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Top Sports Rivalries of All Time
Rivalries in sports are what define athletes and the spectators.
11. Chicago Bulls vs New York Knicks
The Knicks were always considered a team that drew the shortest straw in the Michael Jordan era of basketball. They just didn t know how to get past him, just like many other teams in the NBA during the 90 s but the Knicks were the extreme example. They were an extremely talented team with John Starks and Patrick Ewing at the helm, but they were never enough to handle the dynamic duo that was Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. In 1989, a sixth-seeded Bulls team upset the Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals 4-2 with Michael Jordan finally coming into his own. This was the start of a rivalry that would eventually become commonplace in the Eastern Conference. These two teams were at each other s necks constantly.
12. India vs Pakistan
Cricket can be a hotly contested sport and has seen many fierce rivalries develop between nations. In the case of India and Pakistan, this cricket rivalry stands apart as it has been fuelled by politics and war. The religious division of India in 1947 and subsequent fighting over Kashmir has long stoked the fires of this sports rivalry. Wars and terrorist acts have caused matches to be cancelled on several occasions, and these meetings have often seen a strange mix of tensions and diplomacy. Nevertheless, it s taken very seriously
13. Green Bay Packers vs Dallas Cowboys
Starting with a 45-21 regular season victory in 1964, Vince Lombardi s Packers absolutely owned Tom Landry s Cowboys. On their way to a third NFL title in five years, the Packers edged the Cowboys 13-3 at Milwaukee County Stadium in Week 6 of the regular season. A year later, Landry and the Cowboys had a shot at redemption when they hosted Green Bay at the Cotton Bowl in the NFL Championship Game. But Dallas again fell short, 34-27, and the Packers not the Cowboys went to Super Bowl I. The rivalry resumed a year later, but this time at Lambeau Field. In the infamous Ice Bowl, Bart Starr scored the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds to send Green Bay back to the Super Bowl and deliver Tom Landry s Cowboys another heartbreaking championship defeat.
14. New Yorks Knicks vs Baltimore Washington Bullets
The Knicks of the late 1960s and early 1970s occupy a special place in NBA history despite their laugh-ability in todays NBA. They won a pair of NBA Finals and dropped a third to the historically great LA Lakers in 1972. Fans of the old Baltimore Bullets have to look at that run with a tremendous feeling of what if? While the Knicks had the likes of legends such as Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Jerry Lucas, Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley and Willis Reed, the Bullets of that era had a handful of great players as well, including Wes Unseld, Fred Carter and Elvin Hayes. Fittingly the two franchises met every year in the playoffs from 1969-1974.
15. Florida Gators vs Georgia Bulldogs
The World s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party has one of the best names for a rivalry game. And since it features two annual SEC powerhouses on a neutral field, it s also one of the best contests of the college football season. Both teams have rivals elsewhere Georgia has Alabama and Georgia Tech, while the Gators have Miami, Florida State and now Alabama. But this rivalry has the most tradition and the most at stake each year. And since records never seem to matter it s usually a thriller. There are plenty of classic games to choose from, but Urban Meyer s first taste of the rivalry is our pick. After darting out to a 14-0 lead, the 5-2 Gators hung on to best the undefeated Bulldogs and ultimately helped ruin their shot at a national title appearance. For the entire series rivalry, Georgia leads 49
16. Kentucky Wildcats vs Louisville Cardinals
Despite being so close, the two premier programs in the Bluegrass State didn t play one another from 1959 to 1983. But after a thriller in Knoxville in the Elite Eight, the rivalry resumed with an annual game. The series has been fairly close since then 22 wins for the Wildcats and 12 for the Cardinals. But when Louisville locked up Rick Pitino in 2001, just four years after he left Lexington with his rebuilding project completed, it added a new twist to the rivalry and made their annual battle a major event. For the entire series, Kentucky leads 33
17. Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers
The rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers got started when the Syracuse Nationals left upstate New York in 1964 and moved to Philadelphia and became the 76ers. The rivalry began with a bang in the 1965 playoffs when the two teams met in the Eastern Conference Finals. The two teams battled for seven games, and the Celtics had a 110-109 lead in the seventh game but turned the ball over in the final seconds. However, when the Sixers tried to inbound the ball for a winning shot, John Havlicek deflected the ball to teammate Sam Jones, and the Celtics held on for the victory. They would go on win the NBA title. That series would always be remembered as the one where Havlicek stole the ball.
18. Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals
The Browns-Bengals rivalry was a heated one long before a single game was played between the two. Paul Brown, the man who turned Cleveland into a dynasty, had been pushed out of town by owner Art Modell in 1963 and finally returned to the NFL five years later as owner and head coach of the expansion Bengals. Sharing the same state and separated by just a few hundred miles, these teams two annual showdowns are a Battle for Ohio. Now, neither team has won an NFL title since the Bengals were formed, but that hardly matters. In the mid- to late-1980s, Boomer Esiason s Bengals and Bernie Kosar s Browns were two of the premier teams in the AFC and one of the two appeared in the conference title game each season from 1986-1989. And when Bengals head coach Sam Wyche delivered his famous You don t live in Cleveland, you live in Cincinnati blast it stirred the rivalry pot even more.
19. Liverpool vs Manchester United
Take two teams from England s industrial North-West, make them two of England s most successful footballing sides and what do you get? Probably one of the biggest rivalries in English football. Liverpool and Manchester United are two of England s biggest clubs and have dominated for stretches over the past 40 years. With the appointment of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United made it a mission to knock Liverpool off their perch, and domestically they did just that over the course of the Premier League era. The Red Devils have enjoyed more league and domestic cup wins, while Liverpool have maintained bragging rights over European success with five Champions League trophies. The dislike these two clubs have for each other even goes down to the players who have been involved in numerous on-field incidents over the years.
20. New England Patriots vs New York Jets
The Jets-Pats rivalry has been a huge story for the past few seasons with Spygate, the Mangini-Belichick feud, Rex Ryan, Antonio Cromartie, Wes Welker, among other things. Not to mention constantly terribly overhyped games in the past half decade. But the bad blood really started to boil in the mid-1990 s when Bill Parcells left the Patriots to take over the Jets followed by Bill Belichick doing the same switcheroo (in reverse) four years later. It made perfect sense that the first time Parcells Jets faced the Pats, in Foxboro, overtime was needed in one of the most thrilling games of the 1997 season.
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