#TBT: Rivalries

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim about baseball: Rivalries.

I got an email from Goldstar about the upcoming games between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. [Ed note: Those games are here once again!] The L.A. area is roughly split in two by allegiance to these two teams, and one thing we believe here at Goldstar is that by calling attention to games that aren’t just athletic competitions but rivalries, we’re drawing out more of what makes the game interesting and, thereby, getting people more excited about going.

Why is a rivalry more interesting? A few reasons, potentially:

First, there’s some animosity, or at least contention between the two sides. Although in most cases in sports, I think this animosity is mostly good-natured (among the teams themselves, if not the fans), it gives everyone involved a little more motivation to hustle, to care, to scream their heads off about something and get emotionally invested. You may not really dislike the other team, but you don’t want to be on the losing side of a long-running battle, either.

Second, there’s history. Players and teams before today had to duke it out with these guys, and they succeeded (or didn’t) and it’s our job to keep that up (or turn it around). Memories are made and traditions are born out of rivalries.

Third, the best comes out. Because of all this, the players tend to find an extra dimension to their games, to push themselves harder, to do what they can to ensure they don’t lose. This makes it all much, much more interesting to watch.

So here’s a thought: Has any other form of live entertainment ever harnessed the power of rivalries other than sports? Could they? If so, what would that be like?

I bet it would work if someone could figure it out.

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