Boston and New York rivalries have existed for decades. Teams in each sport have been bitter advisories and with the New England Patriots claiming Jake Ballard from the New York Giants this month, another bitter relationship is developing between two teams from these cities.
The Patriots–Jets rivalry is well documented. Division foes that go about their work in directly opposite ways, they’ve been at each other’s throats for years. But the Patriots haven’t had the same relationship with the other NFL team in New York until recently. The Giants have now beaten the Patriots in two Super Bowls in five years including 2007 which kept the Patriots from achieving immortal status as only the second team in NFL history to finish a full season with an unblemished record. Even with those tough losses the Patriots–Giants relationship has been one of respect and not bitterness.
Earlier this month the Giants cut Ballard who had been injured in 2011 with the idea that he would clear waivers and be placed on the injured reserve list. Likely not the play at all in 2012, the Giants expected that no team would claim the injured tight end. That way he would be off the 90-man roster leaving a spot open for someone else but remain on the team for the future. It was seen by the Giants as a fool-proof plan except that the Patriots had other plans. Seeing him as an all-around tight end that could help in the future, the Patriots claimed Ballard off waivers at the last minute.
Following the claim the Giants were clearing perturbed about the actions taken by the Patriots. It seemed as though the Giants believed in an unwritten rule between teams that one team wouldn’t claim an injured player attempting to clear waivers to be placed on the injured reserve list. The Giants indicated that the Patriots had done wrong by claiming the injured player but the Patriots made clear that they were well within their rights to claim Ballard. While not directly making accusations about the Patriots, the Giants indicated a newly found distrust for the rivals of the team in which they share a stadium.
Whether it’s baseball, basketball, football, soccer, or hockey, New York and Boston have been bitter rivals in every sport for decades. With Boston only having one team in each sport and New York having two in most, the rivalry has even crossed conference or league lines such as when the Mets defeated the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series. This is another example of the Boston–New York rivalry crossing borders to teams that rarely play each other and would generally not have animosity toward each other.
The Patriots–Jets rivalry has been one of the most bitter and public rivalries in North American sports over the last decade and with these latest actions, the Boston–New York rivalry has increased by these two new rivals. It remains to be seen whether this incident will create a long-standing bitter feud between the two franchises but for the near future it looks like the times of respectful opponents is gone.