Saturday, November 20, 2010
Who's Got Bragging Rights?
I hate Tottenham.
Not as much as I hate the Mets, Red Sox, Rangers and Penn State... but theyr'e getting there!
Not that Tottenham have bragging rights. They've got to win a major trophy first, and they haven't done that since the 1991 FA Cup. Since then, Arsenal have won the League 4 times, the FA Cup 5 times and the Cup Winners' Cup once (though that trophy and its tournament were phased out after the 1999 season).
It's also the first time Spurs have won at Arsenal since 1993, after last season beating Arsenal in any League game for the first time since 1999.
Who has bragging rights in America? I'll leave out the various college rivalries, including the big ones that began today and will continue for the next 2 weeks, since there's just too many of them and the answers may change over said fortnight.
Major League Baseball
New York Yankees or New York Mets? Easy. Until the Mets beat the Yankees in a World Series, it's the Yankees.
New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox? Harder to say. The Sox won the last postseason series between the teams, but the Yanks clinched their last Division Title in a sweep of the Sox, and while the Yanks didn't win the Pennant this year, they did make the Playoffs, the Sox didn't. The only real way to settle it is to say that, since 1918, the Yankees have won 27 World Series, and the Sox, none *.
New York Mets or Philadelphia Phillies? This didn't become a real rivalry until the Phils made it one, so Phils.
New York Mets or Atlanta Braves? Who cares, this was never a real rivalry.
Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox? The White Sox have now won a Pennant since 1959, the Cubs not since 1945; the Sox a World Series since 1917, the Cubs not since 1908; and no regular-season achievement by the Cubs can top that. And yet, the Cubs still outdraw the Sox.
Chicago Cubs or St. Louis Cardinals? You're kidding, right? Cards.
Los Angeles Dodgers or Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? Up until 2002, this would have been a joke in the Bums' favor. Now it's a joke in the Halos' favor.
San Francisco Giants or Oakland Athletics? World Series win this year beats "Moneyball" and no World Series win since 1989. Giants.
San Francisco Giants or Los Angeles Dodgers? Since winning the World Series in 1988, the Bums have 6 Playoff berths, and 2 trips to the NLCS, but no Pennants. In that same span, the Giants have 7 Playoff berths, 3 trips to the NLCS, 3 Pennants, and are the current World Champions. Giants.
National Football League
New York Giants or New York Jets? The Giants are still the last of the 2 to reach, let alone win, a Super Bowl. Rex and his boys talk the talk, but while they came within a half of changing the preceding sentence, they have yet to walk the walk. Giants.
New York Giants or Philadelphia Eagles? Eagles still waiting, 50 years. Giants.
New York Jets or New England Patriots? Since the revelation that the Pats cheated, all 3 Super Bowl wins are tainted. Still, the Jets' only Super Bowl trip was in the last days of the LBJ Administration. The Jets may have come within a half of reaching the Super Bowl last season, but, again, they've got to back up the talk. Patriots.
Philadelphia Eagles or Dallas Cowboys? Eagles still waiting, 50 years, and in spite of a tremendous run to the 2008 NFC Championship Game that included a humiliation of the Cowboys in the last game at the Hole Bowl in Irving, America's Most Wanted Team got revenge in last season's Playoffs. I hate the Cowboys, like all people with taste, but... Cowboys.
Washington Redskins or Dallas Cowboys? The 'Skins last reached the NFC Championship Game (and won it, and the Super Bowl) in the 1991 season. Since then, the Cowboys have won 3 Super Bowls. The Cowboys suck right now -- Let me rephrase that: The Cowboys always suck, but, right now, they also stink, while the Redskins look like they're on the way back. But they've still got to do something big. Cowboys.
Chicago Bears or Green Bay Packers? More recently, it's the Packers who have made the Playoffs, the Packers who have reached the NFC Championship Game, the Bears who have reached the Super Bowl, and the Packers who have won the Super Bowl. The Bears look better right now, but we're in mid-season. The Bears need to prove more. Packers.
Green Bay Packers or Minnesota Vikings? The Vikings reached the NFC Championship Game last season, but this season, they've become something the Pack have never been: A joke of a team with Brett Favre as their starting quarterback. And Favre is a joke. All of his achievements are fading in the public memory. Packers.
San Francisco 49ers or Oakland Raiders? Neither. The 49ers were the more recent to win a Super Bowl, but that was 16 years ago; the Raiders were the more recent to reach one, but that was 8 years ago. Right now, they're stinking up the Bay Area worse than any "dirty hippie" ever did in a right-wing nut's filthier mind. So who has bragging rights? I guess the Niners: 5 Super Bowls beats 3, especially sine the Raiders' last was when they were representing Los Angeles.
Kansas City Chiefs or Oakland Raiders? The Raiders won a thriller last week, and that's the least of the reasons. More respectable franchise? Chiefs. Bragging rights? Raiders.
National Basketball Association
New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets? If the Nets move into the Barclays Center for the 2012-13 season like they say they will (construction is now well underway), then the Knicks have won the argument for all time, since, at the conclusion of the preceding season, there will no longer be a "New Jersey Nets." It wouldn't even matter if the Nets pull off a miracle and win the NBA Championship in these last 2 seasons in New Jersey: As a cultural entity, they are dying. Whatever they will call themselves in October 2012, they will no longer be a New Jersey team. Knicks.
New York Knicks or Boston Celtics? Let's see, the Knicks last won the title in 1973. Since then, the Celtics have won 6. Celtics.
Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers? The Lakers won the last Finals between them. Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers or Los Angeles Clippers? Just trying to see if you were still paying attention. If so, then that's more than the Clips have been doing. Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers or Golden State Warriors? Except for their Playoff run a couple of years ago, the Warriors have nothing going for them since last winning a title in 1975 (and haven't even won the Pacific Division since 1976). Nothing going for them, except Jessica Alba is a fan of theirs. Unfortunately for her, the Warriors' title chances are as invisible as her Fantastic Four character sometimes gets. Lakers.
Chicago Bulls or Detroit Pistons? The Bulls have the 6 titles, but the Pistons have won one since, and have remained contenders since, while the Bulls go back and forth from respectable to not. Pistons.
Miami Heat or Orlando Magic? The Heat have a title, but the Magic have been to the Finals since. The LeSchmuck James signing, though, gives the Heat cultural momentum. Heat.
Portland Trail Blazers or Seattle SuperSonics? Wait, the Sonics are gone. So, obviously, Blazers.
National Hockey League
New York Rangers or New York Islanders? It was the Isles and their fans who taught us all that the RANGERS SUCK! But the Isles are barely even still in the league. One of these days, I've got to do that "Teams Most Likely to Move" post, because the Isles are right up there. Rangers. Who still suck.
New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils? The Mulberry Street Marauders have won 3 Stanley Cups since the last one won by the Broadway Boozehounds. But The Scum embarrassed us in the most recent Playoff series between the teams, and still have too many fans on the Scarlet & Black side of the Hudson. Scum.
New Jersey Devils or Philadelphia Flyers? The Devils have won 3 Cups since the last one won by the Broad Street Bozos, including 2 wins over the Flyers in Eastern Conference Finals. But the Flyers have won the last 2 Playoff series between them, including last season. Flyers.
New York Rangers or Boston Bruins? From 1994 to about 2007 or so, it was the Rangers. But now, things are back to the way they've been for almost the entire rest of their shared history. As Denis Leary would say, "It's called Bruins."
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins? The Pens have won 3 Cups since the last one won by the Flyers, and even last year's Finals berth by the Flyers doesn't change that. Penguins.
Montreal Canadiens or Boston Bruins? The Habs have won 7 Cups sine the last one won by the Bruins, but since they haven't won one in 17 seasons, that argument isn't exactly flying. Still, even on the ground, it's a pretty good one. Canadiens.
Montreal Canadiens or Toronto Maple Leafs? The Habs have won 10 Cups since the Leafs last went to the Finals, and the Leafs have mostly been a joke since. Canadiens.
Toronto Maple Leafs or Buffalo Sabres? The Sabres have never won a Cup, but 0-for-40 still isn't as bad as 0-for-43. And, right now, the Sabres are better. Sabres.
Toronto Maple Leafs or Ottawa Senators? As bad as the Senators were when they started, in the Daniel Alfredsson era they've been at least respectable. You can't say that about the Leafs and keep a straight face. Senators.
Chicago Blackhawks or Detroit Red Wings? Memo to Wings fans: The Colorado Avalanche were never your biggest rival. It just looked like that because the Hawks were incapable of making the Western Conference Finals from 1995 to 2009. But now they have, twice in a row, and have beaten the Wings and ended their 49-year Cup drought in the process. The Wings are still one of the best teams in the game, but they no longer have the upper hand. Blackhawks.
Los Angeles Kings or Anaheim Ducks? "Ducks" is still a stupid name, even without the laughable "Mighty" attached to it. But, come on, the Ducks are 1-for-2 in Cup Finals since getting started in 1993. The Kings have been around since 1967, have made 1 Finals and reached 1 other Conference Finals, never winning the Cup. No other NHL team has been around longer without winning at least 1. (The St. Louis Blues have been around for the same time without winning 1, but at least they've been to 3 Finals.)
This is truly shameful for the Kings: Not only do they have that record, but they've been passed by a time with a stupid name and stupid uniforms (though neither as stupid as they were when "Mighty"). And, unlike the Dodgers with the Angels, they can't look down their nose at Anaheim and say, "At least we had Sandy Koufax!" Who are the Kings gonna say they have, Marcel Dionne? The Ducks have had Scott Niedermayer, and he's got a ring. Ducks.