One debate that never ends is rivalries. Specifically, what’s the best rivalry in sports?
Since I’m in Cameron Indoor Stadium I’m a little biased. I pulled in a few minutes after 5 p.m., which is almost four hours before tip-off. I took what the freeway gave me, and it was in a giving mood.
Durham is freezing. Yet Duke students already had surrounded the gym when I arrived, running and yelling and thrilled to have a chance to be part of the (in alphabetical order) Duke-North Carolina game.
If you ask a Boston fan about the best rivalry in sports, he’s going to tell you Boston-New York or Red Sox-Yankees.
If you ask a New York fan, she’s probably going to say, New York against the world, unless she’s talking about the Knicks, in which case it’s player against player, player against coach and coach against owner and coach against everybody else.
Ohio State-Michigan is an amazing rivalry, as is Appalachian State-Michigan. Texas-Oklahoma is incredible. I’m talking football, obviously.
Minnesota-Wisconsin is huge if you spent several years at Minnesota.
The best rivalry is yours, the one that most moves you.
But some rivalries move everybody.
Duke-North Carolina is one of them. This is by far the best rivalry in college basketball. Proximity and sustained excellence make it so.
The best rivalry I’ve ever witnessed, however, is Alabama-Auburn football. As soon as you hit the state line fans are asking you to take sides. And they expect you to guess right. It’s an amazing experience.
Tonight will be, too.