As I watched Mitch Moreland's gargantuan, 472-foot homer sail into the soon-to-be stormy June night, I was reminded that the Rangers-Astros' fight should be stopped on account of inhumane bludgeonry.
Moreland's blast -- tied for third-longest in baseball this season -- capped an 8-3 Texas cakewalk that continued its dominance in the so-called Lone Star Rivalry. With the win, the Rangers are 11-2 in their last 13 against the Astros and The Silver Boot hasn't resided in Houston since 2006.
The boot itself -- a 30-inch silver boot complete with spur -- is kinda cool. But the rivalry isn't a rivalry at all.
It isn't, however, the lamest in sports:
10. Cowboys vs. Redskins -- I know. Growing up I had hate in my heart for Diron Talbert and George Allen and Joe Theismann and, by proxy, anything in in the District of Columbia. But these days the players don't despise each other and, despite our forced fantasies, owners Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones like and respect each other. The Cowboys haven't won a Super Bowl since the '95 season and the Redskins since '91. Truth is, the Eagles and Giants have become bigger, more important games in Dallas.
9. The Apple Cup -- Nothing says rivalry like Washington vs. Washington State and a reward that sounds like something we forgot to put in the kiddos' lunch box this morning. This intrastate battle has offered us Ryan Leaf and Steve Pelluer, but no National Champion since '91.
8. Ohio State vs. Michigan -- Don't look now but the Buckeyes have won nine of the last 10 and this rivalry has produced exactly one National Champion the last 13 years. Most of the time they play for nothing more than a Big Ten title and a chance to have their slow, plodding ears boxed about by better, faster teams in a BCS bowl. Yawn.
7. Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James -- The NBA on ABC would have you believe they are the best two players on the planet, and fierce rivals leading the league's best two teams against each other in regular battles. Truth? They play twice a year. They've never faced off for a title. And in 2011 both took a back seat to Dirk Nowitzki.
6. Silver Boot -- Rangers > Astros. Toby Keith sang a song describing what Texas annually does to Houston on the diamond. Something about a boot. And an ass.
5. Trinity vs. L.D. Bell -- In the 1980s, these mid-cities rivals drew 30,000 to Texas Stadium and regularly traded transcendent wins. These days, the Trojans have made the meetings a mockery--beating the Blue Raiders 13 consecutive years including 2010's 45-22 laugher.
4. USC vs. Notre Dame -- 11 National Champions and seven Heisman Trophy winners be damned, this just ain't what it used to be. Long gone are the days of O.J. Simpson and Joe Montana. Before last year's meaningless Irish upset, the Trojans had won eight straight by an average score of 40-12.
3. The Old Oaken Bucket -- Indiana vs. Purdue for a worn, splintered basket in which you keep your ill-fitting hardware pieces parts in the back corner of the garage. Perfect.
2. The Iron Skillet -- TCU has dominated SMU recently to the tune of winning 10 of 11. And if the winner receives cast-iron cookware...imagine what the loser gets: Plastic cutlery?
1. Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather -- With all the hype and anticipation, hard to believe they haven't yet stepped into the ring against each other. So much hasn't been made of so little since Y2K or those swarms of killer bees ascending from south of the border.
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