This title deals with unforgettable fans, teams, and athletes. The sixteen original essays in this collection cover influential and famous rivalries from a variety of sports, including track and field, golf, boxing, basketball, tennis, ice skating, baseball, football, soccer, and more. The essays are diverse, but together they illustrate what is common to any rivalry: equally matched opponents that often have decidedly different backgrounds, styles, and personalities. These differences may center on race and culture, political and societal ideologies, personality, geography, or religion - a singular mix intensified by fans and the media. From highly publicized and emotionally charged individual competitions to bitterly fought team contests, ""Rivals"" illuminates what one-of-a-kind opponents and the passion they inspire tell us about ourselves and our society.
David K. Wiggins is professor and director of the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism at George Mason University and the editor of Out of the Shadows: A Biographical History of African American Athletes. R. Pierre Rodgers is associate professor in the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism at George Mason University.