Forget Brady-Manning, the best rivalries have been Walsh-Parker, MacGregor-Simonds, Bangor-Hampden

Brady vs. Manning…Peyton vs Tom…Manning vs Brady…Tom vs Peyton…

For an entire week the rivalry was front and center in the sports world. So I got to thinking about some of the best Maine sports rivalries over the years…

– Shawn Walsh vs Jack Parker: There was no better place to be than Alfond Arena back in the day when Maine and BU met in Hockey East play. I can still picture Parker throwing those sticks on the ice after some referee’s call he didn’t like..and Walsh on the Bears bench, arms folded, with just a little smile.

– Bangor vs Lawrence football: There’s nothing quite like a fall Friday night in Fairfield when the Rams and Bulldogs met. Too bad that rivalry has ended, at least for now because of reclassification.

– Bruce MacGregor vs Rick Simonds: Husson vs St.Joe’s hoops with two legendary coaches. Over a thousand wins between them and I’m sure they led the nation in “highest blood pressure” when their teams met on the court.

– UMaine vs UNH football: More than 100 games. The Brice-Cowell Musket. I think the rivalry just might have been kicked up a notch after this fall.

– The MDI HS band vs the Houlton HS band: Too bad the schools are in different basketball classes now. The good natured rivalry of trying to sound best for a half hour before a tournament game was worth the price of admission.

– UMaine baseball vs Northeastern baseball: Back when John Winkin coached the Black Bears and Neil McPhee coached the Huskies. The schools played in the same conference back then and let’s just say it…for whatever reason the two programs didn’t like each other. It was fun to watch baseball with a little edge.

– Robert Lang vs Trevor MacLean: It is a sight to see when the kayaker from New Brunswick and the kayaker from Nova Scotia meet at the Kenduskeag Bridge on the third Saturday in April. Combined they have won the Kenduskeag Stream Race 21 times. When they begin the race in the same group and start paddling 90 strokes every minute – that is what a rivalry is all about.

– Bangor vs Hampden Soccer: The Rams and Broncos have become rivals in most everything but it seems like they have had some of their best rivalries on the soccer pitch.

– Houlton Elks Little League vs Houlton Farms Dairy Little League: OK, I know I’m going in the way-back machine for this one but for this reporter, the rivalry was clear. Our Elks team was good, Farms Dairy was good. With town bragging rights at stake, a 1960’s rivalry began.

– Calais vs Dirigo girls hoops: How about when these teams met six times in seven years for the state title. The Blue Devils won three, the Cougars won three.

– Mark Plummer vs Ralph Noel, Ron Brown Jr, and Sean Gorgone: The 1980’s seemed to be filled with Plummer against one of the three battling for the Maine State Amateur Golf title. Watching these guys battle on the final few holes on a golf course was something else.

Looking ahead – Longtime BDN sports reporter Ernie Clark joins me Wednesday mornings at 7:35 for a discussion of the top high school hoops scene on Sports Radio 92.9 The Ticket.