1. Ali vs. Frazier For sportsfans of my generation, there is nothing like the feud/rivalry between these two great heavyweights. I still remember Sports Illustrated’s picture of “The Face of a Winner” depicting Frazier’s battered, bloody and bruised face after Ali-Frazier I, and Howard Cossell’s “DOWN GOES FRAZIER!!”, and Frazier failing to answer the bell in the 14th round of the “Thrilla in Manilla”. What I didn’t remember was the one question interview with Ferdinand Marcos after that third fight.
2. Pete Rose vs Bart Giamatti I think even die hard Pete Rose fans knew in their heart of hearts that Pete had done something really wrong but clung to the hope that it wasn’t true. Ultimately, the Dowd Report found no evidence that Rose had bet on Reds’ games but the damage had been done. The scandal spanned Giamatti’s brief tenure (154 days) as Commissioner of Baseball and just 8 days after suspending Rose from Baseball, Giamatti died from a massive heart attack. In my opinion, Rose will be banned from baseball until MLB does something about “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.
3. Chrissy vs Martina Chrissy was 37-43 lifetime against Martina. Great friends off the court, their rivalry captured the imaginations of tennis fans throughout the late 70’s and early to mid 80’s due somewhat to the contrast of tennis styles and cultures. Martina defected to the United States in 1975 and utilized an aggressive style, while Chrissy was a baseline player with great anticipation and near perfect technique.
4. Jack vs Arnie Arnie popularized the sport and Jack made it desireable and accessible. At first, Jack was Darth Vader threatening Arnie’s Army. Arnie smoking cigarettes on the course in an age where smoking was cool. We’d hardly had enough time to realize Arnie’s legacy when the upstart stepped up to challenge it. Arnie’s swing was more like mine and Jack ‘s was flawless.
5. Sigourney Weaver and the Alien(s) vs Arnold Schwarzeneger and the Terminator Arnold edges out Sigourney in a Time Travel vs Space Travel matchup. In my book, Time Travel wins every time.
6. OSU vs Michigan Woody vs Bo. The War Between the States. This 100+ year rivalry was barely noticed until the controversial Woody Hayes tore up sideline markers in the ‘Big House’ in 1971. Woody was stoic in his refusal to even recognize ‘that school up north’ while Bo was gentlemanly in his contempt for his mentor’s program. This “coach-mentor” / “father – son” rivalry was less about Buckeyes and Wolverines than Woody vs Bo, though neither would admit it.
8. The Godfather II vs Godfather III Personally, I like 3 better than 2. But the winner would lose to The Godfather by a long shot in the finals.
9. Kobe vs Lebron Michael. None better.
10. The Twilight Zone vs Night Gallery Rod Serling vs Rod Serling. Black and white vs color.