Do You Know the Biggest Rivalries in Sports?


By: Gavin Thagard

6 Min Quiz

Image: peepo/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Nothing gets a team or fanbase geared up and ready to go like a great rivalry game where the stakes are high, the competition is fierce, and the participants hate one another with a passion. Can you recall some of the best moments from the greatest rivalries in sports, the moments that defined not only the two participating teams but the leagues in which they play as well? Here's your chance to find out!

Sports are built on friendly competition, but they are also built on intense rivalries. After all, a rivalry game ups the ante, creates a higher sense of urgency, and inspires players to perform at their most optimal level. Rivalries bring out the best, or worst, in everyone involved. They make historical moments and cement the legacies of the players involved. There's a reason they're the most watched games each year. 

From baseball to football to hockey and more, this quiz covers an assortment of rivalry games from various sports. You will be forced to dig deep into your knowledge of the greatest rivalries of all time, as you try to recall some of the most important moments from each rivalry. If you're up for the challenge, get started and put your sports' knowledge to the ultimate test!

Which team traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees?

After trading Babe Ruth, the Red Sox went 86 years without winning another World Series. The championship drought in Boston became known as "The Curse of the Bambino."


Who is known for the "Bloody Sock" game against the Yankees?

In 2004, the Red Sox came back to defeat the Yankees after being down 3-0 in the ALCS. The Red Sox's victory in the series marks the only time a team has come back after being down 3-0 in a best of seven series.


In what year did the Red Sox lose a 14-game lead to the Yankees, prompting a tie-breaker game?

The Red Sox and the Yankees finished the 1978 season with identical 99-63 records, setting up a tie-breaker game. The Yankees won the game 5-4 before going on to win the World Series.


The Yankees and the Red Sox met in the 2018 ALDS. How many games did it last?

The Red Sox advanced to the 2018 World Series after defeating the Yankees in the ALDS and the Astros in the ALCS. In the World Series, the Red Sox defeated the Dodgers 4-1 to win their ninth World Series title.


What's the annual game between Alabama and Auburn called?

When the Iron Bowl began in 1893, Auburn dominated the series throughout the earliest years. However, Alabama quickly rose and now has more wins in the series.


Which Auburn player returned a missed field goal for a touchdown in 2013 with one second on the clock?

Known as the "Kick Six," Auburn won one of the most miraculous Iron Bowls in recent history. The 2013 victory helped Auburn advance to the SEC Championship, where the team defeated the Missouri Tigers.


Where did Alabama and Auburn play on a neutral field because they refused to travel to the other team's stadium?

Auburn and Alabama didn't play each other from 1908 until 1948. Though their refusal to play together was blamed on stadium conditions and money, it was fueled by both schools' hatred for one another.


Which NFL team tried to keep the Cowboys from forming in Texas?

Throughout the 1950s, the Red Skins had a hold on the Southern football market. Knowing this, Redskins' owner George Preston Marshall was the only NFL owner to vote against allowing a team in Dallas.


Who was the head coach of the Cowboys when they lost to the Redskins in the 1982-83 playoffs?

Tom Landry was the longest-term head coach in Cowboys' history. He took over the team during their inaugural season and remained as the head coach until 1988.


What year did the Lakers and Celtics first meet in the NBA Finals?

From 1959 through 1969, the Celtics and Lakers met seven times in the NBA Finals. Led by Bill Russell, the Celtics won all seven series.


Which Lakers' player was named Finals MVP despite losing the series to the Celtics?

Jerry West won his only NBA championship as a player in 1972. However, he has been part of eight other championships as an NBA executive.


Which Celtics' legend was the personal rival of Earvin "Magic" Johnson?

The rivalry between Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson started when the two players met in the 1979 NCAA championship. Johnson and the Michigan State Spartans got the best of Bird and his Indiana State Sycamores during that game.


How many games did the 1962 NBA Finals between the Lakers and Celtics last?

Lakers' player Elgin Baylor scored 61 points in Game 5 of the 1962 NBA Finals. The point total still stands as an NBA Finals' record.


Who was the MVP of the 2008 NBA Finals between the Celtics and the Lakers?

Paul Pierce was selected by the Celtics in the 1998 NBA draft. He would lead the team to two NBA Finals, winning his only NBA title in 2008.


Which basketball rival did Duke defeat in 1998 for Mike Krzyzewski's 500th win?

Mike Krzyzewski is one of only four men's college basketball coaches with more than 1,000 wins in their career. He currently sits at No. 2 on the list of all-time wins.


Which highway separates Duke and North Carolina?

Duke and North Carolina are located within 10 miles of one another other. The closeness of the schools has added to the rivalry since many students and players grew up with each other.


What do Ohio State football fans call Michigan?

Currently, both Michigan and Ohio State play in the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State joined the conference in 1912 and Michigan has continuously been in the conference since 1917.


Michigan defeated Ohio State in their first meeting on the football field in 1897. What was the score?

Michigan holds the longest win streak in the rivalry with Ohio State. The streak lasted nine games from 1901 until 1909.


What's the nickname of the football game between Ohio State and Michigan?

Michigan and Ohio State have 19 claimed national championships between the two schools. Ohio State was the last to win a championship in 2014.


Which NHL rival of the Rangers eliminated them in the 1974 NHL Semifinals?

The Flyers and the Rangers have met 11 times in the NHL playoffs. The Flyers won six of those meetings.


What year did the Flyers and Rangers have a shootout for an NHL playoff spot?

After earning a spot in the 2009-10 playoffs, the Flyers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals with wins over the Devils and the Bruins. However, the Flyers were stopped in the Finals by the Chicago Blackhawks who won the series in six games.


How many Super Bowls do the Giants and Eagles have combined?

The Eagles have a single Super Bowl victory. However, that Super Bowl came in 2017, which is more recent than any Giants' title.


Which Eagles' quarterback led the team past the Giants in the 2008-09 NFC Divisional Playoff round?

Donovan McNabb was drafted out of Syracuse with the second pick in the 1999 NFL draft. He quickly became an Eagles' legend, leading the team to the playoffs eight times throughout his career.


What was the nickname of the Pistons' team that took on Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the late '80s and early '90s?

The "Bad Boy" Pistons were led by point guard Isiah Thomas. Thomas was a 12-time NBA All-Star for the Pistons and had his number 11 retired by the team when his career ended.


What year did the Pistons and the Bulls go seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals?

The Pistons had the Bulls' number when their rivalry picked up heat in the late '80s. However, when Michael Jordan and the Bulls started winning in the '90s, no one could stop them on their way to six championships.


Michael Jordan supposedly kept Isiah Thomas from participating in what?

Known as the "Dream Team," the 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball team included NBA players for the first time. Some of the stars of the team were Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Earvin "Magic" Johnson.


Which team has played the most rivalry games with the Green Bay Packers?

Green Bay has certainly had more success than Chicago, particularly in the Super Bowl era where the Packers have four championships and the Bears have only one. However, in head-to-head matchups, the two teams are neck and neck.


In what year did the Bears and Packers NOT play because of an NFL strike?

The 1982 NFL season was shortened to nine games because of the lockout. Since the season was shortened, the playoffs included 16 teams instead of 12. The Packers were lucky enough to squeeze into the playoffs while the Bears were left out.


What's the name of the college football rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma?

The Red River Rivalry is named after the Red River which splits part of Texas and Oklahoma. The name also references a dispute over a bridge splitting the Red River which was known as the Red River Bridge War.


Where is the Oklahoma and Texas football rivalry played each year?

The Cotton Bowl opened in 1930 as Fair Park Stadium. The stadium received its current name in 1936 when the Cotton Bowl Classic was created as a bowl game for NCAA football teams.


Where were the Giants and Dodgers located prior to moving to California?

The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. Since the Yankees dominated New York and the two teams wanted to keep the rivalry going, Giants' owner Horace Stoneham decided to follow suit and moved his team to California as well.


How many World Series do the Dodgers and Giants have combined?

The Giants and the Dodgers have had their fair share of success in the World Series. However, the two teams combined don't match the Yankees who have won 27 World Series.


What's the name of the rivalry between the Senators and the Maple Leafs in the NHL?

Both Toronto and Ottawa had two of the first teams in the NHL, though the Maple Leafs were once called the Arenas. However, the Ottawa Senators left the city in 1934 and didn't return until 1992.


What was the first year the Maple Leafs and the Senators met in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

The Senators and the Maple Leafs have met in the playoffs four times, beginning in 2000. The Maple Leafs have gotten the best of the Senators in all four meetings.


What's the name of the college football rivalry between Mississippi State and Ole Miss?

Mississippi State has both the longest win streak and the largest margin of victory in the Egg Bowl. However, Ole Miss leads the series overall.


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