I love a good rivalry as long as it doesn't involve violence, poisoning trees or kidney failure.
Last spring, before Louisville and Kentucky faced off in the NCAA tournament, two fans exchanged blows ... at a dialysis center.
Oh ... mercy ... nurse.
When I covered the L.A. Raiders years ago, front-office dynamo Al LoCasale burst into the media room one day in El Segundo and ordered a Denver writer, in town to do advance work on the upcoming game, to leave.
The guy thought LoCasale was joking. Silly guy.
The directive, straight from Mr. (Al) Davis, was clear: "Get the BLEEP off the property."
Rivalries are generally harmless and childish and make otherwise boring days interesting.
Flash forward to Tuesday and "Barkley Gate."
USC boosters with deep pockets had every right to erect a billboard of star quarterback Matt Barkley in the heart of UCLA territory. It was UCLA, after all, that years ago initiated a campaign proclaiming the "football monopoly" was over in Los Angeles.