That is the question.
Without fail, any time a Washington team faces off against a Baltimore team, it’s likened to the Subway Series in New York, the Freeway Series in L.A., the Battle of the Bay in San Francisco, etc. But is this “Battle of the Beltway” actually based on anything substantive, or is it simply a media creation?
Here are a few of my own observations.
In favor of a rivalry:
- Proximity is everything, and it doesn’t get much closer than 40 miles. Don’t blame the media for creating this rivalry–it’s too good to pass up.
- The two cities aren’t similar in history or tradition. It’s really a blue collar city vs. white collar city. In this case, it’s just purple collar vs. burgundy collar.
- There are 10 current Redskins with ties to the Ravens. On this squad, that’s only one-ninth of the roster, but that’s a large segment that probably have a little something extra for tonight.
Against a rivalry:
- Different divisions, different conferences. Preseason aside, these two teams only play meaningful games once every four years.
- The two cities do share a sports tradition, and therefore a common fanbase. The Baltimore Bullets moved to Washington and became the Wizards. Before the Ravens, most Baltimore natives were Redskins fans (and many still are). Before the Nationals, most Washingtonians were Orioles fans (and many still are). Many Burgundy and Gold-clad fans will bellow out an “Oh!” during the National Anthem tonight at M&T Bank Stadium, so are we really that different?
- When it’s sunny in Washington, it’s usually sunny in Baltimore. When there’s a Snowmageddon in Washington, Baltimore is under 30 inches as well. When there’s traffic on I-95 South, there may not be traffic on 95 North, but there will be later that day. It gets kind of hard to demonize your neighbors.
That’s my evidence, now you be the judge:
Tags: baltimore ravens, beltway battle, rivalry, washington redskins
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