I feel like Celtics Lakers would have to jump in there somewhere. Also, individual rivalries have a limited time to them, don't know why they would count as the greatest in sports. The great ones are ongoing, IMO.
OT: Greatest rivalries in sports
I'd be careful about advancing the "limited time" argument a breath after arguing for the Celtics/Lakers given the latter is currently on limited time.
No Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers?
Packers v. Bears
Patriots v. Jets (last few years at least)
Lakers v. Celtics
These are a few that come to mind, personally.
That's the beauty of this topic, is everyone can have so many different responses.
I agree. I have learned of a few international ones just from you in this thread. This is definitely an interesting topic.
I would replace Pats vs. Jets with Pats vs. Colts. Over the last 10 years there hasn't been a better rivalry in the NFL.
Australia vs New Zealand in Rugby, and India vs Pakistan in cricket.
On a global scale, Barcelona vs Real Madrid is probably much bigger than Michigan-Ohio State. Here in England, I'm probably one of only a handful of people who will care about next week's game, whereas Barca vs Real is watched all over the world by pretty much anyone who loves "soccer".
But if you're talking about just American sports, or how just the American population views the rivalry, then Michigan-Ohio State is number one.
Both sets of my grandparents are from England, and Manchester United vs Chelsea or Arsenal was always big.
Soccer Rivalries (just some of them, they're all fierce in their own right):
Manchester United-Manchester City
AC Milan-Inter Milan
I forgot Rangers-Celtic which is a HUGE rivalry in Scotland. It's also Protestants vs Catholics.
No mention of Wolverhampton vs. West Bromwich Albion? Come on...
soccer rivalries that people actually watch :P
As a Wolves fan, I've grown used to getting overlooked :P
But for not having much on the line because both teams aren't the big spenders and neither have a chance of finishing higher than 10th on the table, the rivalry is fierce and underrated when it comes to European football. But I am biased.
I'm sure there are a lot rivalries (derby matches) I missed, but I was just covering teams that the yeomen American fan might have heard of.
When told that 900 million Chinese would wake up the next day and not know or care who won the Michigan-Ohio State game, Woody Hayes said "yes, but 10 million Ohioans will know and care, and they'll want my head if we lose".
All sports are local.
I was being facetious. I know that most people probably haven't even heard of the Wolves or WBA, let alone that they're rivals.
We can go International as well.
England - Argentina
North Korea - South Korea
Brasil - Argentina
Brasil - Uruguay
USA -Mexico is big as well.
My friend from South Korea hates Japan, so I'd put that up there too.
10. Giants vs. Dodgers
9. Redskins vs. Cowboys
8. Auburn vs. Alabama
7. Red Sox vs. Yankees
6. Arnold Palmer vs. Jack Nicklaus
5. Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens
4. Wilt Chamberlain vs. Bill Russell
3. North Carolina vs. Duke
2. Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier
1. Michigan vs. Ohio State
Ali vs. Frazier was glaring!
I agree with MLB rivalries. ESPN kills the Yankees v. Red Sox rivalry talking about it every game. About the only MLB rivalry games I thing have any backing are like the Indians v. the Reds, since they are from different leagues. It's definitely interesting because they only play during interleague games / playoffs.
Everyone has missed what is probably the dirtiest, most hate-filled NFL rivalry of all time:
Raiders v. Chiefs.
If you don't know about their history, then it'll be a surprise to you. Fans of the teams know the hatred. However, both teams have stunk for 10+ years, so the relevance of the rivalry is pretty much gone. But back in the day, this was a bloodbath, twice a year. Having Marcus Allen switch teams but retire as a Chief pretty much added salt to the wounds there.
I really think M-OSU all-time (and on a national level), but man after watching the Aub-Ala doc, that's fierce. When people start poisoning landmarks and live in a state that's only got college football going for it, they HATE each other. You can smell the desperation, on both sides, to win.
Calvin vs Hope College basketball has to be on there.
I think you need to put Barcelona vs Real Madrid much higher... we just don't get how passionate and global that rivalry is...
Objectively it's not nearly as passionate or global as Celtic v Rangers. With all the Scottish and Irish loyal expats all over the world (especially in America) and the repeated violence, racial abuse, and even current scandals about overzealous fan demonstrations I can't see another rivalry going that far. Real, and more recently Barca, are more competetive on the field so they have recently gotten more international attention, but their global rivalry is one of which jersey sells more: Messi or Ronaldo.
If you ever talk to someone who speaks Catalan about Barca/Real (rather than some did in a Xavi jersey) there is a ton of regional and historic hatred between the two clubs. Madrid was basically the pride and joy of the Franco regime and Barca's name wasn't allowed to be printed in Catalan during that time.
There is plenty of hatred on the ground floor of that rivalry.
C'mon on man...my neighbor once told me he would just kill himself if the Ephs couldn't beat those dastardly Lord Jeffs this year.
They could both play on my team.
Red Wings - Avalance was close to the best in all of sports for a stretch in the mid- to late-Nineties. After the March 26, 1996 game and Detroit beating them in that season's playoffs, their regular season games were events not to be missed. The rivalry petered out rather quickly, but was huge not only in the hockey world but was front page material in its heyday.
Good call, CAHL.
The 2 goalie fights were epic, and there was almost a third goalie fight in the 2002 Western Conference Finals if Hasek didn't fall down on his way to Roy.
On a different note, UM vs MSU football is quietly creeping its way on the top rivalries in sports the way our fans bicker with each other. pretty soon the national media will start picking up on dislike for each other, more.
Wish it was still big, but most of the people involved have moved on. It the late 90s, early 2000s, it was one of the best in pro sports. So great.
Dude so true! I mean now it isn't really one, but during the 90's, I would say it was top 3 for sure.
I am so glad I was alive to see/remember this rivalry. SOOO good, I still get goosebumps thinking about those playoff games and how much they meant and how intense they were
Any fan will say their team's rivalry is the biggest. A lot of my teams have great rivalries. The Red Sox have the Yankees (best rivalry in baseball). The Bruins have the Canadiens (best rivalry in hockey). The Patriots have the Jets, Colts, and Steelers. The Celtics, at different times, have had the Pistons and the Lakers. Arsenal has Spurs as a local rival and Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool as competitive rivals (Man City is becoming one). Michigan has Ohio State. I don't think I could choose from these rivalries, and I'd be hardpressed to rank them. All I will say is that rivalries are what make sports great.
Battle for the Baseline Jug...........
Rangers/Celtic has to be waaay up there, maybe even #1. Combine UM/OSU and Auburn/Bama sports-hate, add sectarian violence and actual hate, take away any other meaninful rivalries (they are the only real teams in the country), and put the teams in the same damn city.
Yeah, as hateful as any American rivalry gets, I don't think that any fans chant/sing about being up to their knees in the blood of the other teams fans, or tie their fandom so closely to religion and nationalism.
But Hearts vs. Hibs is a way bigger deal globally.
Hearts-Hibs got to be the oldest rivalry in sports for sure. The Old-old firm.
it's whatever game they happen to be featuring at that moment. Right now the greatest rivalry ever is apparently Houston-SMU, which will be eclipsed by KState-Texas later that evening. KState is on the verge of winning 4 in a row after all...
Lil bros will come out crying and argue that Michigan-MooU should be up there as well. According to the knuckleheads, it's bigger than Michigan-tSIO.
The Wolves of Wolverhampton against the Baggies of West Bromwich Albion.
Come on you Wolves!!!!!
Probably one of the greatest and most respected rivalries, but just in the category of fierceness, I would move it down the list.
Our favorite underdog
The Wabash Little Giants vs The DePauw Tigers. The DIII equivalent of tsio vs Michigan.
Cubs v Cardinals
1. Florida vs Alabama
2. Whichever two teams last played in the super bowl
3. Players vs managers (NBA)
4. Northwestern vs fan apathy
5. Big East vs objective football reality
Actually, #3 might be pretty high up there.
v. Carolina is too low.
I mean c'mon! They play for the bucket of spit!!!
msu v. indiana was the brass spittoon game??!
Arsenal / Tottenham / Chelsea
Flames / Oilers
Michigan / Notre Dame
Zingerman's vs. Maize&Blue Deli????
New Trier v. Evanston. Book it.
In the North Suburban Math League.
Pretty intense games have been played over the years btw these two clubs.
Hulk Hogan vs Andrea the Giant.