Friday, 24 July 2009

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The Montagues vs. the Capulets. Hamilton vs. Burr. The Corleones vs. the Tattaglias. Tupac vs. Notorious B.I.G.
Feuds are nothing new. Throughout history, tempers have been raised, fisticuffs have been had and blood has been let, all in the name of young love, the 1804 New York gubernatorial race, mafia families and East Coast-West Coast allegiances. Fortunately for us fans, they are not unknown in the world of sports.
Two soccer stars have engaged in a game of he-said, he-said. Down south, a college football coach has stirred the pot, months before the season even begins. And on the ice, hockey’s two brightest stars have left no love lost as they battle for their sport’s supremacy.
The top 10 ongoing sports feuds are not pretty, nice or civilized. They are mean, nasty and petty. Let’s play the feu

Two years ago, when David Beckham came to play with the L.A. Galaxy in the MLS, he replaced Landon Donovan as the biggest star in the league, and as the captain of the team. The two luminaries made the partnership work for a while, but recently Donovan began to question Beckham’s leadership as team captain, specifically calling out Beckham’s level of commitment to the team.
Donovan went on to apologize for making his comment through the media rather than to Beckham directly, but never apologized for the comments themselves. Beckham called Donovan’s comments unprofessional, and the two have spoken in private. Donovan and Beckham appear to be connecting on the field, but who knows what kind of drama is still going on in the locker room. The positive, for the league at least, is the increased exposure it has received has a result of the feud. Apparently, Tennessee football subscribes to a similar philosophy.
Since he was hired as the head coach of the Volunteers late last November, Lane Kiffin has constantly been in the news.
In early February, at a signing day breakfast with Volunteers’ boosters, Kiffin accused Florida Gators’ coach Urban Meyer of a recruiting violation. Kiffin mentioned that while visiting Tennessee, a recruit received a call from Meyer. “Just so you know, you can’t call a recruit (when he’s) on another campus. I love the fact that Urban has to cheat and still didn’t get him.”
Meyer took the high road, only saying in response to Kiffin’s comments, “It’s not humorous. I can think of a few other words that I’m not going to say, but certainly not humorous.” He has no need to feed into Kiffin’s attempts at attention – especially since Florida is 4-0 against Tennessee since Meyer took over. Circle your calendars: the two teams play on Sept. 19.
While the Kiffin-Meyer feud may be just fodder for the offseason press, there is nothing frivolous about the bad blood that boils between the NHL’s two brightest young stars.
The feud began the day they entered the league, Oct. 5, 2005. From that point on, it’s been a game of anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better between the two No. 1 overall picks. Both were named to the 2005-06 NHL All-Rookie Team, but it was Alexander Ovechkin – not Sidney Crosby – who took home the Calder Memorial Trophy as Rookie of the Year.
But why discuss awards when it can be settled on the ice? Years of battling finally came to a boiling point in a Feb. 22 game in Washington (a 5-2 Capitals’ win), as the Caps, and Ovechkin, finally got to Crosby, who had to be restrained. Afterwards, Ovi said exactly what was on his mind: “What I can say about him? He is a good player, but he talks too much. I play hard. If he wants to do something like hit me again, try to hit me again.” Crosby had his own two-cents to add: “Like it or lump it, that’s what he does. Some people like it, some people don’t. Personally, I don’t like it.”

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