The New Rivals

A Brewers v. Cubs spring training is starting up right about now, and it’s got me thinking yet again about the Opening Day series against those upstart ursids.

“I’m thinking about selling my Opening Day tickets — I could make like, 400 bucks.”

I’ve heard Brewers fans make similar statements and I understand the proposition is tempting. This is a blue collar town, and quick bucks are hard to come by in this economy. But this is Opening Day, the one holy holiday our people clung to while wandering in the frozen dessert during all those years of Suck. And do you understand this Opening Day will be against the Cubs?

“Well, hopefully I’d sell them to Brewers fans…”

Yeah, hopefully. There are good reasons not to sell your tickets to that first home series. Foremost, it opens up a seat for another seat for the opponent’s fans. Also, choosing Money over Love is something you would expect from those Northside ninnies, who you despise so much.

Increasingly, I think the main incentive to keep those tickets is the chance to see what is quickly becoming one of the top rivalries in sports. The Brewers asserted themselves and changed the NL Central dynamic by pwning the Cardinals last year. The Cubs-Cards might still be the top rivalry for ill-mannered behavior and shitty beer, but on the diamond it has to be Milwaukee-Chicago.

Last year, national chattering heads like Jay Mariotti pumped up the rivalry. My former, complete idiot of an editor — this was the guy who thought Sarah Palin was “just a fascinating choice” for a running mate, a “game changer;” the guy who assigned me this story about the big four-game Brewers-Cubs series last year on Monday, mere hours before the first pitch was thrown — mentioned John Kruk said he would rather see those games than Yankees-Red Sox. I wasn’t able to get the Krukster on the phone, but the intensity was very apparent.

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We even had Erin Andrews in the house, looking good enough that some creepy old men in the local and regional media thought it was news.

“EA Sports” aside, what other rivalries would you pass up, if given the chance, as a general sports fan, to attend for the face value price of admission?

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vs-packers-bears1

vs-yanks-sox

vs-michigan-osu

vs-fed-nad1

vs-duke-unc

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