Sunday, January 20, 2008

Superbowl XLII - Pats vs. Giants

As if Boston sports fans didn't have enough to get excited about this year, they now have the chance to cap off the perfect season by knocking off a New York based team. And from what I know about Bostonians, the only thing they like better than winning is winning against teams from New York.

So in anticipation of the Boston-New York Superbowl, here is the tale of the tape for the four major rivalries between these two great cities:

Celtics vs. Knicks

New York Times
April 26, 1988

From the beginning of the National Basketball Association in 1946, the rivalry between the Knicks and the Celtics, the only two original franchises still in the same cities, has grown into one sport's fiercest.

Bostonians and New Yorkers have argued over their cities' respective merits and accomplishments since before the Revolution. They have tried to outdo each other in politics, science, art and almost everything else.

''I think it's an underlying city rivalry. It's the cities themselves. The rivarlry is not only in basketball, but baseball and hockey also."

The basketball rivalry can probably be laid to the personal rivalry between Walter Brown, the original Celtic owner, and Ned Irish, the Knicks' first president.

They were both intense promoters looking for an edge. But while Brown often was forced to operate the Celtics on a shoestring, playing second fiddle in popularity to the Boston Bruins, Irish had the backing of the rich ownership of Madison Square Garden.

In the 1950's, when pro basketball doubleheaders were commonplace at the old Garden, Irish would pay Brown to bring the Celtics into the Garden as the second game.

Through the haze of three decades, there are the memories of Bob Brannum and Harry Gallatin muscling each other, of the way Jim Loscutoff would take out his frustration on Kenny Sears and of the day that Al McGuire, after doing an outstanding job against Bob Cousy, stood in the Knicks' dressing room after the game, his fist clenched, proclaiming, ''I own Cous.''

Then a few years later came the glory years of the Russell-led Celtics, when the Knicks would go to Boston Garden time after time and be beaten to a pulp.

To read more about this rivalry, click HERE

Rangers vs. Bruins

I have no idea what caused this brawl, but it makes the Malice at The Palace look like a slapping match between two girls who can't remember which Barbie Doll belongs to whom. Wow.

Red Sox vs. Yankees

As evidenced by this video shot by a Red Sox fan walking into the bleachers wearing his Sox cap, to say that Yankees fans don't like Sox fans would be like saying that maybe the Sox should have reconsidered before selling Babe Ruth to their division rivals down in the Bronx.

For a history of the Sox-Yankees rivalry, feel free to pick up any baseball related article Bill Simmons has ever written.

Giants vs. Pats

They played the game of the year back in Week 17, and the good karma manufactured by the Giants not resting their starters in an attempt to keep the Pats from becoming the first NFL team to go 16-0 in the regular season has propelled the G-men all the way to Glendale.

Not only was this a ridiculously exciting game to watch, it also provided football fans with the single most significant statistical play in the history of the sport. The TD pass was Brady's 50th of the year (a new NFL record); the TD reception was Moss's 23rd of the year (a new NFL record); and the points gave New England 582 on the season, establishing a new NFL regular season record.

Let's just hope that, unlike Teen Wolf Too, this year's sequel can live up to the original.

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