Jordan's Furniture isn't exactly the first name that comes to mind when you think of instigators: that is, of course, aside from their rivalry with Bob's Discount Furniture. From what I've heard, things aren't too smooth between the two.
And their rivalry with Bernie and Phyls is a deeply-rooted hatred that should never be crossed: at least that's what they tell me.
But this year, Jordan's is offering a deal similar to the ones they have put out in past Red Sox seasons. Except this time, it's not "everything free if they win the World Series".
It's "everything free if they play the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series".
Pretty intense stuff for furniture-buyers from Jordan's in 2016.
For the select few who participate in this promotion at Jordan's, a long-lost true hatred will resurrect from the dead and money will suddenly be the motivation behind a rivalry -- or at least a desire to see the Yankees and Red Sox be competitive.
Even though some Red Sox fans won't be participating in the promotion (I can't due to the fact that there's a Verizon store next to my local Jordan's and I don't like having to walk through the picketing Verizoneers), it still brings up a good point.
This Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is dead and it's about time that it becomes a thing again.
From the late nineties to probably 2011 (all years when the Sox and Yanks were competitive), nothing beat the rivalry that the Local 9 had with the Bronx Bombers. From the back-alley deals of "Yankees Suck" t-shirts being sold by the second behind the backs of local Boston Police, to Pedro Martinez throwing down the beloved Don Zimmer, to Jason Varitek face-washing Alex Rodriguez with his catcher's mitt, and many more memories fueled through hatred, nothing will ever beat that time period in the two team's history.
Back then, when tickets first went on sale for the Sox, games against the Yankees were always the most expensive, yet always the first to go.
My first Red Sox-Yankees game was in the mid-summer of 2008 and I'll never forget the boos that the Yankees' starting lineup received. That was true hatred. A Yankees fan and a group of Sox fans got into a shouting match that spanned two sections right near me. As scary as it may have been for the young-kid I was then to see security intervene (yes, I was a goody two-shoes as a little kid), it was still fun to get up and shout what I thought were some good chirps at a "poor" Yankees fan all alone on enemy soil.
But as of late, that rivalry is mostly gone.
I can't tell you the last time that I felt true hatred toward the Yankees because of something recent. I'll always hate the Yankees, but I'm talking hatred I, as well as all Red Sox fans, had toward them in years like 2003, 2004, and most years around that time. The hatred any of us have now is because of history: not because of anything within the past five-or-so years.
Part of the reason is because these two teams haven't met in the playoffs since the unforgettable ALCS in 2004. Although that may seem like yesterday, it's actually going on 12 years without seeing them in the postseason which seems insane. So really with every passing year of not seeing them in the playoffs, the rivalry becomes smaller and smaller.
The rivalry itself only kept going on after the memorable ALCS in 2004 due to both teams'
competitive seasons for the years after 2004. This lasted up until about 2011.
And ever since 2012, quite frankly, we haven't been competitive. The only time we were, which was in 2013, they were not.
Currently, the last-place, 8-12 Yankees come to town to visit your second-place, 12-10 Red Sox for a three game series. For the first time in awhile, these games could actually mean something.
For the Yankees, it's a time to turn things around due to their dismal hitting as of late. They're currently averaging 2.4 runs and hitting .221 while dropping 10 of 14.
For the Red Sox, it's a time to take advantage of the Yanks' horrendous hitting and atrocious starting pitching. Some wins this weekend could really help propel them to play well against the surprisingly strong Chicago White Sox next week.
Even though the team's are heading in opposite directions, it is only April. A lot could change.
A lot will change.
What's for sure is that the tension between these two teams needs to skyrocket back up to where it once was.
I think I can speak for all Red Sox fans by saying that I will always hate the Yankees, but I want a legitimate reason to have new hatred toward them.
And hey: maybe we will see them in the ALCS this year.
Win or lose, there would be a lot of happy Red Sox fans if that were to happen: a rivalry rejuvenated and some free furniture too.
What do you think about the current state of the rivalry with the Yankees? What's your favorite Red Sox-Yankees moment? Keep the conversation going on Twitter with Evan Marinofsky.