Consider every important sports historical moment that has occurred in the city of Boston. So many great moments, as well as those that we wish we could forget.
It took 86-years for the Red Sox to snap their so called, “Curse of the Bambino,” as well as two decades for the Celtics to finally win another NBA championship. The Patriots needed forty plus years to win their first title and the Bruins … well, that’s another story.
Yet with great moments, come great rivalries. In a city such as Boston, there have always been those teams that every Massachusetts’s natives cannot stand.
In baseball, it is the New York Yankees. The Celtics have the L.A. Lakers; Bruins have the Montreal Canadiens, which leaves the Patriots with who exactly?
Could it be the New York Jets?
Possibly the San Diego Chargers?
Maybe the Miami Dolphins?
How about the Buffalo Bills?
What about the Indianapolis Colts?
Ding… Ding… Ding! Correct, it is indeed the Indianapolis Colts!
The Colts-Patriots rivalry may not seem as historical as others, but ever since both quarterbacks entered the league, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, it just seemed like the next chapter of Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson was ready to take off.
Both quarterbacks have gained so much respect from their coaches, teammates, fans, as well as their opponents across the league, which makes them equally great and so much fun to watch.
The first time Brady and Manning played against one another was during the 2001 season, which would also be the final year that the Colts and Patriots would be grouped together in the same division. Brady led the Patriots to two wins against the Colts and a Super Bowl title that year, but it wasn’t against Manning and the men dressed in royal blue and white, but instead, the St. Louis Rams.
Their success against the Colts continued for the next few season, but earning wins weren’t always easy. Most games came down to one final drive, a defensive stop or possibly a late touchdown to seal the deal.
In the playoffs, Manning struggled profusely and didn’t seem to enjoy the northeastern winter weather either. He recorded five interceptions and helped his team tally 17 points total through two games, which wasn’t enough to beat the Patriots in Foxborough.
Yet, despite the early success Brady and the Patriots experienced, Manning would eventually have his chance to earn a few wins too against New England. Not only did they win on a chilly November evening in 2005, but also in ’06,’08 and ’09.
Although, do Brady and Manning make this rivalry? Is it just these two players that attract Colts and Patriots fans to watch these games? Could it be the two cities, Boston vs. Indianapolis? The Midwest vs. the Northeast? What exactly makes this a rivalry?
The answer … Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, end of story!
If Brady and Manning were on two separate teams, possibly this matchup would not appear as two heavy weights, but instead, two light weights. Both quarterbacks make this rivalry special. Fans in New England want to see Brady succeed, while the Midwest would match rather watch Manning beat the Patriots and go onto win another Super Bowl.
Although, whenever the Patriots and Colts meet on Sunday’s, it certainly is a different feel than usual.
This is Red Sox-Yankees at Fenway Park.
This is the Boston Celtics fans cheering, “Beat LA,” at the Garden.
These are all those fights that have occurred between the Bruins and Canadiens over the years.
This is Brady vs. Manning.
This is Bill Belichick vs. the Colts coaching staff.
This is … a “Big Game!”
Say what you want, but there is no doubt about it, the Colts and Patriots rivalry is real and will certainly continue onward.
Whether it was Willie McGinest’s defensive stop, Marlin Jackson’s interception during the 2006 AFC Championship game or Belichick’s illustrious 4th and 2 gamble in ‘09, all in all, this a true rivalry.