Few things in sports are better than a clash between two bitter rivals.
For fans, what could be more satisfying than a win over a team you simply love to hate? Well, the answer to that might be winning the heart of your bitter rival’s biggest fan!
In a poll of 1,780 die-hard fans, commissioned by TickPick, 74% say it’s OK to “cross enemy lines” for someone they are interested in.
As for which fans are the “friendliest” with their greatest rivals, the survey finds die-hard fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves (88%), Ottawa Senators (87%), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (84%), and Toronto Blue Jays (76%) are the most likely to support sleeping with one of their rivals.
On the other hand, results show that New England Patriots fans (54%) were the most likely in the NFL to hate their rival. Meanwhile, San Diego Padres (56%), Boston Celtics (63%), and Colorado Avalanche (68%) fans were the most hateful toward their rival in their respective leagues.
Yet for all the hate and hangovers that come from these rivalries, there are plenty of pluses.
The vast majority (83%) of respondents agree that rivalries simply make sports more exciting.
Similarly, 70% believe they push teams and athletes to greater heights, and 59% appreciate the fact that they give fans an outlet to express frustrations.
The oldest rivals are the best rivals. As for which teams have the fiercest rivalries in pro sports, the survey finds age-old rivals still have the most bad blood between them.
In the NFL, sports fans say the classic rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears is still the best grudge match in football. In baseball, it’s the century-long rivalry between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
For NBA fans, the rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics is still the best. These age-old rivals have actually faced off in the NBA Finals a staggering 12 times — talk about a high-stakes matchup.