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The Biggest Rivalries in Sports


Intense rivalries have played an integral role in professional sports since professional sports began. While the competitive pressure affects players, coaches, and managers, it is perhaps felt most by the fans.Although often manifested in friendly competition, matchups occasionally lead to serious violence in the game and also in the stands.

Shown in this visualization are 127 rivalries (shown as thin lines) between 121 teams (shown as circles placed almost geographicly) in six major North American professional sports leagues.

Based on a print piece completed for William Bevington's Data Visualization and Information Aesthetics (PGDV 5100-A) at the New School in the Fall of 2016, this interactive visualization fullfills the requirements for the final project. Please explore by hovering, clicking, panning, and zooming. All data updates automatically on Thursday evenings, but its accuracy is not guaranteed.


Made with love by Sam Vickars. © 2016. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks property of their respective owners. Rivalry intensities based on number of head-to-head matches, number of games won between teams, number of goals scored against opponent, and fan ratings on Data sourced from,,,,, the official website of each league (,,,,, and


The territorial rivalry between the Boston Bruins and Hartford Whalers, known as the Battle of New England, existed from 1979 to 1997, when the Whalers relocated to North Carolina. The Battle of Quebec, between Les Canadiens de Montreal and the Quebec Nordiques existed from 1979 to 1995, when the Nordiques relocated to Colorado. The expansion rivalry between the Calgary Flames and original Winnipeg Jets (not to be confused with their current incarnation) existed from 1980 to 1987 when the Jets relocated to Phoenix (now known as Arizona Coyotes). The expansion rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota North Stars existed between 1981 and 1993, when the North Stars were spun off into the Dallas Stars and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (now known as the Anaheim Ducks). The rivalry between the Edmonton Oilers and the original Winnipeg Jets existed before the two teams entered the NHL in 1979 and lasted until 1996 when the Jets relocated to Phoenix. The territorial Battle of Montreal between Les Canadiens de Montreal and the Montreal Maroons existed from 1924 to 1938, when Maroons folded. The territorial rivalry between the New York Rangers and the New York Americans existed from 1925 to 1942, when the Americans folded to World War II. The rivalry between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots is based on the individual rivalry between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. The rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers/San Francisco Giants stems from the former two being located in New York, as the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, respectively, until the move in 1957. The Florida Derby existed in the MLS between the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny until 2001, when both teams exited the league. It continues to exist outside of the league between the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Tampa Bay Rowdies. The Cascadia Cup has existed (unofficially) as part of the MLS since 2011, but has existed since 2004 and is awarded to the best of three teams after the season ends. The SuperClasico existed between the LA Galaxy and the now defunct Chivas USA between 2005 and 2013, when USA Chivas folded.

Last Release: 14 Dec 2016


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