Columnist lists his top 5 rivalries

Mike Ditch / Jr.

Over the years we’ve been subject to the hype and hoopla created by the media to fabricate so-called rivalries between teams (as evidenced by ESPN’s rivalry week).

In the golf world, the media has been searching for a rival to Mr. Woods, and for a brief period of time tried to make it sound like Woods and Phil Mickelson were battling it out on a week-to-week basis on the PGA Tour.

Despite what the media was telling its viewers, Tiger had 10 more majors than Mickelson, as well as a lead over Mickelson in the world golf rankings that had the same margin as the difference between Mickelson and the 5,291st player in the world (OK, slight exaggeration, but you get the point).

However, there are some modern-day rivalries out there, and the top five are listed below. As with all of those dumb lists on Best Goshdarn Sports Show, VHUno’s Top Whatever list, and others, these are meant to be absolutely meaningless and debatable. Have at it.

5) Ohio State-Michigan/Duke-UNC: while some claim these are great rivalries, they are only great in their specific realms. OSU/Michigan is a great rivalry in college football (until Tressel took over), and Duke/UNC is only relevant in the world of men’s college hoops action (although if you can’t beat your rival at home, you need to re-evaluate your situation Mr. K).

4) Celtics-Lakers; the resurgence of the Celtics has undoubtedly reignited this dormant blaze. The C’s add Allen and Garnett, and the Lakers countered by swapping for Pau Gasol. This rivalry goes back to Russell-Chamberlain, Bird-Magic, and now Kobe-Pierce. As a Spurs fan, I’m hoping we don’t see this matchup again in June, but if we do, you know that Stu Scott & Co. will be all over it like the clear on Barry Bonds.

3) Yankees-Red Sox; I’m still not sure why people claim this is a great rivalry. Yankees 27, Red Sox 2. So instead I’m replacing these teams with KU-Missouri. This rivalry started with the idiots next door decided to raid Lawrence and burn the town down. Ever since, Kansas has been dominating those Tiger Puffs in football and basketball. Don’t let Mizzou fans tell you that they own us in football, they don’t.

2) Patriots-Colts; Brady v. Manning, clutch v. choke, Vinatieri v. Vinatieri, Dungy v. Belichick. It was the two opposites colliding each year. A juggernaut defense taking on a juggernaut offense. Then 2007 and 2008 happened, where the Colts took a piece of the Pats’ playbook and bolstered the defense while tempering the offense a bit. All while the Pats were overwhelming their opponent defenses with the duo involving Madden ’08 veto-override trade of the decade acquisition Randy Moss and Tom Brady. However, even this new rivalry pales in comparison to the number one.

1) Federer-Nadal; sure Nadal absolutely owns Federer on the red clay. However, Federer snapped Nadal’s unworldly winning streak on the surface. Nadal snapped Fed’s ridiculous winning streaks on grass and the hard court. Every time these two meet on something other than the dirt, they go five sets. Federer beat Nadal in the finals of Wimbledon twice, and Nadal has beaten Federer outside of Rolland Garros in a major final once. Perhaps, we can see them meet in every grand slam final this year.