Tuesday, December 18, 2007

you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall

The Cowboys were humiliated on Sunday, at least the offense was. They were humiliated ... at home ... to the hated Eagles. I'm not sure I'd call that match up a "rivalry," but it got me to thinking about this year's team and what's lacking.

It's not a stretch to think that the Cowboys will make it to the Superbowl this year, but I find myself thinking that there's just a little something missing from a Superbowl run ... a rival.

Winning something is all the more sweet when there's a rival to overcome. Winning in the 90s was great because we got to rub the 49ers noses in it.

I got to thinking about the need for rivals and then to my favorite rivalries. This may be different than "the greatest rivalries" that some sports show may list. Michigan & Notre Dame may be great, but I don't care, so it's not great to me.

--- Be thinking about YOUR favorite rivalries in sports and/or which you think are the greatest. ---

I'll share my favorite rivalries.

Cardinals vs. Cubs - I grew up a Cardinals fan and there's always been great joy in beating the Cubbies. They're the team you love to beat. They're not typically a rival for winning the division, but over the years some great games have been played.

Lakers vs. Celtics (1980s) - After writing a book report about a man named "Lew Alcinder" in 3rd grade, I was forever thereafter a fan of the Mighty Lakers, the new home of "Kareem." How great were those games in the 80s with Lakers (Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Rambis, Scott, Nixon, McAdoo, Cooper, etc.) matching up with the Celtics (Bird, Parrish, McHale, DJ, Ainge, Walton, etc.), particularly in the NBA Finals? That was the Golden Era of the NBA for sure.

Cowboys vs. Redskins - As long as I can remember I've been a Cowboys fan, even while living in Kentucky and Alabama and other parts of the globe that my dad's Army career took us. This rivalry tends to work best when at least one of the teams is good, which is probably why the rivalry has been its weakest the past five years.

Back in the day those 2 teams really hated each other. I remember the recent game where the Cowboys were up by 13 with less than 2 minutes left and the Redskins smoked us with 2 big touchdown passes. I was so mad. But, there were our "paycheck players" yucking it up afterward, smokin' & jokin' with the Redskins as though they were teenagers hanging out at the mall.

Aggies vs. Longhorns - I'm an Aggie, so this one needs little explanation. However, I will point out that the Ags have smoked the t-sips like a cheap cigar the past 2 years in a row. Who's your daddy?

Cowboys vs. 49ers (1990s) - I still rejoice to see the 49ers watching the playoffs on their television screens, but the rivalry has dissipated. With Michael Irvin & Steve Young all friendly-like, you know it's over. I appreciate T.O. trying to resurrect it a few years back when his celebrations on "The Star," but all that did was show us that Emmitt still cared and that George Teague should be in the "Ring of Honor."

Still, in the 90s we had a great rivalry. Remember Kenny Norton, Jr. turning traitor on us by going to San Fran? Remember really turning up the hate meter when Deion left Atlanta for San Fran? Remember how you felt being down 21-3 in the NFC Championship game in '94 inside like the first 3 minutes of the game? I refused to watch the Superbowl that year, knowing that the Cowboys should have been the ones whipping up on the Lightning Bolts to the tune of 55-10.
November 12th 1995 (PM) was the 2nd time ever for me to preach and it was hard dragging my badself up to church to share our obligation to "Serve the Living God" after losing that game, a turning point in the rivalry. Honestly, we were fortunate that SF lost to Green Bay in the '95-96 playoffs so we could play them in the NFC Championship Game instead.

I was not a Barry hater, but I'm thinking that if Jimmy had stayed in Dallas, 5 Superbowls in a row, without a doubt. This rivalry also taught me that the chief characteristic of a fan is rooting for the laundry, a uniform. I loathed nobody more than Deion ... until he became a Cowboy. Then I was a big fan all of the sudden. I'm even warming up to T.O. this year.

Stars vs. Red Wings - This one really kicked in for me in '98 when the Stars were bounced by Wing in the Western Conference Finals. I never had any particular players who bear my ire, but the uniform in general. In both our trips to the Stanley Cup Finals ('99 & 2000) we were fortunate that Lanche knocked off Wing, because I don't think we could have taken Wing in a 7-game series either year. This rivalry died some, but not for me. I got particularly tender (even with the Stars) when Brett Hull AND Derrian Hatcher (my favorite Star) wound up wearing the hated red & white.

Though we've not had any good encounters in the playoffs lately, I still root for the Red Wings to eat it ... Reno-style.

Cardinals vs. disAstros - This one rivals the Longhorns for personal intensity and animosity. In fact, when Rachel was 2 I got in trouble from Mom for teaching Rachel to answer the question, "What do you think of the disAstros?" with "We hate 'em."

During baseball season I check the scores of 2 teams, the Cardinals and the disAstros, and a "W" for the former is just as good as a "L" for the latter. Since the wacky creation of the present divisions, the DisAstros have been the chief competition for the division title.

Honorable Mention: Mavericks vs. Spurs, Rocky vs. Apollo, and the Von Erichs vs. the Fabulous Freebirds.

What are your favorite rivalries in sports? OR What do you think are the greatest rivalries in sports? OR What teams do you love to "hate"?

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At 19 December, 2007 01:20, Blogger Jade said...

C'mon Gunny! How could you not mention the Yankees vs the Redsox?! It just wouldn't be american sports without that rivalry! Or did you purposely block that out of your mind?! :ob You certainly wouldn't turn down a ticket if you were given entrance to one of these series, would you?! :ob
BTW the Cowboys better win against the Patriots ... or I just won't forgive you for that! My NY teams have fallen apart and now I have to cross the border to find anyone that could beat this team! :o(

At 19 December, 2007 06:19, Blogger Jesus Girl said...

A Few Good Men

At 19 December, 2007 07:56, Blogger Ray Fowler said...

Lakers vs. Celtics was a great rivalry. I grew up just north of Boston and moved out to Los Angeles in 1984. I was a die hard Celtics fan surrounded by Lakers fans. And yes, that just made it all the more fun to watch the games (esp. the championships).

At 19 December, 2007 08:30, Anonymous Chris Brauns said...

(1) Red Sox and Yankees - -It has all the ingredients of a great rivalry: history, geography, great franchises, hate, and (most important) human growth hormone. Nothing like a little hgh to dial up the intensity.

(2) Michigan and Ohio State - -Granted, the player Woody actually hit was from Clemson. But, Buckeyes wish to a person that Woody had decked a Wolverine.

I'm officially starting a rumor that Woody Hayes was on steroids.

(3) The United States versus Communism before the fall of the Berlin Wall. I'm still bitter about the 72 basketball game with the Soviets. I'm still celebrating the impossible dream in Lake Placid. And, again, I point out the role that steroids played: remember those East German swimmers that made Paul Bunyan look like a sissy?

www.gotpreaching.wordpress.com (I can't get the sign in thing to work)

At 19 December, 2007 08:38, Blogger Michelle K said...

A Few Good Men

At 19 December, 2007 09:11, Blogger Oilcan said...

A Few Good Men

As an Aggie, I also appreciate the OU-t.u. rivalry as it is always enjoyable to see the Sooners whip the t-sippers. It is the one game a year that I root for the Sooners.

At 19 December, 2007 09:11, Blogger Oilcan said...

A Few Good Men

As an Aggie, I also appreciate the OU-t.u. rivalry as it is always enjoyable to see the Sooners whip the t-sippers. It is the one game a year that I root for the Sooners.

At 19 December, 2007 09:17, Blogger Timothy said...

Well, you know my rivalries... Aggies vs. t-sips... and then Tech has become such a pain in recent years.

My big one growing up was Oilers and the Steelers... Now it's whoever is playing Dallas... I haven't really latched on to the Texans yet... that's why I'm more into college ball than the NFL.

And then there is the dreaded Red Birds! Can't stand them! :)
Go Astros!

At 19 December, 2007 13:06, Blogger samurai said...

I'm a Panther fan, and they don't have a very long history. But I like the ricalry that has formed between the Panthers and the Falcons, and also with the Buccaneers. These teams really don't seem to like each other.

I have to say, I am going to be chearing on my team this Saturday night, all the while praying for a Christmas miracle.

May God grant both teams an injury free game.

At 19 December, 2007 15:31, Blogger Lance said...

Corny Dogs. Cotton Bowl.
Stadium split at the 50--half crimson, half [the other color].
Winner usually advances to the conference championship.
Switzer vs. Royal
Stoops vs. Brown

They talk about it all year long down there.
You live in Alabama, you'd better take a side. Ain't no fence-sitters in dixie.

At 19 December, 2007 19:38, Blogger GUNNY said...

Okay, Jade, I threw a bone to the Yankees vs. Red Sox, visually that is.

Wasn't THAT a great moment to fuel the rivalry?!

Much as I hate the outcome of the World Series, dontcha think Boston enjoyed that whole thing all the more because they got to beat the Yankees in the process? Of course, coming back after being down 3-0 was pretty dern amazing.

Ray, what a great time to live in L.A., but profoundly tough on a Celtics fan. Of course, you probably already knew this, but Dennis Johnson passed away earlier this year. It kind of makes you realize just how long ago all of that was.

Chris, GREAT omission. US (i.e., U.S.) vs. the Evil Empire (i.e., U.S.S.R.). Those were some clearer times with the good guys (NATO) vs. the bad guys (Warsaw pact).

Oil, Yeah, I don't mind wearing red that one Saturday when the Red River Shoot Out comes to Dallas.

Timothy, sometimes the apple falls from the tree. Your Aggieness *almost* makes up for your bizarre fondness for the disAstros and crazy envy of America's Team (i.e., the Dallas Cowboys).

I'll be praying for you that your maroon blood will make it to your head and you can get your mind right!


Samurai, I'm more than a bit worried about this game against the Panthers and I've actually been concerned whenever we've played them ever since they bumped us from the playoffs the year after we won the Superbowl. We didn't see that coming.

With Tony's thumb questionable and no Roy Williams and no Patrick Watkins (that's TWO (2) safeties), we may have some difficulties.

Oddly enough, we're undefeated on the road this year and have lost twice at home. So much for home field advantage.

Lance, You know Auburn-Alabama crossed my mind. As a kid I lived in Alabama for a year and remember everyone being consumed with that game. In fact, it was the first time I realized there was football outside of Sunday's NFL action.

I did pick a side, actually, but probably shouldn't share which side I chose.

At 19 December, 2007 20:47, Blogger Rev. said...

Favorite rivalries:
Cowboys vs. Redskins
Cardinals vs. Cubs

Greatest rivalries in sports
(previously unmentioned; good catches Jade and Lance):
Florida vs. Florida St.

Teams I hate:
1) SF Forty-Niners
2) Philadelphia Eagles
3) Washington Redskins
4) NY Giants
5) Baltimore Ravens

1) SF Giants
2) NY Mets
3) Philadelphia Phillies

NCAA Football -
1) Univ. Miami, FL
2) Nebraska

NCAA Basketball -
1) Georgetown

1) Detroit Pistons
2) LA Lakers

1) Detroit Red Wings

At 20 December, 2007 19:53, Anonymous Anonymous said...


regarding your comment on Bradley's blog about girls not looking 16 when we were that age. that's one of the points I teach youth pastors - our young girls are under relentless pressure to look older before their minds catch up. what is more tragic is that some moms are struggle with identity too and when they 'grow up' they want to be just like their teenage daughter.

Luke Bobo

At 21 December, 2007 00:00, Blogger Jade said...

Gunny wrote:
Okay, Jade, I threw a bone to the Yankees vs. Red Sox, visually that is.

Wasn't THAT a great moment to fuel the rivalry?!

Much as I hate the outcome of the World Series, dontcha think Boston enjoyed that whole thing all the more because they got to beat the Yankees in the process? Of course, coming back after being down 3-0 was pretty dern amazing.

Ugh! Did you have to throw that one picture in with Zimmerman and Pedro at it?! Sigh ... that was a mess! I can only imagine that fights that broke out on the bleachers! That was a painful year for us Yanks in 2004. But hey, they still need to win over 23 World series to even be a contender of overcoming the World Series King!

Although one should consider the Subway series as among the great rivalries (Yanks vs Mets). It's not as heated as with the RedSox but it's quite heated among NYer's. :o)

I'm surprised you didn't mention Cards vs Mets. There seems to be alot of Cards fans that hate the Mets ... so I wondered...

At 22 December, 2007 12:41, Blogger Jade said...

BTW Gunny, what's with that rumor that Jessica Simpson is affecting Romo's performance? Do you find any truth to these allegations? ;O)

At 22 December, 2007 16:57, Blogger GUNNY said...

The theory is that his head wasn't in the game, being distracted by his new love.

The last time Romo had a similar meltdown of a game was when (then love) Kelly Clarkson was his "date" for the game.

I haven't had a chance to talk with Tony about it personally, since he called when I was busy. However, he left a message on my mobile saying the rumors were baseless.

But ... he also shared he was taking Brittney Spears to the next game, so I'm at least just a tad worried.

At 24 December, 2007 07:59, Blogger Timothy said...

Merry Christmas & Go Cowboys!

At 24 December, 2007 11:20, Blogger GUNNY said...

Securing home field advantage is huge, especially as the Cowboys are somewhat limping their way into the playoffs.

I was hoping that the Bills would beat the Giants, forcing them to play HARD against the Patriots to get into the playoffs and to prevent a "perfect" season.

No joy, however.

Still, we got help with Green Bay, which is huge. Now we can rest up some folks and gear up for the divisional round.

I'm thinking the Redskins will get the last "Wild Card" seed.

Minnesota sure has run out of steam.


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