The Rivalry Issue Features
Killer at Heart
Don’t buy the nice-guy act: New Clipper Chris Paul is igniting the NBA’s next great feud. A social butterfly who hangs out with players from all teams, tweets at them and hosts them at his home, Paul is an example of the interconnectedness of NBA players of today. And a metaphor for the death of the NBA rivalry. A look at how Paul’s mentality has replaced the “us vs. them” attitude that made for heated contests in the past. By Howard Bryant
Handshakes or fisticuffs? Choirboys or moonshiners? NASCAR has the dirtiest roots in sports—roots that fans still love and expect to see. But with sponsors and new markets wanting clean-cut images, NASCAR drivers are forced to ride the line. By Ryan McGee
The Origins of Hate
The best rivalries boast long histories, fanatical fans and monster fights. Red Wings-Blackhawks anyone? By Craig Custance
Enemies with Benefits
Dana White built the UFC on blood feuds. So when two fighters got chummy, he set them straight. A year ago, Dana White took a stand against the fighter friendships that were preventing fights. By convincing best buds Jon Jones and Rashad Evans to fight, he created the best fight of the year and the sport’s biggest rivalry. Here is a look at the importance of rivalries in MMA and what other sports could learn from White’s effort. By Ryan McGee
Border War No More
Before Missouri and Kansas play each other one last time as Big 12 foes and archrivals, The Mag breaks down the history, stats and highlights of the oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi. By Scott Miller
Additional Rivalry Issue Highlights:· In his latest column, The Mag’s Peter Keating proposes a new application to assess NBA players: rather than looking at individual stats, GMs should work to assess how combinations of players work on the court.
· “The Star versus The Understudy: Through the lens of the Peyton Manning/Andrew Luck drama currently playing out in Indy, we explore the often touchy relationship between a franchise quarterback and his quarterback-in-waiting.
· “Classic Conflicts”: A collection of visual interstitials on historic rivalries, including Ali-Frazier, Bird-Magic, Palmer-Nicklaus, Evert-Navratilova, Petty-Pearson, Maple Leafs-Canadiens and Rice-Sanders.
· In The Mag’s “Play” section, Ric Bucher takes a look at the sudden, surprising success of Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio. Expected by many to be an NBA bust, Rubio has taken the league by storm with his highlight-friendly passing and engaging demeanor.