June 5, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Nothin’ But Net

Sporting Rivals: It’s Not Just A game

Shortly before my esteemed colleague at the NBN office submitted his contribution, the first fixture of the 2012 State of Origin series took place.

As far as rivalries go, this one is solid. Fascinating really, given it’s all about a Queensland inferiority complex (not hating: Maroons fan). Both states put national pride on the line and get up for all three fixtures each year.

Origin, however, is largely a product of media hype. There’s always pre-series intrigue about the squads, results, and how this season will be better than the last. It’s not a bad thing—I certainly buy into it. Here are three heated rivalries from around the world.


In Glasgow, the two main football teams are Celtic and Rangers, and there is a reason the Scottish League is called the “two-team league”.

They don’t just hate each other for success. Traditionally, Celtic have been supported by Catholics and Irish-Scots, while Rangers are loved by Protestants and native Scots.

Chants tend to range from bad taste (“The famine’s over, you may as well go home”) to outright offensive (“6,000,000 Jews and they should’ve been Protestants!”).

Aside from the £2.4 million spent quelling derby-related violence, the charity Nil By Mouth now exists because a 15-year-old Celtic fan got his throat slit after a game, and such tragedies aren’t unheard of in the cold Glaswegian streets.


Barcelona and Madrid are the two biggest cities in Spain and presently boast two of the world’s top soccer clubs. There are heated games in another top-heavy league, competition for young talent, but also political tension.

Real Madrid are seen to champion Spanish nationalism, and were regarded as General Franco’s team. Barcelona represent Catalanism and tend to be left-wingers who (understandably) don’t like Real much after Franco’s deeds.


How much do I need to say here? With existing historical friction between the two countries and the passion they both have for the game it’s no surprise defeat is unacceptable for either side. In the absence of full-blown military conflict, games between the two tend to dictate perceptions of ascendancy.

So yeah, tell those guys it’s just a game.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. Why I voted for fee rises
  2. Fuck the Establishment
  3. Facebook upset over fee rises
  4. Hack Like Nobody’s Watching
  5. The Ian Curtis Memorial Wall, Wallace Street: An Investigation
  6. Why I Hate Baby Boomers
  7. Foibles of a Foxton Forger
  8. Coppers Become Croppers
  9. Word Up, Student Teachers!
  10. No room for philosophy icon

Editor's Pick

In the Shadow of the Kowloon Walled City

: At its peak, the Kowloon Walled City was home to 33,000 people in just two hectares of land—a hastily put together conglomerate of tiny apartments, one of top of the other, caged balconies slapped onto the sides and connected through a labyrinth of damp, dark corridors.