September 17, 2011

O-Issue 2011: Rivalries

Courtesy of Nia Sotto

Everyone loves a good match-up: Edward versus Jacob, ketchup versus mustard, skinny jeans versus boot-cut. The University of Chicago and the city of Chicago itself are no different – there are plenty of rivalries, both athletic and non-athletic, to fuel an entertaining fight. Although there are “two sides to every argument,” we suggest you pick a team to root for early – it makes watching the games a lot more fun.

One of the first rivalries you’ll encounter is between the University of Chicago and Northwestern. While it may seem that the Big Ten Wildcats would squash our D-III Maroons, there are quite a few off-season encounters. The varsity Swimming and Baseballs teams have each faced Northwestern in pre-season games, and both came awfully close to taking down their D-1 opponents. Additionally, non-athletic match-ups against Northwestern have come in the form of the college rankings, where the Maroons typically crush the inhabitants of Evanston. Northwestern is known for their Journalism school, Greek life, and suburbia while the U of C is known for rigorous academics, awkwardness, and actually being in the city of Chicago.

The U of C’s most heated sports rivalry, however, is against Washington University. The St. Louis-based school plays in the same conference as the Maroons, and the games and meets against the Bears draw the largest crowds on campus. The Phoenix Phanatix, a school spirit RSO, even print shirts that simply say, “BEAT WASH U.” Women’s basketball defeated Wash U in regular season play but fell to them in conference finals. The football team beat Wash U in 2012, earning the Founder’s Cup.

The next, and arguably the largest rivalry in the city, is between the White Sox and the Cubs. The two Major League Baseball teams in Chicago each have proud fans all over the city, though the Sox draw more fans from the South Side of Chicago while Cub fans are generally from the North Side. The Cubs have been known for their rocky performances: George Will, a Pulitzer Prize-winning sports columnist, once noted, “Cub fans are 90 percent scar tissue.” Though the Sox won the World Series in 2005, the Cubs have made twice as many appearances in the series throughout the years.

There are also plenty of campus rivalries that are off the playing field. One lopsided battle is the maroon vs. the Weekly. As the two campus publications on newsprint, the maroon prints Tuesdays and Fridays as the “Independent Student Newspaper,” while the Weekly is printed by Newcity every Thursday as the “Independent Voice” (full disclosure: We’re Chicago Maroon fans). Then there’s the battle of the brew between the Pub vs. Jimmy’s. The Pub is a University club, where students pay a $10 membership fee to enjoy billiards, sports, 24 different taps, and food from the Medici. Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap is a favorite of graduate students, faculty, and scruffy undergraduates. With a half-century history that includes a disgusting Tucker Max story (fondly called “My 21st Birthday”), Jimmy’s has gained a character stronger than almost any Hyde Park institution.

Then there’s MUNUC vs. ChoMUN, the two Model United Nations RSOs. Although you might think they overlap, each one dominates their respective realms – MUNUC hosts a national high school conference while ChoMUN competes with other college teams. And, finally, what might be considered the weekend of the most grueling U of C rivalries takes place during Scav Hunt, when Non-Scavvies do everything in their power to evade the Scavvies, and teams like B-J, Snitchcock, and Max Palevsky feverishly compete.