Bad blood between New York and Boston runs deep through the ages, separating brother from brother, coworker from coworker and husband from wife.
Centuries old (read: Puritan on Colonialist aggression), the steady angst between the Big Apple and Beantown has only intensified with the rise of pro sports. Personified by long-running tensions between the Red Sox and Yankees; forever lodged in time with the Mets' stunner over Bill Buckner and the Sox in '86; and serving as the underlying story line for Super Bowl XLII, and now XLVI.
This New York-Boston thing just won't go away.
"Everybody else in the country who comes to Boston and thinks of us as pushy -- that's how we think of New Yorkers," Boston Herald sports columnist Ron Borges told the Los Angeles Times this week.
"They think they're better than us, but they come to the Cape to vacation in summertime and make us miserable. So many send their kids here to go to college that we joke they don't know how to read or write until they get here. They're bad drivers. ... Everything we can think of, we hate about them."
The typical New York counterblow? Simply proclaim total dominance.
"Look, Boston's the capital of New England and we're the capital of the world," Lou DiBella, a Giants fan and New York-based boxing promoter told the Times. "That's what it comes down to. We're superior to what they have to offer."
This time around, the Lombardi Trophy is reduced to a mere trinket compared to the bragging rights. One city's fans will be handed fresh ammunition to crush boozy pub debates and subway confrontations deep into the future.
For the record, New York has work to do when it comes to head-to-head title clashes, although the Big Apple has won the last two:
1912 World Series (MLB): Red Sox-Giants -- Winner: Boston
1916 World Series (MLB): Red Sox-Dodgers -- Winner: Boston
1929 Stanley Cup (NHL): Bruins-Rangers -- Winner: Boston
1972 Stanley Cup (NHL): Bruins-Rangers -- Winner: Boston
1986 World Series (MLB): Mets-Red Sox -- Winner: New York
Super Bowl XLII: Giants-Patriots -- Winner: New York
Super Bowl XLVI: Giants-Patriots -- Winner: TBD
Jets-Patriots it's not -- not yet, at least -- and the Don Zimmer-Pedro Martinez fray still hovers miles above on the Bad-Blood-O-Meter. But this Giants-Pats Super Bowl vibes an undercurrent of Bill Belichickian revenge that gives XLVI an appropriate edge.
One city rises. One falls. Endless chatter ensues.