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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

All 30 Major League Baseball teams to play one another in a season for first time in 2023

All 30 teams will play one another in a season for the first time in the interleague era, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday as it released the schedule for the 2023 season.

As a result, division opponents will play each other just 13 times—down from 19.

The new balanced schedule for 2023 has each team hosting a three-game series or playing a three-game series on the road against every team from the opposite league. Natural rivals—like the Mets-Yankees, Dodgers-Angels and Cubs-White Sox—will play each other four times, twice at home and twice on the road.

Previously, other than natural-rivals teams would participate in interleague play each season only against a single division from the opposite league. The changes mean not every team will visit every city each year, but they’re all guaranteed one series against each team from the other league.

Additionally, teams will play one home and road series—consisting of three or four games—against teams from outside their division but in the same league. For example, the Mets will visit the Milwaukee Brewers on May 3-5, while hosting them for four games on June 26-29….

The regular season begins March 30 and ends Oct. 1.

Other highlights:

* All 30 teams will play on Jackie Robinson Day on Sat., April 15, including the Cubs visiting the Dodgers.

* The Tampa Bay Rays and the Dodgers will meet in St. Petersburg for three games from May 26-28, marking their first games against each other since the 2020 World Series.

* The St. Louis Cardinals will meet the Cubs for a two-game series at London Stadium on June 24-25, as previously announced. The All-Star Game will be played July 11 in Seattle.

* All 30 clubs will also play on Roberto Clemente Day on Friday, Sept. 15, including the Pittsburgh Pirates hosting the Yankees at PNC Park.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 24, 2022 at 01:31 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: interleague play

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   1. KronicFatigue Posted: August 24, 2022 at 01:44 PM (#6093006)
As with most decisions recently, good in the short term, but bad in the long term.

   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 24, 2022 at 01:52 PM (#6093010)
I like the change, I don't think we needed 19 Twins/Tigers games, and seeing all these NL teams on the schedule is exciting.
   3. Jay Seaver Posted: August 24, 2022 at 02:04 PM (#6093012)
The part of me that loves chaos wants torrential rains to target the hardest ones to make up with laser precision, especially if they might have a bearing on races. Just make this whole thing an act of incredible hubris.

I still don't like interleague play and feel like the game would be more fun if they created more differentiation between the leagues rather than less, but kind of grudgingly admit this is probably a good idea. I suspect that there are a lot of folks like me who just don't have the time to watch games other than my home team's, and this is a better way to show us the whole league and maybe get us more involved with baseball as a whole rather than just what the local nine is doing. It makes me hate in-season trades and the deadline even more, though, because I suspect we'll find a case where some team gets a lousy draw of having their series against stronger teams early while another has them late and that's part of what sorts them into buyer/seller status.
   4. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 24, 2022 at 02:04 PM (#6093013)
No one living in North America desires one Marlins-Mariners game per season, let alone three.

Also, rainouts will now be even more difficult to reschedule.

EDIT: Pepsi to Jay.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 24, 2022 at 02:05 PM (#6093014)
Are there Marlins games that people do desire?
   6. Howie Menckel Posted: August 24, 2022 at 02:35 PM (#6093019)
at most - at most - do this for two years, so that fans in every city can see every opponent.

then ditch it for 10 years. or more.

As a result, division opponents will play each other just 13 times—down from 19.


The Phillies - who went 5-14 vs the Mets this season - applaud this idea.
   7. BDC Posted: August 24, 2022 at 02:36 PM (#6093020)
I reckon this will be fine. I tend to go for Dollar Hot Dog Day instead of a given opponent anyway, and whenever I show up it will still be baseball and it will still be air-conditioned.

In terms of following the sport, it is a minus. Over the past few years of imbalanced schedules, I have had a modest chance of knowing who the visiting Astros and Angels players are. (The A's turn over too quickly to keep track of; and the Mariners, as noted, who cares :)

I will now have roughly zero chance of remembering any opponent's roster from visit to visit. But that just accelerates a long-gathering trend.
   8. The Duke Posted: August 24, 2022 at 02:48 PM (#6093024)
Just more dilution of the game. I never liked inter league play and now we get more. I think they should go backwards and Let one league be old school and one league new school.

national league: no DH, no replay except for a few key areas (fouls, HRs and plays at first), taking out the runner at 2nd, blocking the plate, HP umps use the old AL chest protectors, etx
American League : all replay all the time, robo umps, etc,

Just make sure both leagues get the new 30 second pitch clock

   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2022 at 02:53 PM (#6093026)
This isn't the dumbest move Manfred's ever made, but it's close. It's nothing but a sop to weak teams in weak divisions, and if anything it'll make those weak teams even worse.

I love interleague play, but like Groucho Marx said to a mother of 15 who "just love[d] children", "I like to smoke my cigar, but I also like to take it out of my mouth every once in a while."

Intradivisional rivalries are the heart and soul of baseball, and why baseball would want to de-emphasize them is beyond me. (And yes, I know it's been done before, and it was just as stupid then.)
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 24, 2022 at 02:54 PM (#6093027)
Just make sure both leagues get the new 30 second pitch clock

The clock is 14 and 19 seconds, without and with men on base. 30 seconds is an eternity.
   11. . . . . . . Posted: August 24, 2022 at 02:54 PM (#6093028)
It's a "Jump to Conclusions Mat". You see, you have this mat, with different CONCLUSIONS written on it that you could JUMP TO.
   12. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 24, 2022 at 03:08 PM (#6093030)
I feel the same way about this that I did about switching inter-league to being year round and aligning every division to 5 teams- good decision that should have been done in 1998. Every team plays every team in the NBA and NHL, glad to see MLB finally do the same.
   13. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 24, 2022 at 03:15 PM (#6093032)
I like the change, I don't think we needed 19 Twins/Tigers games, and seeing all these NL teams on the schedule is exciting.
There are so many give-and-takes here.

More divisional games are great, but more divisions means seeing the same teams 18-19 times a year. That's too many.

More interdivisional games means getting to see more teams and more stars, but dilutes the divisional races.

More interleague games means getting to see even more teams and more stars, but dilutes the intraleague races.

I don't know what the right balance is.

Intradivisional rivalries are the heart and soul of baseball
They are, but only for good teams. The last thing I want to see is the 4th place Angels play the 5th place A's 12 times in September.
   14. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2022 at 03:23 PM (#6093034)
Intradivisional rivalries are the heart and soul of baseball

They are, but only for good teams. The last thing I want to see is the 4th place Angels play the 5th place A's 12 times in September.


But the A's always seem to bounce back (this is their first sub-.500 team since 2017), and in the 2000s the Angels were perennial contenders. And is there any great advantage in seeing the Angels vs the Rockies and Marlins every year, rather than seeing them against the A's and the Rangers a few more times?

   15. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 24, 2022 at 03:25 PM (#6093036)
Natural rivals—like the Mets-Yankees, Dodgers-Angels and Cubs-White Sox—will play each other four times, twice at home and twice on the road.
That works out pretty well for teams with their traditional rival in the same metro area, but not so much for teams with no real inter-league rival. TFA lists the rivalries, and some are quite a stretch:
NATURAL RIVALS: NL VS. AL
New York Mets-New York Yankees
Chicago Cubs-Chicago White Sox
LA Dodgers-LA Angels
San Francisco Giants-Oakland A's
Cincinnati Reds-Cleveland Guardians
Miami Marlins-Tampa Bay Rays
Washington Nationals-Baltimore Orioles
St. Louis Cardinals-Kansas City Royals
Milwaukee Brewers-Minnesota Twins
Atlanta Braves-Boston Red Sox
Pittsburgh Pirates-Detroit Tigers
Phila. Phillies-Toronto Blue Jays
Arizona D-backs-Texas Rangers
Colorado Rockies-Houston Astros
San Diego Padres-Seattle Mariners
The last 6 seem fairly arbitrary.

EDIT: I initially also noted the lack of an Astros - Rangers matchup, temporarily blanking on the realignment that put both in the AL.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 24, 2022 at 03:27 PM (#6093037)
Intradivisional rivalries are the heart and soul of baseball,


There are really just 3 true intradivisional rivalries - Red Sox/Yankees, Cubs/Cardinals, Giants/Dodgers. The rest are a result of two teams being good at the same time, which can be when they're in the same division, or when they're in separate divisions and face each other in the post-season a lot.

This makes all the sense in the world to me. If you're going to do interleague play, this is the way to do it. I'm a purist fuddy duddy in many respects, but once you have a universal DH, I don't get the point of clinging to the antiquated notion that there is a difference between the two leagues.
   17. KronicFatigue Posted: August 24, 2022 at 03:34 PM (#6093039)
Mets and Braves seem to legitimately hate each other. [Edit: this first part was in response to #16]

As others have mentioned, rainouts are going to be a mess. Living in NY, I like being able to think about seeing the Mets in Philadelphia, pulling up the schedule and at least having a couple of options. If you're going to cut down on division play/rivals, go all-in and massively realign the divisions. It would cut down on travel and mitigate the lack of fans being able to see their teams on the road.
   18. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 24, 2022 at 03:37 PM (#6093040)
This is the next step toward radical realignment and pretty much all that's left is the two-team expansion announcement coming within the next 5-10 years to make it a super ######-up reality.
   19. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 24, 2022 at 03:44 PM (#6093043)
But the A's always seem to bounce back (this is their first sub-.500 team since 2017), and in the 2000s the Angels were perennial contenders.
If they're sometimes great, then they're sometimes the absolute worst to live through. Great pennant races are what we live on when we look back at baseball history, but we always ignore the countless thousands of games between cellar-dwellers that no one attended or watched. Telling fanbases that they should suck it up for some indeterminate number of seasons of terrible baseball because, someday, that might change, doesn't feel as good as "yeah, your team sucks, but here's something you might actually want to watch" when you're actually living the suckage.

I'm not really taking a strong stand here. There really isn't anything as fun as a pennant race, but aside from the Dodgers and Yankees, who gets those all the time? As an Angels fan, I've only had two of them over a decade, and September baseball is misery. I don't blame the non-Yankee/Dodger teams for wanting to spice up their Septembers.
   20. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 24, 2022 at 03:46 PM (#6093044)
At last! The thrilling A's-Pirates and Rockies-Tigers games you've been waiting for!
   21. KronicFatigue Posted: August 24, 2022 at 03:51 PM (#6093047)
What's the downside to massive realignment? Less games with historic rivals, sure, but #16 points out that there aren't many. And most will probably be preserved with the realignment.

Massive realignment cuts down on travel, less games outside of your timezone (for fans watching), less long road trips, more time for players to be close to their families, more opportunities for fans to see their teams on the road. I've wanted it for awhile!
   22. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 24, 2022 at 04:00 PM (#6093049)
And most will probably be preserved with the realignment.
We're basing this assurance on...?

For example, I imagine Mets fans by and large are quite content calling the Phillies, Braves, and Nats our rivals. (As noted already, no one cares all that much about the Fish.)
   23. Walt Davis Posted: August 24, 2022 at 04:06 PM (#6093051)
To me the issue is the substantial reduction in intradivisional games while still rewarding division winners. Just 52 of 162 games are in the division now, that's not nearly enough to determine the best team in the division. Obviously there's plenty of time to balance off good/bad luck within the division with 110 games outside it.

I mean it's 52 games within your division and 46 games against the other LEAGUE. You play more than 2 games outside of the division for every one inside it. But we still want divisions?
   24. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 24, 2022 at 04:09 PM (#6093052)
What's the downside to massive realignment?
About a third of the teams aren’t a good fit for geographically-clustered 4-team divisions, so the travel burdens would be quite different. There’d also be some super-divisions (Yankees, Red Sox, Mets & Phillies?), while others were entirely also-rans. That could affect attendance & TV ratings.
   25. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2022 at 04:11 PM (#6093053)
There are really just 3 true intradivisional rivalries - Red Sox/Yankees, Cubs/Cardinals, Giants/Dodgers. The rest are a result of two teams being good at the same time,

Not to be rude, but so what? The Orioles and the Blue Jays had a great rivalry in 1989 and again in the mid-2010s and again this year. The Rays and Red Sox have had similar years of white hot rivalry. Those "other" intradivisional rivalries may come and go, but there are always at least a few "active" ones in any given year, and why not milk them for all they're worth? I'm just not sold on diminishing them for the sake of seeing the Rockies or the Marlins more than once every three years.

Not to mention you're adding many more games involving teams separated by three time zones than you have already, which in itself should make this proposal a non-starter. I know that East Coast viewers aren't sticking around to watch PETCO games to the finish, and I doubt if too many West Coast viewers are going to rush home from work to see the start of a 4:00 game in Philadelphia or Baltimore.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2022 at 04:15 PM (#6093054)
For example, I imagine Mets fans by and large are quite content calling the Phillies, Braves, and Nats our rivals.

Exactly. And within the AL East there's hardly a matchup that at this point isn't considered a real rivalry. 2022 may be an anomaly in that respect, but when you've got it why cut out a third of it?
   27. BDC Posted: August 24, 2022 at 04:47 PM (#6093060)
NFL teams currently play - I think - 35% of games intradivision, 35% intraconference but outside the division, and 30% against teams from the other conference. So MLB by moving to 32%/40%/28% is approximating that mix more closely than before. (The NFL schedule itself got a little more balanced with the addition of a 17th, interconference, game, last season.)

I have no real point in bringing that up. It's a different dynamic and maybe irrelevant, just an interesting convergence.
   28. Astroenteritis Posted: August 24, 2022 at 05:02 PM (#6093062)
This has grown on me a bit since it was first announced. I like the variety of opponents, but as others have pointed out it whacks up the division thing. Anyway, I suspect this is merely a stopgap until we have major realignment.
   29. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 24, 2022 at 05:14 PM (#6093067)
This has grown on me a bit since it was first announced. I like the variety of opponents, but as others have pointed out it whacks up the division thing. Anyway, I suspect this is merely a stopgap until we have major realignment.
I'm in the same boat on all of this. Radical realignment would also allow for more teams. Portland could get a big league team. Charlotte. Nashville. Baseball is, for five months out of the year, a regional sport. Build real regional rivalries, lots of them, and then schedule around those. More regional rivalries would mean fewer interleague and interdivision games, and more of those great division races we all love.
   30. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 24, 2022 at 08:04 PM (#6093102)
I think this is a horrid idea, because it will really put a damper on divisional races in Sept. Right now in the NL it appears that almost half the teams aren't really trying (I assume SFG are). This years AL has a bit more competition but last year both leagues looked like half the teams werent trying.

So now you will have some close race in the final week of the season, instead of say SFG and LAD going head to head in the last week, now you're gonna get LAD at PIT and SFG at KCR. wow that seems like a really bad concept in the long run.

I guess the idea is that the playoffs will make up for it and I kind of do like the extended extra week of playoffs. But baseball seems to be suffering from a lack of drama in Sept and this will make it worse
   31. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2022 at 09:09 PM (#6093110)
NFL teams currently play - I think - 35% of games intradivision, 35% intraconference but outside the division, and 30% against teams from the other conference. So MLB by moving to 32%/40%/28% is approximating that mix more closely than before. (The NFL schedule itself got a little more balanced with the addition of a 17th, interconference, game, last season.)

I have no real point in bringing that up. It's a different dynamic and maybe irrelevant, just an interesting convergence.


Big difference, though: Each NFL division only plays interconference games against one division a year, which parallels MLB's current setup. And within the conference, each division also rotates playing an entire other division every 3rd year. The extra 3 games are 1 each against a teams within the other 2 conference divisions, and 1 game against another interconference team. It sounds complicated, but for the most part in means that most teams only play most teams outside their division once every three or four years. This is nothing like the proposed MLB schedule.
   32. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 24, 2022 at 11:22 PM (#6093137)
I don't mind this in general. But all the moves MLB has made the last few years have made the playoff races less and less meaningful. They just keep expanding the playoffs, and diluting the schedule, so August/Sept don't matter that much, as there are 5 wild cards now.
   33. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 25, 2022 at 06:56 AM (#6093150)
1) You could do anything to the schedule you want, and it will make incremental changes in fan interest. Overwhelmingly, the best thing MLB could do to improve the product, increase fan interest, and get momentum back for the sport would be a dramatic increase in the pace of play. Get the games back to 2 1/2 hours or less by dramatically reducing time between pitches, and a lot of other things fans and MLB worry about will melt away.

2) As the playoffs expand, divisions matter less and less. I think it's fine to do this.
   34. BDC Posted: August 25, 2022 at 08:14 AM (#6093158)
most teams only play most teams outside their division once every three or four years. This is nothing like the proposed MLB schedule

Sure, the NFL cannot play anything like an all-play-all schedule; that would mean at least 31 regular-season games. (Though we shouldn't give them any ideas.) The NFL wasn't even doing strict all-play-all in the 1930s.

But from a fan perspective, all these out-of-division games, no matter who's in them, are just a kind of busy parade – unless you are a super-attentive fantasy-league type who knows the bullpens or offensive lines of every possible opponent, and I think those fans are rare. Occasionally some powerhouse team comes through, with a big star; otherwise it's like hey, the Browns or the Jaguars, the Diamondbacks or the Rockies, that's random. Only the "pennant-race" intradivision matchups offer rivalry possibilities, and as sunday silence notes MLB is moving to offer less of them and more parading through.

As is the NFL, incrementally – though their divisions are one team smaller and that concentrates the rivalries a bit. They also try to stack intradivision games late in the NFL schedule, though that's not always easy to work out. Maybe MLB will try the same.


   35. SoSH U at work Posted: August 25, 2022 at 08:22 AM (#6093159)
They also try to stack intradivision games late in the NFL schedule, though that's not always easy to work out. Maybe MLB will try the same.


The fact MLB has five per division makes that impossible. One team per division always has to be playing outside its division at any given time (just as one series has to be an interleague one in 15-team leagues).

   36. OsunaSakata Posted: August 25, 2022 at 08:29 AM (#6093160)
Next year's schedule is:
4 games against interleague rival
42 games against other interleague opponents
36 games against 6 intraleague opponents
28 games against 4 intraleague opponents
52 games against division opponents

I would have preferred:
4 games against interleague rival
42 games against other interleague opponents
60 games against intraleague opponents
56 games against division opponents
There is already a 1 game difference in the interleague opponent baked in. At the end of the season, the difference in getting in the playoffs against a division rival might be the strength of that opponent. By playing a different intraleague schedule, that's a greater impact of the schedule on the playoffs.

If the idea is to de-emphasize divisional games, don't go halfway and make the schedule nearly completely balanced:
4 games against Interleague rival
42 games against other Interleague opponents
80 games against intraleague opponents
36 games against division opponents
Be like the NBA. Winning your division doesn't guarantee you a playoff spot, only the right to fly a flag.

Regular season games will have less and less meaning. If down the road, you hear owners complaining about regular season attendance or television viewers, they created the mess themselves.
   37. BDC Posted: August 25, 2022 at 08:46 AM (#6093162)
The fact MLB has five per division makes that impossible. One team per division always has to be playing outside its division at any given time (just as one series has to be an interleague one in 15-team leagues)

Yes, definitely. They cannot stack them perfectly; they could only approximate. It used to be a lot of fun in 12-team-league days when everything after Labor Day was intradivision – better than 10- or 8-team leagues, in some respects.

It isn't very easy to manage the NFL matchups either, and will get harder if they go to 18 games. In the coming season, for instance, Dallas plays the Eagles and Football Team in two of the last three weeks, but they last play the Giants on Thanksgiving (after which the season still has six weeks to go).
   38. SandyRiver Posted: August 25, 2022 at 09:30 AM (#6093170)
#15: The only reason I could think of for a Braves-Bosox "rivalry" is that, 70 years ago, they were both in the same city. Tenuous is an understatement.

My preference, which would never fly (in part to its back-to-the-future character) would be to add 2 franchises (Charlotte and Portland, OR?), thus having 2 eight-team divisions in each league. PS would start with the division winners having HF advantage, plus 2 wildcards - the 2 winningest non-division winners. Having a division with only one playoff team would be possible, and that one team might have fewer wins than its wildcard opponent. Possible schedule, including interleague (that's NOT going away), would be 3 games with each team in one of the other league's divisions, alternating by year (24 games), 4 games against the other division in one's league (32 games) and 15 interdivision games (90 games) for a 161-game season. An alternate might be 6 other-division games and 13 interdivisions, for a 163-game season.

My intro to MLB (and excuse for the above) came in the 1950s, with the 8-team AL & NL that had existed since 1903, changed only by then-recent franchise relocations.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: August 25, 2022 at 09:45 AM (#6093171)
My preference, which would never fly (in part to its back-to-the-future character) would be to add 2 franchises (Charlotte and Portland, OR?), thus having 2 eight-team divisions in each league.


For radical realignment purposes, something like Charlotte and Montreal works best, I believe. It could give you something like below. The only teams that would suffer a little in terms of lost rivalries are Atlanta (though adding Charlotte would mitigate that) and Toronto, but Detroit and Montreal are Cleveland are more natural rivalries for the Jays than NY and Boston). All teams would also be in the same time zone as their division rivals except for the two Mountain Time Zone teams in the West.

Ruth Division
Bos
NY
NY
Phi
Wash
Balt
TB
Fla.

Clemente Division
Cin
Cle
Pit
Det
Tor
Cha
Atl
Mtl.

Musial Division
Chi
Chi
Mil
Min
Stl
KC
Tex
Hou

Mays Division
LA
LA
SD
SF
Oak
Sea
Ariz
Den



   40. BDC Posted: August 25, 2022 at 09:51 AM (#6093175)
As long as I'm rambling on :) … the discussion of rivalries in this thread is interesting. As noted, there are two kinds of rivalry in sports. One is deeper, in that the fans of the two teams will care about the game no matter how good the teams are or even what leagues they're in. I often cite Wabash vs. DePauw – I'd say a lot of people outside of Indiana don't know that those colleges exist, but their fans are somewhat invested in the rivalry.

So in MLB, as suggested, yes, maybe only NYY-BOS, CHC-STL, and LAD-SFG would be truly that "deep."

But then there is the shallower and more provisional kind of rivalry, where two teams that are scheduled to play each other regularly also get good at the same time and compete for championships. Here I think of the Phillies and the Pirates. They are in the same state, but really different regions of the country. They played in the same league for decades and nobody really cared.

Then in the 1970s, they were tossed into the same division and played one another 18 times a year; each team had a core of famous players. They shared 9 of 10 division titles in the decade. Those games were intense. There wasn't even a single blistering pennant race between the two clubs, but for quite a while, PHI-PIT was really a matchup worth looking forward to. Willie Stargell on trying to hit Steve Carlton: "Like drinking coffee with a fork." Great stuff.

Then their fortunes ebbed, guys retired, they ended up in different divisions, and now who cares, again.

Diluting the schedule and de-emphasizing division races make that shallower, more provisional kind of rivalry unlikely, perhaps impossible. Again, it's only a game, we'll live, baseball will be fun – but one possibility will go out of it.
   41. BDC Posted: August 25, 2022 at 09:56 AM (#6093177)
(And I should acknowledge Brotani's point above: that one "pays for" a provisional rivalry, sometimes, with years of "Oh spare me, the Tigers are playing the Royals again." But of course some years, it's "Oh spare me, the Tigers are playing anybody again." :)
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: August 25, 2022 at 10:08 AM (#6093180)
I often cite Wabash vs. DePauw – I'd say a lot of people outside of Indiana don't know that those colleges exist, but their fans are somewhat invested in the rivalry.


Ah, the Monon Bell game, the oldest college football rivalry west of the Alleghenies. Go Little Giants.
   43. . Posted: August 25, 2022 at 10:28 AM (#6093185)
There's way more organic there, there in college football rivalries than in pro sports. Although by the time all the dust settles the imperative of showing the games on TV to the masses will probably badly dilute that nice slice of Americana, too.

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