In the world of sports there are many motivators that drive competition but none greater than that of a good rivalry. From the early stages of competitive sports and even earlier than that, children of “sports parents” and families alike are taught what rivalries their inherited favorite teams have.
Obviously there are the big ones that are known to most everyone throughout the state of Ohio and, like some of us, known despite one’s geographical location.
Even if you are not a sports aficionado but live in this state, there is the Ohio State and Michigan football rivalry. To most, “The Game” is the biggest and most looked forward to time of any football schedule, be it high school, college or professional gridiron action. And, though I may catch some flack for saying so, this particular “hatred” of Buckeye or Wolverine fans means next to nothing to me. Sure, the story behind the rivalry could be a column in and of itself but, we shall just leave it at that…simply me pointing it out as the most well known.
Then of course you have some rivalries that come about because of geography, which is usually the case and those extend across the realm of sports from high school all the way up to a professional level.
Two of those rivalries hit close to home, as in Galion, as the fall high school football season is almost upon us (yes, already). In 2019, a long-lost rivalry of sorts is set to return as the Shelby Whippets are once again apart of the same conference as the Galion Tigers. Throughout the old Northern Ohio League days, the Whippets and the Tigers were bitter rivals and I’m sure that that trend will continue now with both teams being in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference. If you were around for the NOL days and competed in most any sport, you may consider Shelby a year-round rival. Another big one for the Galion football Tigers comes in the form of the Bucyrus Redmen. Every fall, those two squads clash in the battle for the Seccaium Park trophy. With the Tigers currently holding the hardware, the two teams will clash again in 2019 to determine the locale of the trophy, despite the misspellings that it holds (have you ever paid close attention to the trophy?).
Of course then, you have a rivalry that hits me right in all of my feelings: the New York Yankees and THE Boston Red Sox.
Sure, there are many theories that could be thrown at this well-known rivalry and where it all came from. Was it Babe Ruth (curse you and your curse)? Is it the close proximity of the two legendary franchises? I am sure that if you were to dig deep enough, one could find the origin of it all. However, I am no archaeologist…
Listen, my step-father is a diehard Yankees fan and I don’t hate him for that. In fact, his love for his team is completely respectable, as is the pinstripes themselves…I mean c’mon, the team has more rings than you could shake a stick at. Whenever his Yanks and my Sox meet up, the trash talk and companionship reach all-time highs and that’s what it should be all about folks…the love of competition and the game, fueled, in large part, by whatever it is that made the rivalry begin.
Also, just so that I’m completely transparent here…I despise the Yankees and, well, the St. Louis Cardinals (sorry Noah). I am not a big proponent for usage of the word “hate” and will very seldom use the word and if I do, it’s more than likely accidental. Being a member of one of the most notorious fanbases in sports, I figured that I just had to make that clear. Not all fans are the direct reflection of some of the other fans’ actions or words.
I could probably go on and on about different rivalries that exist throughout the sports world, especially that of the pro teams but space, as well as time, is limited. With that being said, I’ll leave you with some words of advice, a few morals to this story if you will…Love the game, no matter who is playing. The athletes competing on any stage are just like you and I, human beings. They play their respective sports for (hopefully) their love of the game, of the action and you should enjoy the entertainment that they’ve worked so hard to provide to you, the casual spectator or the avid fanatic. Hate is such a strong word, rivalry is usually followed and/or proceeded with bitterness but love and appreciation can conquer even the diehards.
Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy
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