As a sports fans there is nothing better than the intense rivalry. No matter what sport it is people will watch it because they want to be part of the history and be able to say hey, I saw Ali knock out Frasier, or I was there when Nadal beat Federer at Wimbledon. Even though rivalries tend to bring up hatred from the fans, they also bring people together to watch greatness at its best.
Everybody loves watching rivalries. Everybody watched Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain duke it out for years. Everybody watched Bird and Magic go at from when they were just young raw talent in college to the many games in the NBA Finals to determine who would be champion. Maybe everybody didn't watch them in college, but then when they heard what they missed they were sure not to miss it again at the pro level. There are also the rivalries that everybody watches just to watch because they're can't miss TV such as Red Sox-Yankees, Duke-North Carolina, and Ohio State-Michigan.
Now there seems to be a new rivalry looking to make its mark sports history, young hockey sensations Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. This year the Pittsburgh Penguins (Crosby's team) and the Washington Capitals (Ovechkin's team) will face each other for the first time since both players entered the league. They were both drafted in the same draft in 2005. Although they haven't been in the league for a long time, they have already made an instant impact and are proclaimed to be the saviors of hockey. In just three games so far they have already lived up to the hype. In Game 2 they both posted a hat trick, being only the fourth time that has ever happened in the playoffs in NHL history.
Not many people know about them now and may not watch, but trust me they have plenty of years in them. They will catch on just like all the other great rivalries. People didn't watch Nadal and Federer from the beginning, but now it's can't miss TV.