13 May 2005

Rivalry. Revelry.

MLS is calling Revs-DCU "one of the league's hottest rivalries to date." This is interesting, since as you know its always the Metros that are supposed to be DCU's rival. And they key word is "supposed." MLS has tried a number of social engineering experiments, including the idea of creating rivalries. But rivalries aren't really created, they're earned. It may have nothing to do with a sport. Pittsburgh/Cleveland is based all about geographic city rivalries. But the point is, you can't turn the rivalry business over to the marketing department. MLS tried to do that with Metros/DC, but the problem is that it isn't a rivalry when one side owns the other. Even the Cowboys/Redskins rivalry has diminished over the years. What kept the Yankees/Sawks going was the sense that Boston was about to break through, and once they did, the rivalry maintained itself through parity. DC owns NY/NJ so far, and the Atlantic Cup isn't going to change that. I think that the ReAL/Colorado rivalry might work, if only because the Rapids are playing like an expansion team.

But the Revs... now here's a rivalry. At the Conference Finals, there was a caution about 1' into the game. The game itself was tense. The rematch met expectations. A good game this weekend, and suddenly the Revs/DC rivalry could be the biggest in MLS. Two quality teams with history, both competitive, both with some history. This rivalry has been earned.