Too many rivalries…

The headlines on Fox sports this morning was “Ravens batter rival Jets in AFC showdown”. Since when the hell are the Ravens and Jets rivals?

I am taking a stance right here and right now and saying the NFL pundits misuse the term Rivalry. Not every team that has had a rough go at one another in the past is a rivalry. I am making a rule right here, a declaration if you will:

A team can only have one rival, and that team must also consider you their rival.

Go to almost any given teams Wikipedia page and there will be a section on rivalries. This is who is listed as the Ravens rivals:

Now we have to add the Jets apparently. Seriously?

The Ravens have one true rival, the Steelers. The Steelers have one true rival, the Ravens.
See you know it’s true, it’s on a card.

I get the Colt thing with their history with Baltimore, same with the Browns. I get the Dc vs Maryland thing with the ‘Skins. But those aren’t hard fought rivalries. I lived in DC for 7 years. ‘Skins fans don’t care about the Ravens any more than any other non-NFC East team.

I grew up in Minnesota. The Vikings have one Rival, the Packers.
Sure we battle with the Bears and Lions every year, but nothing shuts down the state like Vikings vs Packers.

Rivalry has become one of those meaningless words that announcers and pundits toss around because they lack creativity. It’s the new, “giving 110%”.



4 responses to “Too many rivalries…

  1. I think you can have more than one rival, especially for the Ravens since the Browns and Ravens definitely have beef AND the Browns Steelers was a hardcore rivalry before the Ravens even existed. Just because a rivalry doesn’t mean as much today doesn’t mean it isn’t a rivalry.

    That said, there are definitely way too many rivalries in the game today. The Pats face the Ravens a lot in the playoffs, but rivals? No way. Skins? Wowwww. Bengals and Titans? What are people even thinking? ;p;

    • The Browns is a good argument, but the actual game doesn’t have that same edge as Ravens vs Steelers though.

      I think rivalries fade away. Look at baseball, there were few bigger rivalries than the Dodgers vs Yankees of the ’50s. But that is very much a thing of the past.

      I don’t get the Titans or Bengals either.

  2. I agree that Browns-Steelers isn’t necessarily as good of a game as Ravens-Steelers (though this year maybe since the Steelers are pretty awful haha). But I do think rivalries can become one sided and still remain rivalries as long as the teams consistently battle it out over time. Your case of Dodgers vs. Yankees is true, but it’s hard to keep that rivalry alive when the teams ended up in different leagues and even interleague only offers up so many games a year for the teams to battle. Within-division rivalries are much easier to maintain, especially in football with so few teams per division and so many of those teams eventually making the playoffs. Plus you play so few games a season, so if you have two versus one team every single year you get to know/hate that team pretty easily. That’s why a lot of Bears fans would call the Packers their rivals and not yours. Or Lions fans would call the Bears their rivals.

  3. I agree it has become meaningless. In today’s age of free agency, I think rivalries only exist between the fans and the networks pander to that with all the sensationalizing they try to jam down our throats. In the old days guys played for the same team for a decade so it was a genuine rivalry because there was real hatred between the players, coaches, and fans. I think today’s rivalries are mostly in college (Michigan / Ohio State) due to conference and regional locations and they were built over many years.

    To me, most rivalries in the pros are based on the playoffs because it means more. I think of the Blackhawks and Canucks in the NHL and Patriots and Colts of a few years ago where they were playing each other every year, and losing meant the end of the season.

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