Rivalries: Sports at its Best

As the sports editor, I am going to say this knowing full well I could get tried for treason. Last week, I was more excited for a UND sporting event than an NDSU one.

Now put down your pitchforks and torches away and hear me out.

For the first time in two years, the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota battled on the ice. I don’t care who you are or how much you care about hockey, this is a big one.

As a kid, growing up and watching those two teams fight it out was always a blast. I don’t remember much from the game I went to eight years ago, but I do remember a fight breaking out during the post game handshakes.

Boy, that is the definition of a fierce rivalry. It has been something I missed over the past two years.

There is just something about the rivalry, the passion, which is so intriguing. It is something that has been missing in college sports for the past couple of years. You can’t just replace the energy that was in Mariucci Arena on Friday night. And that energy was not just on the ice, but in the stands as well.

For two years, we have missed “Let’s go Souix!” (yes, that is what they said) trying to drown out “Let’s go Gophers!” chants. Why can’t the Bison get that?

Even during the Dakota Marker, SDSU fans were completely drowned out by Bison fans. That is just what happens when 90 percent of tickets go to the home side. Not saying that was a bad thing, but still.

As much as NDSU likes to hate on UND, that rivalry just doesn’t quite have the same feel. The game with UND last year was my first. It was exciting, put just not quite the full thing. Same goes with games with SDSU and UNI.

That is the thing about rivalries; they all have that special feel. There can be different levels of that feel, that excitement, but it is always there.

You could feel it in victory, and in defeat there is sadness (not to open wounds from the SDSU game).

Just look at all the big rivalries. Alabama-LSU made it hard to decide what to watch on Saturday, with game two of Gophers-Hawks on. There was no reason to watch that game for the offense.

How about the Vikings-Packers. This is something for any sports fan to, just once, get tickets to that game. Doesn’t matter if it is at Lambeau or US Bank, what an atmosphere.

I have no connections to either of the schools, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to check out a Duke-North Carolina game.

The timely example of U.S. and Mexico in the Hex of World Cup qualifying. May the dos a cero be ever in you favor.

All of those games just get the excitement pumping, even for a neutral fan.

So this is the part where I am just kind of sad the Bison don’t truly have that game. Yes, yes, SDSU is a good rival, but when is the last time you saw a scuffle halfway through the first quarter of the Dakota Marker game.

I mean, it took less than 10 minutes for the first misconduct penalties to be given out for the hockey game.

Given, the two sports have different qualities when it comes to on field interaction. Yet, there just is not that same level of emotion.

That is when sport is at its best. Two teams, leaving it all on the line. It is not just a game, it is history. It is pride. These are the reasons fans love to watch sports. And they always seem to deliver.


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