Two cities, great rivalries

The Giants’ victory over the Patriots in last weekend’s Super Bowl added another classic chapter to the story of the New York Boston rivalry. This got me thinking about how the multitude of Boston v. New York sports rivalries stack up after the Giants’ latest conquest over the Pats.

5. Boston Celtics v.

New York Knicks

The Celtics have been one of the NBA’s most consistent teams in the NBA ever since the beginning of the “Big 3” era. They completed the biggest single season turnaround in the 2007-2008 campaign and won an NBA title over the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the Celtics’ return to the Finals in 2010, they suffered a crushing defeat to the Lakers. The prevailing thought is that this is their last season to compete for a title with the current cast of veterans.

In contrast to the Celtics, the Knicks have been one of the NBA’s most mediocre franchises in the last decade.

Last season was the first time the Knicks made the playoffs since 2004, where they were swept in the first round by none other than the Boston Celtics.

The current state of this rivalry is an interesting one.

The Celtics are thought to be moving toward a period of rebuilding after this season, while the Knicks are widely believed to be nearing a period of being an Eastern Conference power.

Even if the Celtics are “in decline,” the Knicks have to beat Boston in a playoff series for this potentially explosive rivalry to take off.

4. Boston Bruins v.

New York Rangers

This ranking is based more on what will happen in the future than what has already transpired. If anyone watched the Rangers’ 3-2 overtime victory over Boston last month, you understand what I mean.

The Rangers and Bruins are the best two teams in the Eastern Conference and maybe even in the NHL. No one is surprised at Boston’s success thus far after they won the Stanley Cup last summer. But the Rangers’ young club wasn’t expected to put up their kind of point numbers at such a consistent rate.

That being said, all signs point to a Rangers v. Bruins Eastern Conference Final where two cities that love their hockey will clash in a classic.

3. New York Jets v.

New England Patriots

There is no question that the Pats have commanded this rivalry over the last decade, even in the Rex Ryan era.

The one exception was in last year’s playoffs, where the Jets went into Foxboro and knocked off the No. 1 Pats.

The Jets took a step back this season, losing twice to the Pats; but as long as Ryan’s passion is behind the Jets’ organization, this rivalry will continue to be sustained as one of sports’ bests.

2. New York Giants v.

New England Patriots

It is extremely rare when teams who do not share a conference can be considered rivals. But after a second classic Giants’ victory over the Pats in the Super Bowl, there is a lot of bad blood between these two teams and their fan bases.

While the Giants are clearly the best NFL team in New York, the Giants and Jets together have knocked the Patriots out of the postseason in three out of the last four of New England’s last postseason appearances — the Giants in 2008 and 2012 and the Jets in 2010.

1. New York Yankees v. Boston Red Sox

Sure, the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry has lacked the intensity seen in New England v. New York football rivalries the last four years, but the baseball teams’ competition is the most charged historically.

Both cities are more passionate about baseball than any other cities in the country and both have had overwhelming success since the turn of the millennia.

When have two teams had a better back-to-back postseason series than in 2003 and 2004? Which two teams have dominated baseball’s best division since the year 2000? And who throws more money at free agents than these two?

The teams have met over 2,000 times in their histories with an all-time series standing at 1,132-954 Yankees. This rivalry is what you think of when you think Boston v. New York.