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It's New York vs. Boston Once Again

Super Bowl 46 is another chance for New York to demonstrate its supremacy

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    It's another chance to prove New York's got Boston's number.

    It was probably meant to be.

    Two cities that can't agree on what constitutes clam chowder were destined to have conflicts through the ages. In medieval Italy, Florence and Venice waged war. But in our modern times such conflicts have to express themselves differently.

    Sports is the arena where our civic pride manifests itself and it certainly has done so in the rivalry between Boston and New York. No New Yorker worth their salt would credit Boston with anything more than a decent setting for a sitcom about a bar, but you have to ask yourself where would New York sports be without Boston?

    We wouldn't have Babe Ruth, the 1949 pennant race, Bucky Dent or Aaron Boone to make Yankee history that much more enjoyable. David Tyree would still be just a special teamer who worked hard instead of making the greatest catch in Giants history and Mookie Wilson's grounder down the first base line probably winds up as an easy out by the first baseman.

    Rex Ryan's tenure would be without its signature victory and the Knicks, well, the Knicks probably would be just as big a disappointment even with playoff wins over the Celtics in 1973 and 1990 erased from the annals of history. The Rangers and Bruins rivalry is mostly notable for the night Mike Milbury went into the MSG stands to attack Rangers fans, but things seem to be shaping up for a big series in this year's postseason.

    In short, Boston has given us plenty of reasons to celebrate over the years and they're presenting another one on a silver platter this week. Should the Giants find their way past the Patriots for the second time in the last five Super Bowls, they'll put a serious dent in the greatest run in the history of New England football.

    There's no way to take away three Super Bowl titles, obviously, but how dominant can a stretch really be if it features two losses to the same team in the Super Bowl? Two Super Bowl losses would make it hard to put the Pats of the last decade on the same level as the Steelers of the 70's, the 49ers of the 80's or the Cowboys of the 90's when it comes to football's signature franchises.

    This Super Bowl is a nightmare for Jets fans who will find themselves living in someone's expanded shadow, but even they could take a little bit of joy in a New York team causing Boston to send itself into another sports shame spiral. On the heels of the Celtics getting old and the Red Sox falling apart, a Super Bowl loss would make this such a tough year for Boston that not even the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup could make things a net positive for the city.

    Winning any Super Bowl is reason for rejoicing. Winning this one would be even sweeter because it would make it hard to make any argument against New York owning the Northeast's fiercest sports rivalry.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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