Eye of the Hurricane

February 10, 2010

The Rivalry of Rivalries

Filed under: Uncategorized — abryant3 @ 12:47 pm

Growing up in Durham, North Carolina I like most people bled blue.  Everyone in the area bleeds a slightly different shade, whether it’s Duke or Carolina, and tonight, as the two teams meet, I am constantly reminded of how great the rivalry is.  I will go on to say that this is the greatest rivalry in American sports.  If you have never been to a game, put it on your bucket list, because nothing compares to a good ‘ol Tobacco Road throwdown during basketball season.

It seems particularly relevant this year, as Duke is a top ten team, and UNC is well, a shadow of the team they were a year ago.  However, don’t be the least bit surprised when (not if) North Carolina comes out with more fight and more passion than you have seen from them all year, and plays a game for the ages.  The margin, no matter who the winner will be single digits and the passion will be incomprable.

I apologize to all of those that want to disagree and say that there are better and more passionate rivalries in sports, but there is nothing to compare.  To all you Yankees and Red Sox fans, I’m sorry, but playing 15 times a year is just way too many.  The one thing that makes that rivalry great is that it many times concludes the season with the division on the line, but the early season match-ups in a 162 game season fail to make a significant impact of the outcome of the AL East.  Duke and UNC battle it out twice a year, once on each other’s home court, to really decide who is better.  Every now and then, they will meet in the ACC Tournament Championship game, which usually just serves as a tiebreaker and supreme bragging rights across the conference.

Some may talk about how the Boston-New York Rivalry truly pits one city against another, and I think that this regional passion is phenomenal, but it pales in comparison to Duke-UNC. The Battle of the Blues divides households, families, marriages.  If you are a Duke fan and UNC won the night before, you don’t talk to your friends at school for a solid week.  You’re too afraid a fist fight might break out.  It’s different when your whole city is on one side of the fence.  When your next door neighbor hates you because of what  you stand for, that brings things to a whole new level.

No matter what the records, the Duke-UNC rivalry always brings a great game.  I remember in Matt Doherty’s final year as coach, the team fell way short of expectations.  Despite two straight top five recruiting classes, North Carolina finished 16-15 and barely made the NIT tournament.  Doherty got fired after the year, but UNC fans didn’t care.  The Tarheels may not have advanced at all in the NIT, but the year was a success, because guess what?  On the final game of the regular season… they beat Duke.  That makes the season.  Tonight, despite the fact that UNC is on the NCAA bubble and everyone is down on them, if they win, look out for the entirely different tune in tomorrow’s news, because a win would make the season.


1 Comment »

  1. What do you think about the Red River Rivalry of Texas-Oklahoma? I think we’re on the same page that you can’t beat the passion of college rivalries, I just think that Texas-OU might be more meaningful because of its definite impact on the national title scene or the Big XII title.

    Comment by jaymarshburn — February 10, 2010 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: