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To Rival, Or Not To Rival?

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 25, 2011 – 11:48 am

AP Image

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:


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Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “To Rival, Or Not To Rival?”

  1. By Trent on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    I’m a fan of both teams, but the redskins are my first team, as are the O’s.

    In relation to this, though, I feel it is a rivalry in that the Ravens have been relatively successful for the last few years, while the redskins have been pretty crappy.. so it’s a competition rivalry, in my mind, just to see if one team can match or exceed the play of the other.

  2. By Josh on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    I think Baltimore and Washington have always been sort of rivaled in general, even outside of sports, due to their closeness and distinctness. When discussing where I grew up (Southwest Anne Arundel County) versus where I went to school (Northern Anne Arundel County), I was always asked “So are you a Baltimore kid or a Washington kid.” This even extended into religion (Baltimore Archdiocese vs. Washington Archdiocese). Not that there was anything competitive; it’s just the fact that there is an acknowledged distinction that has somehow means enough to talk about. When it comes to sports, it’s the same thing, only the competitive aspect comes with the territory. I vote rivalry, but more for fun than anything.

  3. By Jeff on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    It’s more like when you have a family reunion and play football against your cousins it gets competitive but there is no hatred. I can’t stand the cowboys since they are in the same division. I could care less about the Ravens unless the play us in Superbowl then it’s a real battle.

  4. By Luis on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    Maybe there is a dilemma for local people, but don’t forget that the NFL has fans all over the world…I doubt there’s that much of a dilemma wolrdwide..It’s Redskins and Redskins only…versus maybe Ray Lewis (2005 version)

  5. By Carl007 on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    I do see it as a rival. Baltimore has been very good over the past decade and have kicked our behinds the few times we’ve met, as far as I can remember. I think the game has added meaning for the Ravens, so it should have added meaning for us, as well! I’m looking for a Redskins win tonight.

  6. By Shaun on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    It is not a rivalry until meaningful games are played between the two and each has their fair share of victories in these games. Proximity does breed interest because of divided households and friendships but there is really no animosity between the two fan bases. In my view, a certain level of animosity is required in any rivalry. Please to not confuse heightened regional interest with a rivalry.

  7. By Matt on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    We will never be violent or out of control like the west coast “Bay-Area”. The east coast bay area is more friends than enemies. I’m a die-hard skins fan but want Baltimore to do well also.

  8. By Chris j on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    Hail to the redskins! Hell yea there a rivalry but no hatred! We run the DMV GO SKINS!

  9. By Hali C on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    There is a rivalry… not violent… but it’s definently there. It’s more for fun than anything. Come on… it’s the BELTWAY BATTLE!! I attend highschool in inner city Frederick. If anyone’s familiar with the area, there’s two inner city schools. TJ and Frederick High School. I compare the rivalry between the two schools to the Ravens and Skins. I’m a die hard Skins fan and would love to see the Ravens get crushed tonight. Not because I hate them… but because it’s in the spirit of fun. 🙂 by the way… THOSE DIRTY BIRDS ARE GONNA BE FLYING INTO WINDOWS WHEN WE’RE DONE WITH ‘EM!!! HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!! XD

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