On last Thursday edition’s of SportsCenter, ESPN had seven analysts debate which rivalry is the greatest in all of sports. While the guys on camera argued, fans online participated in a live vote to determine the winner.
The network’s handpicked choices were Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees, Duke/UNC, Ohio State/Michigan, Boston Celtics/Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Bruins/Montreal Canadiens.
At the end of the segment, the analysts were asked to cast their own vote.
After questioning the decision to leave the truly greatest rivalry in all of sports out (“I’ve never seen anything like it”), ESPN draft insider Todd McShay picked the correct answer: Auburn/Alabama.
He was joined by the other smart man in the room, head NHL analyst Barry Melrose.
“I’m gonna go with Alabama/Auburn,” Melrose said in his distinctive Canadian accent. “I’ve never been to the South, but I love grits, so that’s the one I’m going with.”
So a man who has spent his entire life playing, coaching and analyzing a game played on ice still thinks that the Iron Bowl is the best rivalry in sports. Even though he has never even watched it in person or even been down South.
The best parts of the video can be found at the 3:50 mark (McShay’s inclusion of the Iron Bowl into the discussion) and the 8:25 mark (Melrose’s pick + McShay’s pick + their plans to make a trip down South and eat).
So if you find yourself outside Jordan-Hare Stadium later this year (say late November) and spot a slick-haired Canadian and a college football-obsessed Bostonian chowing down at a nearby tailgate, you’ll know why.
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