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Sports rivalries age old tale

On September 19, 2012

e oldest traditions that many schools can hang their hats on.
Before schools like Duke or the University of North Carolina were known for their medical programs or law schools, they were known for being heated rivals at any sport they competed in against one another. Rivalries such as these help to foster great athletic competition, but it also goes toward creating negative feelings that can end badly for all parties involved.
A rivalry can go a long way toward fostering many positive things for colleges. School pride or a meaningful moment to look forward to during a season are just a few things that can be gained by having a rival to look forward to playing. Beating your rival can go a long way to putting the finishing touch on a season, or salvaging a season that a team thought was lost. All of these things are what make rivalries between universities great.
But there is another side to rivalry in sports that is not as cheerful. Individuals can take these rivalries beyond the field of play and make them something that no one feels good about.
There have been several instances of rivalries turning ugly, with hate speech and belligerent fans taking sports and turning it into something that is no longer about game, but about people being hateful.
Rivalry has even turned violent on several occasions as emotions run high when certain squads match up against one another.
Fans want to be a part of the action so intensely that they will find a way to put themselves in the middle of what is at stake in the game. If that means that punches must be thrown to do it, they are ready and willing to take that stand.
In the grand scheme of college athletics, and athletics in general, rivalry is something that cannot be removed from the game. It is at the core of every competitor to have an opponent. But perspective must be kept when considering how far is too far. As long as there are rivalries, there will be some who will blur the line between sport and life. 

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