n. One who attempts to equal or surpass another, or who pursues the same object as another; a competitor.
One that equals or almost equals another in a particular respect.
There is nothing that quite brings out our venom and sense of loyalty than a good rivalry. Charlie Brown v. Lucy. Optimus Prime v. Megatron. Carnivores v. PETA.
Sports rivalries are on a whole other level, though. They go above and beyond the usual bumper sticker slogans and name calling. Sports rivalries can split families
apart, doom marriages to failure
and make parents
disown their children.
The Yankees and Red Sox have taken their notorious rivalry to new levels, thanks to their respective owners.
John Henry, Red Sox owner: "We have a spending limit and the Yankees apparently don't. Baseball doesn't have an answer for the Yankees. Revenue sharing can only accomplish so much. At some point it becomes confiscation. It has not and it will not solve what is a very obvious problem."
Yankees owner Steinbrenner:"We understand John Henry must be embarrassed, frustrated, and disappointed by his failure in this transaction," Steinbrenner said in a prepared statement. "Unlike the Yankees, he chose not to go the extra distance for his fans in Boston."
Ouch. And this is all before spring training has even started. It's going to be one of those years when extra security will be present during Sox/Yankee games. It will become more than a baseball battle - it will be a battle between cities, Boston v. New York, the Big Apple v. Bean Town. Apples beat beans every time.
Speaking as one who loves a nasty rivalry, the Sox/Yankees war is just a blip on the radar compared to other sports wars I've been involved in. My hatred for the Mets and most of their fans goes deeper and wider than any disdain I have for Boston baseball or its fans. If the Sox were to win the series, I would feel pain for a day or two and move on. But the Mets...they can never, ever win the World Series. Ever
. I would sell my soul to Satan to make sure that never happened.
Yes, we take it to an extreme. It's a bitter, nasty rivalry. You cannot enter my home wearing anything with the Mets logo on it. My daughter feels jinxed every time she sees the Mets symbol and goes through a complicated ritual of "de-cootiezing" herself when she does. My son barely acknowledges the team from Queens exists. And every single dinner table argument I have with my father has revolved around the Mets and Yankees. We taunt, we tease, we torture. And should anyone ever mention the '86 Mets around me, they will feel the force of the flying fist of rage.
Oh, you think that's bad? You should have been around town in the early to mid 80's when the Islander /Ranger rivalry was so intense that roving gangs of Ranger fans used to challenge Island fan club members to gang fights in dark alleys. I swear, that really happened. I think the Hanson brothers were there, too.
Seriously, it was a dangerous rivalry. So many fights would break out at games between the two teams that people stopped bringing their young children to those games. It was no better on the ice, where hundreds of penalty minutes were handed out each game, along with game misconducts and suspensions.
We haven't had a good, intense rivalry in a while. The Rangers and Islanders both suck, so the deep desire to kill each other has waned. The Mets pretty much suck as well and it's only because of my father's love for that lame team that I've been able to keep that competition alive and kicking.
But this year, oh this year is going to be fantastic. I'm already honing my rhyming skills so I can come up with some first rate Red Sox taunts. I've got my Big Book of Baseball Insults all highlighted and my voodoo dolls ready for those pins.
Rivalries always stay with you - some of them just fade away to memories. I'll always hate Syracuse basketball, the Dallas Cowboys and Suge Knight. And some of them just get stronger as the years go on and the vemom ferments.
This will be the greatest year of the Sox/Yankees rivalry. It will see the dawn of a new day in this east coast crisis, one that will make the days of Bucky Dent seem like an episode of Full House.