How Do Rivalries Form?

Christian Dattolo, Reporter

A rivalry is a competition for superiority in the same field. Whether it’s companies or sports teams, there is no doubt that there are many rivalries in the world today. The question that arises next is how do two specific parties end up competing against each other?

Rivalries can often begin with a particular event that causes animosity between two parties, like when Ford tried to acquire Ferrari in 1963. Henry Ford II, the owner of Ford, tried to buy Ferrari for $10 million. Enzo Ferrari, the founder of Ferrari, laughed in Ford’s face, implying he found the offer comedic, thus sparking the decade-long feud between the two companies. Ford took Ferrari’s words personally and decided to fight the brand in the field they were best at: racing. Ford challenged Ferrari for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a sports car race in France, in which the brand was already a champion. In 1967, Ford beat Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, leaving them in second place and achieving the American car manufacturer’s ultimate dream of revenge against their bitter rival.

Rivalries can also occur due to the frequency that two parties battle each other. This frequency can be intentional or unintentional. Apple and Samsung are rivals because they choose to compete every year. For the past 10 years, both companies have tried to best each other in putting out the most reliable and best-selling smartphone, smartwatch, and most recently, wireless earbuds. This intentional competition results in both of the companies’ consumers criticizing each other, creating a social rivalry as well as a financial one.

An example of an unintentional rivalry could be the one between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers of the NFL. These two teams never meant to have such an intense rivalry, but due to the fact they have played against each other 184 times since their first game in 1921, with Chicago winning six more games than Green Bay, they are bitter rivals.

Rivalries can transpire because of geographic reasons as well. Teams from the same city, state, or region compete for bragging rights of being the best team in the area they come from. This rivalry is commonly seen in European soccer, like Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both being from the same city of Madrid, Spain. This creates tension between the teams that further motivates them to win and prove they are the best team in the city.

Another city rivalry that people in Stamford are familiar with is the Stamford High School and Westhill High School yearly competition for the city cup. Both schools are the only two public high schools with sports teams in Stamford. The city championship is often the most competitive game in a regular season, with teams competing for the coveted bragging rights every year.