The Top 10 Lamest Rivalries in Sports
4. The San Antonio Spurs vs. Fun
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For people who enjoy watching paint dry or Jennifer Aniston romantic comedies, there may be nothing more exciting than the San Antonio Spurs’ decade long “war on excitement.” Whether it’s Tim Duncan’s commitment to boredom, Tony Parker’s refusal to get arrested for any weapons/midget-assaulting related crimes, or Manu Ginobili hitting the floor like he was just shot by one Gilbert Arenas’ 300 unregistered weapons every time he bumps into a defender, there’s no denying that the Spurs have become the single worst thing to happen to basketball since the Detlef Schrempf halftime comedy hour.
At this point in the rivalry, the score isn’t even close. The Spurs are currently on a 1,121 game winning streak in their battle against fun, and with their “most boring player available” NBA draft strategy, it doesn’t appear as if this one is going to get any closer.
3. Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers
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Growing up in Calgary, my parents instilled a level of religious hatred in me usually reserved for Finland-based terrorist organizations and disgruntled carnival workers. With the exception of showing your children that eating yellow snow (no matter how delicious it may smell) is a bad idea, no greater lesson was passed down from father to son than the unabiding hatred of everything associated with the Edmonton Oilers (a lecture also offered by Edmontonian parents to their possibly inbred children - old habits die hard.)
“Son, do you know why Grandma died?” my father asked me during my fourth birthday party right before he told me that Santa Claus didn’t exist. “That happened because the Oilers won the Stanley Cup. If you want your Aunt Linda to live, you better hope Gretzky doesn’t win it again in ’89.”
God bless his hateful little heart.
For nearly 20 years the Flames and Oilers fans were entrenched in a vicious battle that not even the mighty Canadian military (which now features its very own helicopter) could've stopped.
These days, however, it’s a completely different story. During the Flames 2004 Stanley Cup run, I actually received congratulatory phone calls from Oilers fans who were “just happy to see another Canadian team” in the finals - something many Flames fans reciprocated during the Oilers 2006 Western Conference championship. There were literally thousands of stories about Edmonton-Calgary support during their respective playoff runs that chipped away at the rivalry. What was once a beautiful and slightly dangerous hatred has suddenly turned into a disgusting display of mutual respect – and in turn, moved into a rivalry suitable for the folks in Toronto who still struggle to grasp basic fan concepts like "supporting the team."
2. BCS vs. A College Football Playoff
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When are people going to finally understand that giving every team a shot to win the national title is just plain ridiculous? Take that “everybody is equal” crap back to Russia, comrade! Nobody wants to see the eight best teams in America square off in a three-week tournament to decide a champion. Just look at other failed systems like the NCAA basketball tournament or the College World series. The way they give underdogs a shot to succeed, create weeks of excitement, and leave no room for controversy is downright un-American.
College basketball needs to eliminate March Madness and simply have a few sportswriters pick the two best teams at the end of the regular season to square off for the national title. Then everyone else can play in bowl games (with no championship implications) in order to raise money for women’s softball, conference lawn bowling, and other Title IX related sports that frat boys make pledges to attend as a form of hazing.
“Congratulations Duke! You’re the third ranked team in the entire country and now get to play UCLA in the Monistat 7 Bowl two days before Kansas and Kentucky square off for the national title.”
Quite frankly, it baffles me how no other sport has adopted the BCS system.
1. Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James
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Let’s forget that the borderline incoherent ad campaign featuring two semi-racist puppets is almost unwatchable. And let’s pretend for the sake of argument that Kobe Bryant isn’t a cyborg designed by Nike that accidentally forgot to put the “sense of humor” or “basic likeability” programs into his genetically engineered personality. The fact that there’s a “rivalry” between a guy who nearly has entire hand covered in Championship rings and someone who got a four-game cup of coffee in the NBA Finals two years ago is insane.
How are these two players in the same category, let alone the same commercial? Don’t get me wrong – I hate Kobe Bryant as much as the next anti-rape advocate, but it’s tough to deny just how much he’s accomplished in his very short NBA career. This is like Major League Baseball creating a Joe Mauer-Derek Jeter rivalry. LeBron James (who may one day be the best ever, but probably not) is nowhere near the level Kobe Bryant and his massive ego currently are.