13 PM  

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