Throughout history, battles among rivals have told some of the best stories, and you can share those same sentiments while watching sports. Animosity flows through today’s best rivalries in American professional sports, making for an unforgettable viewing experience.
NHL: Bruins vs. Canadiens
Hockey has seen a handful of intense rivalries over the decades. However, one rivalry that’s remained strong the longest is between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens. The two teams have had nearly 180 showdowns in the playoffs alone, with each side having their reign of greatness. The rivalry favors the Bruins currently, but Montreal has stood firm over time.
Other notable rivalries: Avalanche vs. Red Wings, Penguins vs. Capitals
NBA: Lakers vs. Celtics
This rivalry has lost its luster with the current downfall of the Los Angeles Lakers, but there’s always a magical ring in your ear when you hear it’s the Lakers vs. Celtics. Any rivalry that spans decades and includes multiple legendary players will have some juice behind it.
The rivalry has had two distinct phases, with the first being Magic’s “Showtime” Lakers going up against Larry Bird’s Celtics. Like the NCAA final that saw Magic Johnson come out on top, the Lakers had more success, beating Bird and the C’s 11-8 in head-to-head matchups.
The second phase of the rivalry involved Kobe’s Lakers’ squad against Kevin Garnett and company. The two each won a pair of championships, although the Celtics won the first title in six games compared to the Lakers winning in seven two years later.
Other notable rivalries: Warriors vs. Cavaliers, Bulls vs. Pistons, Knicks vs. Heat
MLB: Yankees vs. Red Sox
Baseball continues to be a regional sport, so your interpretation of the best rivalry depends on your rooting interest. However, the alpha dog of MLB rivalries will forever be the Boston Red Sox vs. the New York Yankees.
These foes have been battling for the better part of a century now, with no shortage of drama in that time. There have been thousands of nationally relevant games between these two east coast powerhouses, from Babe Ruth to Aaron Judge. Currently, the Red Sox are trying to operate on a budget, while the Yankees continue to offer blank checks to anyone they want in pinstripes. Still, the rivalry will continue for another hundred years.
Other notable rivalries: Cardinals vs. Cubs and Giants vs. Dodgers
NFL: Bengals vs. Chiefs
The NFL is the straw that stirs the sports drink, and there’s nothing hotter in the league than Patrick Mahomes’s Kansas City Chiefs against Joe Burrow’s Cincinnati Bengals. The duo has emerged as the NFL’s top two quarterbacks, and their back-to-back battles in the AFC Championship are the tip of the iceberg for what’s to come. Both have one win against each other, but a Super Bowl ring still eludes Burrow.
Other notable Rivalries: Steelers vs. the AFC North, Cowboys vs. the NFC East
Today’s best rivalries in American professional sports ensure must-see TV throughout the year. Even if you have no feelings for either side, watching two teams duke it out is a great way to spend three-plus hours.