This weekend has brought the end of some of college football's oldest and most storied rivalries, but the Atlanta Braves and Major League Baseball seem to know what is best for everyone.
The Missouri/Kansas and Texas A&M/Texas rivalries are surely older than anyone reading this article, and both have likely met their demise over the weekend as Missouri and Texas A&M bolt for the Southeastern Conference, enraged and embroiled in turf battles over TV royalties, particularly due to ESPN's Longhorn Network launched for Texas.
Nebraska and Oklahoma also ended last season when Nebraska jumped ship increase the Big Ten to 12 teams, and the departure of Missouri and Texas A&M will leave the Big 12 with eight teams, if that makes any sense at all.
Baseball, on the other hand, has thriving rivalries that look like they are here to stay. Everyone knows of the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees mutually assured destruction, but the game has also given us the Cubs/Cardinals/Reds and Dodgers/Giants rivalries. Even the Houston Astros move to the American League in 2013 will intensify their intrastate rivalry with the Texas Rangers.
The Braves, already having been at odds were those dirty, rotten New York Mets for years, have more recently developed a rivalry with the Philadelphia Phillies. Though things have not been as intense with the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins, both clubs show promise for being very competitive within the next couple of years.
In short, the National League East may quickly turn into the most competitive division in baseball, where the five teams may provide more of a tossup than what the American League Central seems to yield every year.
And there is no risk of one of the other four teams in the division bolting for another one for TV revenue, a bigger spotlight or a guaranteed spot in highly-paid game in a corrupt system.
Yes, there are issues some teams and general managers have taken with the collective bargaining agreement, but the fact is that there will be baseball through 2016. There will also be blood testing on human growth hormone, a salary cap on draft picks and an intact luxury tax and revenue sharing system, all of which will even the playing field.
In short, the Phillies are aging, the Mets are rebuilding, the Braves and Nationals are young and maturing, and the Marlins are looking to make some huge moves this offseason. The NL East race this year and in coming years very well may be some of the best in the Major Leagues.
And those rivalries will not end over money.
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