People in New England and New York know that the entire country may not necessarily care deeply about the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. We all know that sometimes, the national networks can incessantly play up the rivalry. We know that folks around the country probably dislike players on both teams and many probably root against them in the playoffs. We know that "greatest rivalry in sports" is really determined by where a person lives more than anything. Really, we get it.
But lame? A fan of sports cannot call the rivalry lame.
Yet that's what the folks over at Spike TV did, ranking the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry as the eighth-lamest in sports.
The reasoning seems to indicate that the genesis of the idea stems from deep hatred of the Yankees — something Red Sox fans probably don't mind.
"The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is a lot like watching two rich kids playing polo during recess in elementary school," the Web site says. "It's shocking how utterly ridiculous they look riding around on their high horse, but no matter how much everybody else hates them, none of the regular students can do anything because they can’t afford to play in the same league."
Ha! Get it? A money joke. Because, you know, the Mets, Cubs, Tigers, Angels and Phillies don't all have payrolls of $110 million or more, right? And the Astros, Braves, Mariners and White Sox aren't far behind either, right?
However, fans who take offense to the claim should perhaps wait a bit. After all, it's the same network that declared in October that Tom Brady could not hold a candle to Joe Montana. Perhaps Spike's goal is simply to get the masses riled up, as the rest of the list bears out. For example:
No. 7: Brett Favre vs. Green Bay Packers
Despite Spike's insistence that "the Brett Favre-Green Bay Packers feud has literally become the single least interesting news story on the planet," it's simply wrong. To say that Favre leaving Wisconsin was a simple personnel decision greatly underestimates the importance that the Packers have on the residents of Wisconsin.
No. 6: Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady
Even if Spike wants you to think that Manning and Brady are just two of 104 players in a matchup that is equally determined by those 102 other players, they're dead wrong. When two of the best quarterbacks in football history square off, people watch. I don't think 16.1 million viewers tuned in because they thought it was lame.
No. 5: Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather
The only lame aspect of this relationship is that it hasn't happened yet. It will, and once it does, "lame" won't be the word to describe it.
No. 3: Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers
The only lame thing about this entry is that it's on the list at all. Fifty percent of Americans would probably have trouble locating the two cities on a map, and you know what? That's OK.
No. 1: Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James
Really. Picture the Brady-Manning matchup, except amplify it by the fact that these two are not only two of the greatest basketball players to ever step on a court but that they play a game with no facemasks. They're two of the most visible stars in sports, and they play a game in which fans can literally sit close enough to smell what brand of deodorant the players are wearing. Add in that every time they play each other, they're both likely to produce at least one "are you kidding me?" moment.
Lame? Lame would be the Cavs falling to the Magic in the Eastern Conference finals and sending an NBA Finals buzzkill throughout the country.
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