Subject: Re: A Proposal to divide Rec.Sport.Soccer
Date: 20 Jan 1998 21:28:16 GMT
From: (Dustin Christmann)

Huw Morris wrote:
>Chuck Pearson wrote:
>> well, at least huw and steve know what the yanks think of them.  8-)
>You two are just jealous that you don't have any proper rivalries. :-)
>Columbus and Chicago? How far apart are they?

Several hours by car, but they're probably further than that, in effect.
Since Chicago is in the Western Conference and Columbus is in the East,
the most that they'll play is twice a year and possibly in the MLS Cup final.
Meanwhile, Chicago will be playing Kansas City and Dallas four times each
during the regular season and possibly a few more times in the playoffs.

As further emphasis, Dallas has played Kansas City 11 times in two seasons:
four times during the 1996 regular season, three times in the 1996 playoffs,
and four times during the 1997 regular season.  Total record: Dallas has five
wins and no shootout wins and Kansas City has four wins and two shootout wins.
And the personal rivalries are heated, as well.  Just last season, one saw
the following:

* After Mark Santel committed a hard foul in Kansas City on April 18, KC
coach Ron Newman dumped water on Santel, provoking a confrontation and fine
for Newman.

* After the same match, which KC won 2-1, Burn coach Dave Dir fliply asserted
that KC didn't play defense.  After the Whiz beat the Burn in a shootout after
a 1-1 draw on June 6, Whiz goalie Mike Ammann responded that if KC didn't
play defense, that he guessed that the Burn didn't play any offense.

* In response, the Burn beat the Whiz 3-1 in Kansas City on July 6.  Playing
in goal for the Burn was backup Garth Lagerwey, who was the starting goalie
in Kansas City in 1996 and stopped the Burn in a shootout to send the Burn
out of the playoffs, but was unceremoniously cut following the season.  After
conceding a goal off a deflection, Lagerwey stonewalls his old team, even
stopping a penalty kick late in the match.  Following the match, he gives
a profanity-laced opinion of Newman's player evaluation skills to any and all
media members in the dressing room.

* In the last regular-season match between the two, the Whiz beat the Burn 2-1
in Dallas on August 2, winning the match on a penalty kick, following a very
dubious penalty allegedly committed by Brandon Pollard on Preki.  As the two
were chasing after a through ball, with Pollard winning the race, Preki runs
into his back, sending both tumbling to the field, and the ref pointed to the
spot.  Only a few minutes earlier, during a player-ref argument, Whiz defender
Steve Pittman cheapshots Burn forward Damian.  Damian retaliates and gets sent

* Finally, during the Burn's 3-0 rout of Los Angeles at the Cotton Bowl on
October 8 to boot the Galaxy from the playoffs, scoring updates are given from
Denver, where the Rapids are battling back from 1-0 down to beat the Whiz.
With each Rapids goal announced over the loudspeaker, a roar arises from the
Dallas crowd.

Not bad for a two-year-old league.  As far as Columbus goes, they might have
a fledging rivalry going with Tampa Bay, but Tampa seems to be more interested
in getting it on with Miami.  Maybe the Chicago thing isn't such a bad idea
after all.

Subject: Re: A Proposal to divide Rec.Sport.Soccer
Date: 21 Jan 1998 10:06:19 GMT
From: (Huw Morris)

Oh, c'mon! Every team has other teams they don't like. Leeds and Man
Utd are an example in England. That's not the same as a proper local 
rivalry. It's when the same local paper covers both teams, where half
your friends support the other lot and where town bragging rights are
at stake each time they play. That can't possibly happen between Dallas
and Kansas City.

Subject: Re: A Proposal to divide Rec.Sport.Soccer
Date: 21 Jan 1998 23:59:42 GMT
From: (Dustin Christmann)

Well, in England you have 92 league clubs in an area smaller than the state
of Texas.  I'd say that that's going to be difficult to duplicate here, at
least outside of the New York metro area, where there are generally at least
two teams in every major sport and those teams don't like each other.  But
even in other parts of the country, you have intense rivalries over hundreds
of miles.  Houston Rockets fans hate the San Antonio Spurs.  Spurs fans hate
the Rockets.  Texas Longhorns fans hate the oklahoma s00ners.  s00ners fans
hate the Longhorns.  Longhorns hate the aggeez.  aggeez hate the Longhorns.
Northern California teams' fans hate LA teams.  And vice versa.  And on and

What matters is not the geographic proximity, though it helps, but the events
between the teams that build bad blood.  Things like what happened at the end
of the 1993 baseball between the LA Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.  The
Giants had won over 100 games that season and were fighting tooth-and-nail
with the Atlanta Braves for the National League West crown and a trip to
the postseason, with the loser staying home.  Meanwhile, LA's season had been
over for a while.  But LA and San Francisco met at the end of the season in
a three game series.  LA went out and beat the Giants in that series and
cost them the division crown, with the Dodgers taunting the Giants the entire

To this day, Dodgers fans remember it with a sense of pride.  If you're a
Dodgers fan, it is almost law that you must hate the Giants.  And if you're a
Giants fan, you must hate the Dodgers.  And yet, LA and San Francisco are
hundreds of miles apart.  Some might point out that both teams used to make
their homes in New York, but that was over 40 years ago.  Nobody would care
unless the rivalry was energized on a regular basis.
And even with geographic proximity, there's no guarantee that the two teams
will form a rivalry.  There's no real Knicks-Nets rivalry, for example.  Most
Knick fans just don't care about the Nets.  Likewise, the Houston Rockets-Dallas
Mavericks games are pretty ho hum affairs.  As a Rockets fan, I just don't
care about playing the Mavericks.  But the Spurs!  My day is a little brighter
every time the Rockets beat the Spurs.  And when the Rockets smacked around
the Spurs in best-of-seven series each year in the playoffs on their way to
two straight titles, I was in heaven each time.  I tell you, there's got to be
bad blood.

That's what building between the Burn and the Whiz.

Subject: Re: A Proposal to divide Rec.Sport.Soccer
Date: 23 Jan 1998 15:19:35 -0500
From: (Jeffrey Winters)

Bruce Scott TOK ( wrote:
: Dodger-Giant rivalry goes back to the days when it was Brooklyn vs The
: Bronx.

Well, actually, Brooklyn vs. New York -- the Giants played at the Polo
Grounds in Harlem.

Me, I'd love to see an MLS squad in New York City proper, competing
against the New Jersey MetroStars, but then I'd like to move the Expos or
the Pirates or some such team back to Brooklyn.  I'm just a sucker for
heated cross-town rivalries.

Or how about "life-style" rivalries?  In most US states, the college
rivalries break along the rural vs. urban fault lines -- Indiana vs.
Purdue, Texas vs. A&M, Washington vs. Wazzou, etc.  It might take some
marketing smarts to develop club personalities that way in MLS (the only
pro examples I can think of are the Raiders, Celtics, and Cowboys), but it
might be a way to push a handful of teams into a larger public

Atletico Aztlan, anyone?

Subject: Re: A Proposal to divide Rec.Sport.Soccer
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 15:51:48 -0600
From: Stan collins 

> Well, actually, Brooklyn vs. New York [...]

Well, no, it is Brooklyn and the Bronx.  He just has the teams wrong.  The
Dodgers main rivals were most certainly the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees.  Which
is part of the point, really.  Even if the Giants had been the Dodgers main
rival, which they never were, it wouldn't have maintained over their move
several hundred miles apart (even if they did head in the same general

Dustin's right.  There's no reason why an LA Dodgers fan dislikes the GIants
because they once played in New York.  That fan probably wasn't alive at the
time, certainly never rooted for the Dodgers when they were in Brooklyn, and
has no particular reason to care.  Ask the Baltimore Ravens whether they
consider the Cincinnati Bengals cheif rivals.

> Or how about "life-style" rivalries?  [...]

Good point.  I think most rivalries at least partially fall along some kind of
lifestyle fault lines.  It may not boil down to urban vs. rural all that often
in the pros (or not nearly as often as it does in college) other issues, such
as blue collar vs. white collar are prominent in professional sports rivalries
in America.

Part of the difference between LA and San Francisco is an 'Old Town' vs 'New
Town' kind of thing.  A far greater proportion of San Franciscans have lived
in the area for quite a while than that of Los Angelinos (at least among the
middle class).  Los Angeles is so glitzy and glamourous while San Francisco is
more of a 'big town' than a city, not so LA.  San Francisco has a lot more
character and architectural style than LA (or, for that matter, any city in
the USA).

But much of this is in the teams personnel themselves.  Individual incidents
between teams that stick in the memory of the fans create rivalry, as Dustin
points out.  A history between two teams has to be developed, and that can
only be accomplished with time.  Dallas and KC are forming that kind of thing
in a nascent way (but more so than any other two teams, I suspect).  Sort of
like the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings are getting that way through
repeated meetings in the playoffs tinged with that extra little bit of

> It might take some marketing smarts to develop club personalities that way
> in MLS 

It might or might not work.  It's usually not difficult for the fans to tell
when it really gets personal with the players.

Subject: Re: A Proposal to divide Rec.Sport.Soccer
Date: 24 Jan 1998 04:31:24 GMT
From: (Dustin Christmann)

>The Dodgers main rivals were most certainly the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees.

Actually, the Dodgers probably had some pretty fierce rivalries with both.
After all, they played the Giants 22 times a season (back when there were
only eight teams in each league and there were 154 games a season) and
especially during the 50s, the National League pennant usually came down to a
race between the Dodgers and the Giants.  As for the Dodgers and Yankees,
the two could only meet in a meaningful game in the World Series, but since
so much rode on those games, they were intense to start with, and since they
were an intracity game, they were even more intense.

>Ask the Baltimore Ravens whether they
>consider the Cincinnati Bengals cheif rivals.

Do the Bengals even have a true rivalry with anyone?

>Good point.  I think most rivalries at least partially fall along some kind of
>lifestyle fault lines. 

Or any other time that a region can be split between two groups.  For instance,
for years, there were only six teams in the NHL, and of those, two were in
Canada: the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens.  People tell me
that during that time, the Maple Leafs were English Canada's team, while the
Canadiens were French Canada's team, making for a pretty intense rivalry that
lasts to this day, even though there are few more Canadian teams.

>Part of the difference between LA and San Francisco is an 'Old Town' vs 'New
>Town' kind of thing. 

Oh, there are so many differences between San Francisco and LA that you can
hardly begin to make a list.

>[...] Dallas and KC are forming that kind of thing
>in a nascent way (but more so than any other two teams, I suspect).

Well, I'd say that there's some nascent rivalry between the MetroStars and
DC United.  At least no one's show a bottle rocket at a bench at the Cotton
Bowl or Arrowhead Stadium.

>Sort of like the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings are getting that
>way through repeated meetings in the playoffs tinged with that extra little
>bit of violence.

When that cheap-shot artist Claude Lemieux is out on the ice, a little extra
violence is a given.  Look up the number of penalty minutes from Wednesday's
Avalanche-Stars game.

> [Marketing ploys] might or might not work.  

My observation is that marketing-driven rivalries don't tend to catch.  If
there's no reason for the fans to care, then they won't.

Subject: Re: A Proposal to divide Rec.Sport.Soccer
Date: 24 Jan 1998 22:01:08 +0100
From: (Bruce Scott TOK)

A perfect example of a cross-town rivalry which also incorporates a
perceived lifestyle clash is, of course,  FC Bayern vs 1860 Munich.

Subject: Re: A Proposal to divide Rec.Sport.Soccer
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 21:20:59 GMT
From: (Paul Louis)

IMHO the best example of a cross-town clash with cultural overtones is
Esteghal vs Pirouzi, both of Tehran, since Esteghal were traditionally
the Shah's team while Pirouzi were the people's.
Then if you add religion to the mix you get Celtic vs Rangers,
probably the most intense local derby of them all.

Subject: Re: rivalries (was Re: A Proposal to divide Rec.Sport.Soccer)
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 13:49:31 -0600
From: Stan collins 

Andrew McGregor wrote:

> On Fri, 23 Jan 1998, Stan collins wrote:
> > Well, no, it is Brooklyn and the Bronx.  He just has the teams wrong.  The
> > Dodgers main rivals were most certainly the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees.  Which
> utter bollocks.

Had you merely challenged me, you'd be merely incorrect.  I probably would have let
it slide.  (I did last time somebody asserted that the Giants were the Dodgers main
rivlas).  But no, you had to go and pop off.

The first soruce you might have thought to check was the Dodgers themselves.  The
official Brooklyn Dodgers website (endorsed by the LA Dodgers) "Brooklyn Dodgers:
the original America's team"  lists it's mission under is Yahoo description
(search:  "Brooklyn Dodgers") "following the Brooklyn Dodgers in their quest to beat
their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees. Site includes other Dodger info and

This is Dodger great Duke Snyder's statement about what the Dodgers meant:

                                            We were always the
                                            sentimental favorites
                                            and not because it was
                                            until 1955 to win our first
                                World Series. The Yankees were
                                admired, but the Dodgers were loved.
                                The Yankees were the ultimate
                                professionals--they even wore
                                pinstrips. We were the colorful,
                                scrappy underdogs. Someone said,
                                "Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting
                                for General Motors," but the whole
                                world had a great time rooting for the
                                Dodgers. You had to love a team that
                                had guys named Pee Wee, Oisk,
                                Skoonj, Preacher, and the name the
                                writers gave me--The Duke of Flatbush.
                                Later we picked up Campy and the Big
                                Newk. We had some unique names on
                                the management side with Branch,
                                Buzzie and Leo the Lip. Our batboy
                                was "The Brow." We sounded like an
                                assortment of characters out of Damon
                                Runyon, and in many ways we were."
                                Duke Snider(The Duke of Flatbush)

Interesting, isn't it, that a definition of Dodgerhood includes a definition of the
Yankees, but not the Giants?  He could hardly get a sentence out of his mouth that
didn't include the Yanks.  (Clearly it's also a manifestation of that "lifestyle
rivalry" kind of thing)

> How could they be rivals when not in the same league.
> This means in most seasons they wouldn't even play each other.  I agree
> the worlds series games between them would be hard fought but theses
> would be few and far between compared to dodgers - giants game.

Most seasons they didn't play each other, eh?

Can you tell me how often they played?  Save it, because I can.

Brooklyn's World Series opponent was the Yankees seven appearances *in a row*.
Every single time the Dodgers made the Series after 1920, they met the Yankees, and
for the first five times, they lost. (1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953)  They finally
beat the Bronx Bombers in 1955, but promptly lost again to them in 1956.  By the
time the Dodgers would make the Series again (in 1959), they would be the Los
Angeles Dodgers.

> damn, and you're american (and i'm not)

This explains a lot.  Your misperception is one of regular season games vs. Series
games.  Do you know how many regular season baseball games there are?  I mean, the
precise number is 162 but do you know what that means?

Well, as much as MLS critiques have centered on the meaninglessness of regular
season games, an individual regular season game in baseball *never* meant anything.
The 7 games at the end produces the champion that the 162 previuos games didn't.
The Dodgers and Giants very seldom met with anything serious on the line in that one
game.  the only excpetion that comes to mind is the one-game playoff in which Bobby
Thompson hit the 'Shot Heard Round the World."

But the Yankees were the primary obstacle to Dodgers championships again and again,
whereas the Dodgers mostly got the better of the Giants (not that the G-men were
poor, they made the Series in 1951, 1954, 1957, and 1958).  So asking after the
identity of the NY Giants main rivals (Dodgers?  Yanks?  Braves?)  is a complicated
question, but asking the identity of the Brooklyn Dodgers main rivals is not.  It's
the Yankees, cut and dried.