ESPN.com today had a poll of what is a better rivalry, the Jets-Patriots or the Steelers-Ravens. I voted for the Steelers-Ravens and it produced the results of 51-49. Really? Has anyone paid attention to football and what good ole fashioned hate is in the NFL.
The Steelers-Ravens is by far a long shot the best rivalry in the NFL, it’s the closest thing we have to what the Bears-Packers used to be. With free agency, and coaches being fired rivalries now only exist amongst the fans really. Especially when you see players go from like the Bears to the Packers, or Bears to Vikings or Eagles to Redskins. It has really hurt those hatred rivalries. Would Howie Long want to sign with Denver, Kansas City or San Diego. Probably not. Would Butkus or Singletary go to the Packers. HELL NO.
But the hatred that has come from the Steelers-Ravens and the smash mouth football, the hard hits, and just hate…it’s the best. They play 2, maybe if we are lucky 3 times a year. The AFC North has been won by either of the 2 teams 7 of the past 9 years. The games they play are important.
The Patriots and Jets has had buds in the past with the Parcells/Belichek tie in, Curtis Martin, and now Rex Ryan. But how big have the games actually been? The Patriots have won the division 8 of the last 10 years. The Jets, once. The games are blown up by the east coast media. But it’s not the best. I would say that the Patriots-Colts is a better rivalry than the Pats-Jets. They have played more high profile games and are more marquee.
So sorry Jets and Pats fans, enjoy the game this weekend. But you aren’t the marquee game. The other AFC game this weekend is.