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Thinking Outloud: What Happened To Rivalries?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Where have all the fierce rivalries gone? Within the last year, a fellow sports columnist asked the public which rivalries were the best and it seemed that jearly everyone that responded, referred to the thought that their used to be old rivalry games between team A and team B. There are many alternatives that fill that mold across Nebraska, regardless of sport.
I personally recall the rivals of my alma mater. The love isn’t lost either and I have been out of school for nearly 20 years. According to what I have heard through the grapevine, the feelings were pretty much mutual for the rivals of the West Holt Huskies, ‘back in the day’.
Looking at the big picture, considering it was nearly 20 years ago since I recall battling for blood with a bitter rival is quite easy. The wins and losses are still stuck in my mind, some that tasted like sweet victories and others are a still a pit in the stomach. The feelings of distaste towards rivals was bitter then and in my opinion, still is today. Being a fierce competitor, something never change.
What has changed in 20 years that have allowed rivals to become familiar acquaintances and for some friends? The influence of social media and non-school travel teams are factors that stick in my mind. The impact of social media, where essentially everybody has the opportunity to connect with a friend or foe, has put a name and face to opponents before a game or event is completed. The connections that occur in multiple activities during school events have watered down the potential rivalries.
The watering down of potential rivalries has become crystal clear as a result of club sports and travel teams, especially as team members of those select teams are from many different hometowns. After learning to play together with a common goal in the offseason, has made it much easier for kids from rival schools to be teammates and even friends, maybe even easy enough that youngsters could be successful in dating somebody from the former rival school.
The deep feelings of hate have gone to the sideline, as youngsters from across the TRIBUNE-Area have been seen together with former rival shool students. Whats next, relationships and marriage? The ‘back in the day’ rivalries heroes might just cringe and cry, because back in the day is now yesteryear.