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The Top 5 Sports Rivalries and Why You Should Know It

By Edited Dec 14, 2015 0 0

Sports events brought the best - and worst that humans can give.

Sports rivalry -  on-field action

There are many kinds of sporting activities today, from the challenging rugby to the benign golf. No matter how physical this activity gets, one thing can't be denied - teams and players are out to best each other. In the process they gather fans and followers who sometimes outdo their idols in showing their loyalty to the team, often resulting in violence.

The following 5 rivalries are famous world-wide, with their results, champinships and fan riots making headlines worldwide. Even if you're not a fan of sports, these rivalries are a definite need-to-know, as these competitions doesn't simply look like humans roughing it out, but also involve millions of cash used in licensing, stadiums and advertising.

Furthermore, by looking in detail at these rivalries one can find out that their roots sometime lies in the political, religious and cultural differences that could be used in a thesis and study cases. Describing, studying and learning the greatest rivalries could be a useful way to combine sports with academical subjects.

Plus, sports personalities also become household names. Ever heard of Beckham? Babe Ruth? Or Ronaldo?

India vs. Pakistan - Cricket

Cricket was famous in the Indian sub-continent. Brought on by British colonists, it intensified after the partition of India in 1947, where a large chunk is formed and named Pakistan (Land of the Pure), after which the cricket match between the two countries often serve as proxies between politicians to show that their country is better than the other. This is made obvious considering that some arenas are excluded from match schedules if there's a risk of communal unrest[1254]. Plus, matches had also been delayed or outright cancelled when vengeful spectators turned into rioters, resulting from tension-filled matches, forcing the authorities to evict them[1255]. Despite this, it doesn't prevent others from enjoying it. Such huge concentrations of people into one spot are also beneficial to many of the country's businesses.

Why you should care? Because this rivalry ought to be known as the most politically-influenced and fiery competitions between two nations, and since both are nuclear powers, any misshaps are of great concern.

Celtic vs Rangers - Soccer

This one is famous because of its over-passionate fans, considering that both teams are located in Glasgow, Scotland, which often made headlines due to the violent acts that occurs daily in the city.[1256]

Celtic were seen as a club for Catholics, whereas the Rangers have a mainly Protestant following. Bitter feelings by both religious sects is deeply rooted in Scotland's history. Therefore, acts of violence between both religious groups often spill into the soccer grounds, as well as fights resulting from the results of said matches. One fiery riot had in fact resulted in a law where alcoholic drinks were banned from being carried into stadiums in Scotland.[1257]

Anyone who studies about violence in sports should take this rivalry more detailed than any other simply because it has more religious undertones and direct acts of brutality than other, and sectarianism in Glasgow often result in unhappy endings.

Despite the grim news, however, economists have taken note that a sunny side to this rivalry is that it is of great help to Scotland's economy, generating millions each year.[1258]

Liverpool vs Chelsea vs Manchester United vs Arsenal - Club Soccer

THE biggest soccer rivalry, this one is widely known around the world due to its ubiquity. Sports news worldwide often reports on the results of the matches of the teams in the English Premier League (EPL) with some even having a dedicated section or publication specially reserved for this rivalry. Any talks of English soccer is incomplete without saying any of these four clubs, with millions spent for purchase of each player[1259], not to mention the millions used to ensure the matches goes well, from cleaning and maintaining the stadiums to advertising and broadcasting rights[1260].

With this much attention given to it, you can always use the results of this matches to start a conversation, and make sure you have some basic info about this rivalry - especially if your spouse/parent/friend are always on to the matches!

Ferrari vs McLaren - Formula 1

The rivalry between these Italy and British-based companies are the greatest in motor-sports rivalries. The constant improvements in engineering and driver training had resulted in both of them dominating the Formula One for decades. This is also the largest and well-known racing event in the world, with 527 million individuals tuning in to watch the race[1261]. Therefore, stakes are high here, and as these two teams push the limits of engineering, accusations of design theft resulted between Ferrari and McLaren[1262].

This rivalry is worthy of note due to several factors. First, is the cashflow, with millions spent to improve the designs. Subsequently, the iconic vehicles involved in this race are plastered with advertising stickers all over the surface to make up for their expensive price tags. Secondly, is that videos of these expensive vehicle crashing and failing often made headlines. Oh, and anyone here hadn't ever heard the name "Schumacher" yet?

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees - Baseball

The rivalry between this two team is the most well-known in America, as baseball is the most famous sport there. For more than a century their struggle against each other had been portrayed in many forms of media and the press, especially since they're American-based, which means Hollywood had its fair share of spreading the knowledge of this rivalry on the world.

This rivalry also had a deeper background. Back in the 18th century Boston is the primary economic capital in the America, with closest port to Europe in America, thus having many factories as well as many elite universities such as Harvard, Tufts and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Several decades later, however, New York outpaced Boston, especially with the completion and usage of the Erie Canal, and soon New York had its infamous Wall Street opened. Thus, it can be said that the cities also competed through its baseball teams.

This rivalry had not much involvement with shadowy politics like the India and Pakistan nor deep religious underlyings like Rangers and Celtic. This does not mean it had no violence, as on 2010 a man had been arrested for attacking with a knife in a bar fight[1263], resulting from an argument about this rivalry.

Your Thoughts

So what do you readers think about the rivalries of this teams? Which one do you support and why?

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Bibliography

  1. Huw Richards "Cricket: Passion and politics mix as India faces Pakistan." The New York Times. 20/11/2011 <Web >
  2. "Out of Eden Gardens." The Guardian. 20/11/2011 <Web >
  3. Paola Totaro "Fear and loathing in the city of rage." Sydney Morning Herald. 20/11/2011 <Web >
  4. Kevin McCarra "Firm enemies – Rangers and Celtic, 1909-2009." The Guardian. 20/11/2011 <Web >
  5. "Old Firm on the ball for economy." BBC News. 20/11/2011 <Web >
  6. Kevin Francis "£80M... AND FERGIE CAN SPEND IT ALL." Daily Star. 20/11/2011 <Web >
  7. Cindy Yeap "Astro may recoup EPL cost." The Edge Malaysia. 20/11/2011 <Web >
  8. "Thrilling 2010 season boosts Formula One TV audiences." Official Formula One Website. 20/11/2011 <Web >
  9. Vanessa Whitman "ANATOMY OF A CASE: Ferrari v McLaren." The Lawyer. 20/11/2011 <Web >
  10. "Police: Red Sox-Yankees rivalry led to stabbing." Boston.com. 20/11/2011 <Web >

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