Coming from Ohio there were two rivalries that ruled the sports world.
Browns vs. Steelers.
Ohio State vs. Michigan.
Both were nasty at times, there were dry spells for the hometown teams and plenty of wins as well.
The outcomes were important but not as much as the build up to the game. It’s the type of game where people who otherwise would not give two shakes about football would don a team jersey.
Usually a player would pop off and say something stupid that ended up in the other team’s locker room.
Soon-to-be brides knew not to get married in late November until they doubled checked the Buckeye’s schedule.
I’ve only been to a few games in either series as fan, but have attended plenty in the press box, which can be a stale environment but even on these game days the anticipation would permeate the glass windows.
With Ahwatukee Bowl week building to Friday’s game between Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe, I figured it was a good time to ask those involved in the game thought was the biggest (or their favorite) rivalry in sports.
Thunder coach Dan Hinds went with Arizona State-Arizona, while Georgia-born Norris Vaughan went with Georgia-Georgia Tech and threw in Auburn-Alabama.
Pride lineman Kyle Spight went with Miami Heat-Boston Celtics, Thunder quarterback Cade van Raaphorst went with North Carolina-Duke men’s basketball.
Mountain Pointe assistant coach went with Ohio State-Michigan, while Twitter follower @AZFBguru listed Yankees-Red Sox and Buckeyes-Wolverines. In high school football, he went with Bergen Catholic vs.The Don Bosco Prep out of New Jersey.
Another high school game that got a few votes on Twitter - @GridironArizona and @DaveZorn72 – listed the Round Valley-St. Johns game, which is being played this week in a series that dates to 1904.
Follower @ralphamsden went with the Tukee Bowl.
Desert Vista principal Dr. Anna Battle went the individual route with Tiger Woods and Adam Scott. (Personally, if we are going individuals I am going McEnroe/Connors).
"It is man vs. man," she wrote. :Great skill, determination and healthy competitive spirit comes from these golfers when they match up. They share a common variable, Steve Williams , Wood’s former caddy and Scott’s current caddie. The dynamics of the game does not allow for anything to disrupt the dedication to excellence. The only thing that matters is their gift of golfing, trusting to their caddy and focusing upon their craft of excellence.
"They do not get lost in the drama that others want to bring into their game."
Pride principal Bruce Kipper, a baseball man at heart, went with Yanks-Sox.
“To me the best rivalry in sports is Yankees/Red Sox,” he said. “It goes all the way into the fabric of each city. The cities are so different and are so into their sports teams and every year 19 times they want to beat each other. Going back to the Red Sox selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees to now, there is this intense competition.”
I’ll stick with OSU-Michigan. I’ve seen it firsthand. And it is hard to image all of that hatred, respect and history being outdone by an another rivalry.
What say you?
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.