In Conversation With A Hollywood Composer: Composer Dan Dombrowsky discusses his journey and advice for college students.

I first met Dan Dombrowski when I was offered an interview through his representatives during the promotional rounds for a film called “The Estate.” The first thing I noticed about Dan was how open he was. I was supposed to have a short window with him, maybe 15 minutes, and we ended up talking for an extended period of time about things that surpassed his score for “The Estate.” But that’s how Dan is; he is always eager to help and to chat about anything. I would consider him a friend that just so happens to work in the film industry. 

You may not know Dan by name, but if you have watched “The Carbonaro Effect,” you can hear Dan’s music and sound effects in the first three seasons. His music was also used for “Buying Alaska.” Despite the fact that none of his family members played music, Dan’s music career began before college where he played in a band. But it wasn’t until after college that he got a real job in the music industry. Dan worked at a recording studio in New York City that is no longer open. Dan described the position as: “I was essentially a runner, like just running around town, getting stuff for sessions and making coffee and cleaning the room and setting stuff up and putting stuff away and I earned a whopping $5 and 15 cents an hour in New York doing that.” 

After that stint, Dan found himself going to Costa Rica for a period of time before getting another job for Zomba Records. He began as a worker in the archiving department before secretly moving into the international marketing department. “I ended up working in the international department handling all of the release planning and manufacturing of us repertoire outside of the US so whenever we would really see us, artists, anywhere in the world, I would be the guy that made that happen. At that point, it was manufacturing, CDs because iTunes was just kind of happening,” said Dan. 

But even at this point, with a steady job and all, Dan felt frustrated and unfulfilled in work. This is where Dan’s story can be a message for college students: utilize your talents and do what you enjoy. Like many students, Dan said, “I didn’t know that [there were] other things besides getting out of school, working a job in rising up the ranks.” But Dan added, “You’re not going to be happy all the time. You’re not like there’s a lot of stuff that talks about this job. Like you write a piece of music, but if it’s not what the person wants.”

Dan’s biggest piece of advice was to take risks, especially while in school. Dan said, “You don’t need to send money to people. You don’t have a mortgage, [and] crazy payments. That’s when you should chase these things, you can always go get a job. There’s always a way to earn a living.” Dan’s big break in composing came when he was working at Sony, and someone he knew connected him with someone making videos that he could score for. That ended up being TV show “South Beach Tow.”

If one thing can be learned from Dan, it’s to find what you love and just do it. No matter what, you can always find a way to make a living. Dan knows that he may not be Hans Zimmer or John Williams (yet), but he is constantly booked and working on various projects for film, TV, and video games. For all of the uncertainty many college students face, as they prepare for the world, take a look at the story of a man who went from being paid $5 an hour to scoring for “The Carbonaro Effect.”

Are Superteams Hurting Sports?: A student gives his thoughts on sports’ most controversial matter.

It was not too long ago when Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors and won back-to-back NBA championships and Finals MVPs. But, of course, it was not as if Durant’s arrival alone won Golden State championships; they had won one two years before and lost in seven games the year prior to Durant joining, but Durant was adding to a roster that already consisted of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, two of the greatest shooters the sport has seen, the always-reliable Draymond Green, and had set an NBA record with 73 regular season wins the year before Kevin Durant joined. 

The Durant-Warriors teams only lost one game in their two series wins, annihilating the Lebron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Durant’s tenure with the Golden State Warriors was a reign of domination. 

Sure, they failed to become a full dynasty, losing in their third finals series together against the Toronto Raptors after losing Durant and Thompson to injuries that postseason, but this Warriors team made it look easy to win NBA championships. When various teams are assembling the best of the best players, or what could be called “superteams,” it is fair to raise the question of whether these help or hurt professional sports. 

To start with the positive about superteams, they are entertaining. Love or hate them, the Warriors with Durant were fun to watch. While the perception of superteams is that they are unfair to face, these teams are filled with really talented players in the world. 

Watching the Warriors move the ball is a sight to behold, and adding Durant gave potential cases where there were four or five players on the floor who could possibly shoot. I remember when Steph threw a pass from over halfcourt behind his back and hit someone in-stride for two points. It was a one-of-a-kind play that can only be seen with these teams. Superteams also give real fans of the team a joyous time. 

Recently, another team has assembled a powerhouse. The Los Angeles Rams made big moves obtaining Mathew Stafford, Von Miller, and Odell Beckham Jr. alongside their already dominant big three in Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and Cooper Kupp. It’s a matter of where their team stinks and the fanbase is not happy. Even the Warriors were not nearly as good before Stephen Curry’s ascension in 2014. Superteams give a fanbase a time to shine and something to cheer for, and as a Giants fan, I can understand this. 

An obvious downside to superteams is that they create a significant talent gap and makes the final winner predictable. From other leagues, the NBA seems to be the sport where this occurs the most, perhaps due to the number of games played.

Even if superteams are generally dominant, they still can be vulnerable. While the Rams are stacked, they’ve suffered three straight bad losses with their new additions. So it’s understandable how some view superteams as a problem. While I do not wholly condone them, I believe that they do some good for sports, including giving fanbases something to cheer for and bringing the best of the best together, resulting in magnificent plays. 

Sources: Basketball Reference

Martin Scorsese and Marvel: Two Years Later

It has been about two years since Martin Scorsese made waves by declaring the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies as “not cinema.” It sparked controversy, as various filmmakers and actors involved with the Marvel Cinematic Universe came out and defended their product. Even two years later, it seems as though filmmakers are still trying to defend their stance. James Gunn, the director of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” along with the recent “The Suicide Squad” responded to Scorsese once again during the promo tour for “The Suicide Squad.” While many may still be offended by what Scorsese said, I wanted to give my opinion on the matter.

Now, in all fairness, I initially heard the comments by Scorsese and was defensive. I grew up watching the MCU, and even up to 2019, I would consider myself a pretty big fan of the franchise. But I also did not know Martin Scorsese at that point. I did see “The Irishman” that fall in theatres, but once I decided that I wanted to write about films for a living, I began diving into Scorsese’s filmography. As of this writing, I have watched 20 of his 25 feature films, and there is no doubt in my mind that Scorsese was correct in what he said. 

The big misunderstanding is what Scorsese means by the Marvel movies not being “cinema.” If you read the full comment, he does acknowledge the fact that the movies are well-made but points to their lack of real emotion as to why they are not cinema. Before you freak out, just consider this: how many Marvel movies actually have stakes? “Avengers: Endgame” may be the only Marvel movie with actual stakes, killing off some of the franchise’s longtime heroes, but that was also the 22nd film of the series. It should not take 22 movies to finally reach a point where the stakes matter. Yes, “Infinity War” did kill off half of the universe, but there was a second part announced before the movie released, so was anything but a cliffhanger ending expected? We have to remember that at the end of the day, the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are glorified toy commercials, and why would they let the likes of Spider-Man or the Guardians of the Galaxy die when there are more action figure variants to sell?

The other major issue with the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies is how they over-saturate the movie market. Taking 2020 out of the equation because of the pandemic, all ten of the highest-grossing films of 2019 were sequels, prequels, or tied to some IP. All three Marvel movies that year are included: “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Disney as a company made up 70% of the top ten (80% if you include “Spider-Man: Far From Home” which is a Sony and Disney property.) In 2021, Marvel had five streaming shows and four movies come out. You could blame that on the pandemic clogging the slate, but this would likely happen one way or another. There is just too much superhero/franchise content that is taking eyes away from independent movies.

If you are a Marvel fan, this piece is not intended to change your mind. Look, there is no shame in enjoying Marvel movies. I still catch the latest Marvel movies, “Shang-Chi” was fine — far better than the repulsive “Black Widow” I might add — but Marvel seems to want to make themselves out to be “artsy”; thanks, “Eternals.” The fact of the matter is: these are cotton candy movies. A lot of fun, but no substance. “The Irishman” is probably Scorsese’s weakest mob movie, yet it still is better than any Marvel movie to date. Marvel will not change their ways because it works. They will continue cut-and-pasting these movies without taking risks until people eventually grow bored. It has not happened yet, but one can hope. Scorsese compared the Marvel movies to “theme park rides,” and while that may have riled fans up, Disney did just open the “Avengers Campus.” 

Box Office Mojo, CNET, Vulture

Achtung Y’all: U2’s Achtung Baby: The 1991 album celebrates its 30th anniversary this November.

On November 18, U2’s 1991 album, “Achtung Baby,” will celebrate its 30th anniversary. It may not be the band’s most well-known album, but it is the album that completely changed the band U2 is. After “Rattle and Hum,” which was accompanied by a concert film and received a lukewarm reception, the band totally shifted gears with “Achtung Baby.” The support tour, the “ZooTV Tour” made major advances for the concert industry; with dozens of television sets making up the backdrop of the stage and a b-stage where the band could play closer to the crowd.

The opening ambient sounds lead right into The Edge’s guitar riff on “Zoo Station.” Bono states that he is “ready for the laughing gas,” and “ready for what’s next,” signaling a radically different direction for the band. Right after is “Even Better Than The Real Thing,” which opens with another funky guitar riff by The Edge, including a lot of wah-wah effects and delay. 

“One” is perhaps the most important song U2 has ever written. The lines “We’re one, but we’re not the same/We get to carry each other, carry each other,” feel relevant to our current political divide. It is chill-inducing when U2 plays this song live; lights are usually dimmed, phones are out, and many hands are up in unison. Bono occasionally snippets “Invisible” towards the end of the song, singing the refrain: “No them, there’s only us.”

U2 has frequently thrown biblical allusions into their music, “Until The End Of The World” tells a version of the Jesus and Judas story; “In the garden I was playing the tart/I kissed your lips and broke your heart.” This leads right into “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses,” one of the band’s most underrated songs. “So Cruel” slows the tempo and momentum of the album down, but brings a classic Bono ballad to the mix. 

It all picks back up with “The Fly,” a song that has a guitar riff that truly emulates the sound of a fly buzzing in your ear. Some of Bono’s best songwriting takes place here; with aphorisms like “It’s no secret that a liar won’t believe anyone else,” and “It’s no secret ambition bites the nails of success.” The funky “Mysterious Ways” proceeds “The Fly,” with a grooving bassline that allows Adam Clayton to shine for once. Rock radio stations still play this song. “Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World” is a fun song about a hangover. “Ultra Violet (Light My Way)” is akin to “With or Without You” in that it is a twisted love song. Take, for example, the lines:  “Oh sugar, don’t you cry/Oh child wipe the tears from your eyes/You know I need you to be strong/And the day is as dark as the night is long.” It’s not a happy song, and live versions of the song are some of the most impassioned performances from Bono.

“Acrobat” is another song about hypocrisy and one of the most intense U2 songs: “I must be, an acrobat/To talk like this/And act like that.” It features a blistering solo from The Edge that leads to the crashing crescendo.

The closing song of “Achtung Baby” is “Love is Blindness.” It features a haunting organ, making this one of the eeriest U2 songs. It’s a rather slow song until the solo at the end, which The Edge once again nails. U2 has not closed out an album in such a manner until “The Troubles” on “Songs of Innocence.” 

Without “Achtung Baby,” it’s hard to say where U2 would be. The band pushed the limits of their sound; infusing alternative rock and Motown and new guitar effects. The Edge does his best guitar work, and some of Bono’s lyrics are the strongest of his career. It is their masterpiece, and perhaps a “Zoo(m) TV Tour” could happen to celebrate the band.

Players Tribute: Eli Manning: A fan shares his thoughts on his favorite retired quarterback.

Eli Manning, the former New York Giant, and two-time Super Bowl champion and MVP, is hosting the “Manningcast” with his older brother Peyton. Eli was a staple of the NFL during his career and was the main reason I ever watched the New York Giants. 

For sixteen seasons, Eli Manning was a New York Giant. He showed up and never missed a snap until 2017, something that will be touched upon later. Let’s face it; He was never the best quarterback in the NFL. Throwing game-losing interceptions, took sacks, overthrew receivers, and gave us meme-worthy faces after said moments. 

Despite all of this, he also gave New York Giants fans two Super Bowl victories. First was the “Helmet Catch,”. The second Super Bowl victory also came against the Patriots, and the sideline throw to Mario Manningham is one of the most fabulous throws in NFL history. 

The day Eli Manning was benched for Geno Smith was on that led to many tears. Indeed, other Giants fans felt the same way. Manning never complained; he never played the blame game and threw his slacking teammates under the bus even though he had every right to criticize. It sounds cliché, but Manning was truly the face of the New York Giants. So now, we are left with Daniel Jones, who is like a clone of Manning in terms of dialect and facial expressions, but unfortunately cannot repeat the same level of success that Manning had in his first few years starting. 

The New York Giants have not been quite the same since Eli Manning retired. They went 6-10 last year in their first year with Daniel Jones as the team’s sole leader and are currently going through a rough season where they began 1-5. So it is more of the same, but the best part of Manning retiring has been seeing him outside of the field. The New York Giants have given Eli “The Eli Manning Show,” a YouTube show. At the same time, ESPN has also allowed Eli to travel around for “Eli’s Places,” going to various colleges across the country on top of the popular “Manningcast” with his brother Peyton. The Eli you see on Monday Nights on a telecast with his older brother is a far cry from the Eli you saw standing at the podium after every game as a player. For one, he is actually smiling and cracking jokes — something you did not see much of in the tail end of his New York Giants career — and it is just great to see him look happy. I miss seeing number 10 out on the field every Sunday for the New York Giants, but it is evident that he is in a much better place and enjoying himself.  

Sources: Pro Football Reference, YouTube

Southwest Cancellations: A lack of transparency keeps flyers in the dark.

Planning on flying? Hopefully your flight is not booked with Southwest Airlines, as the company has been running into issues with mass flight cancellations and delays. These cancelations and delays have impacted an estimated tens of thousands of customers and that does not even take into account the $75 million loss they took according to CNBC. While Southwest Airlines is not the only one to cancel flights, they are perhaps the most talked about in the news. 

There are numerous reported reasons for the cancelations and delays of flights: One possible explanation is the volume of demand since travel has seen an increase with rules regarding the COVID-19 pandemic began to loosen with more people becoming vaccinated and infection rates going down. The biggest culprit, however, could be the staff shortage. This is not just an airline issue, it seems to be impacting numerous industries. Walking around New York City recently, it is noticeable that a lot of small businesses remain closed as they are understaffed. This can be tough on airlines, as flight attendants are needed on every flight. The Wall Street Journal reported that Southwest Airlines is over halfway to their goal of hiring 5,000 employees in 2021, but the process is still taking longer than usual.

Despite whatever may have caused all of these issues, that does not take away from how frustrating it is. I asked a friend of mine, who is currently planning on taking a trip down south via Southwest Airlines, for his thoughts regarding the cancellations. “They better not cancel my flight,” he said. It seemed like a reasonable response considering there is not a clear-cut answer as to why the flights are being canceled. He spent hundreds on his flight tickets there and back, and while a cancelation would likely result in a refund or credit of some sort, a big part of his trip revolves around an event happening that weekend. Being that he is flying from Maryland, it would not be easy if he had to suddenly change course and drive down to Alabama.

I have a lot of sympathy for those flying with Southwest Airlines and in this situation. Whether it is the unclear reasons for these issues or the fact that my flight was in danger of being canceled at the last second. Sure, the COVID-19 pandemic could still be a reason for these cancellations, but at some point or another, we kind of have to do what we have to do and travel. Some do it for work, others are traveling on vacation, and I think it can be mostly agreed upon that traveling is one of the most important things for mental health. When I went to Iceland this summer, it was my first time flying since the start of the pandemic. The process was incredibly frustrating; we had to get a last-second test because of new travel rules that were enforced the day we flew and we also had to wear our masks for the entirety of a six-hour flight (much easier said than done on a hot plane). But all of that was worth it to get to experience a beautiful city like Reykjavik, and it is one that I will not forget.

In the end, while I do think that it is a shame that Southwest Airlines is having issues, the lack of transparency is incredibly frustrating. I cannot speak for everyone, but I think having a clear answer such as a lack of workers, or concerns about the pandemic would ease some of the tension. Of course, some would still find things to complain about, but most understanding people would do what they have to do if it meant they could travel. Sooner or later, Southwest Airlines will have to be a little bit more transparent, because people can only be left in the dark for so long.

The NBA’s 2021 Return: A look around the NBA’s tipoff and star troubles.

The NBA has been in a weird limbo since the COVID-19 pandemic began; at one time, they were in “the bubble,” and then last season opened in December and had the Finals in July. We are now in the third season of the pandemic, and it feels as though the NBA is attempting to get back to a sense of normalcy. 

The big matchup of the tipoff night was the Los Angeles Lakers against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors pulled it off 121-114, Steph Curry had a triple-double with 21/10/10 despite shooting only 5/21 from the floor. Unfortunately, Lebron’s 34-point day wasn’t good enough to overcome the team he currently has a 1-3 record against in the NBA Finals. The Lakers will have to wait until February 12 to get their revenge. Nevertheless, the win was crucial for the Warriors. Who is coming off of a 39-33 season in which they lost in the play-in bracket. It was their first time watching the playoffs from their couches in eight years. 

In the Eastern conference, the Milwaukee Bucks blew out the Brooklyn Nets 127-104 on the opening tipoff night. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 and added 14 rebounds. Nets forward Kevin Durant also finished with a comparable 32 points and 11 rebounds, but that was not enough to escape a blowout from the Bucks. 

Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green, the top two picks in this year’s NBA Draft. Both had  disappointing starts to their career. Cunningham was ruled out and did not participate in the season opener. At the same time, Green, selected by the Houston Rockets with the second overall pick, began his NBA career with 9 points and 4 rebounds in and 4 assists against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Luckily for the two of them, the NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint, so expect the two rookies to find their groove sooner than later. 

The Brooklyn Nets looked like they could use Kyrie Irving in their first game, as he is sitting out due to not wanting to get the vaccine. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the 76ers deal with one of their stars, Ben Simmons, wanting out. From playoffs to work ethic, Simmons time with the 76ers has been rough. So a trade does feel inevitable but finding suitors has proven to be somewhat difficult. 

Even if the wait was shorter than usual, it is great to have the NBA back already. A new season means new rookies, veterans on new teams, and there is a long way to go before a playoff picture becomes clear. 

Basketball Reference, ESPN,, NBC Sports


Celebrating The New York Film Festival: Film festivals are back in full swing with the New York Film Festival occurring from September 24-October 10.

Festivals including the Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, The Tribeca Film Festival, and now, the New York Film Festival have all returned this year. Thousands of movie lovers will gather between the many auditoriums of Lincoln Center to catch some of the best films of the year. From big films such as “Dune,” and small projects like “Bergman Island,” the New York Film Festival offers the best of the best of films that you will likely hear about when the Oscars roll around. 

Not being accredited for the New York Film Festival as a member of the press did not stop me from buying tickets to some of my most anticipated films of the year. I attended four screenings: “Bergman Island,” “The Lost Daughter,” “The Power of the Dog,” and “Dune.” 

While it was my first time participating in a film festival, I instantly could feel that there is something unique and special about film festivals; lights begin to dim, and audience members are fully focused on the film. How many times have you gone to the movies and people are on their phones, or talking with their friends? None of that is tolerated or seen at the NYFF. During my screening of “Dune,” they had security constantly wandering up and down  the aisles to ensure that everyone had their masks on and were not videotaping the film. Perhaps it is because “Dune” was still a few weeks away from being released to the general public, but it helped keep everyone focused on the actual film itself. It is like going to a Marvel movie on opening night in a packed theatre, but these films are well made and are likely to win awards. 

Following most feature films were Q&As with select filmmakers and actors and were usually moderated by some sort of critic.  “The Lost Daughter” had one of the most positively-received talks, and included cast members Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Mescal, Ed Harris, and director Maggie Gyllenhaal all in attendance. The crowd especially popped for Colman akin to the wrestling fans in attendance when CM Punk debuted on AEW this summer. Even Wes Anderson—who is currently filming his latest film in Spain—checked in via live stream with other frequent collaborators to converse with some cast members of “The French Dispatch” who were in New York, including Jeffrey Wright and

Léa Seydoux.

All of this is to say, the New York Film Festival is a special experience. From foreign films, animated features, to Wes Anderson’s latest, the New York Film Festival gives movie fans all sorts of opportunities to expose themselves to great cinema. Very seldom do I feel like I just watched something special when the credits roll, especially with the slog of franchise films based on IPs that we mostly receive today, but seeing

a film at the New York Film Festival will leave you with the feeling that you just witnessed something special. Films like “The Lost Daughter” and “The Power of the Dog” will likely be in the conversation for awards from now until next spring, and you would be amongst the first to see films like these if you attend the New York Film Festival. Before the concern of a sort of elitism at the New York Film Festival, they are not completely against franchise films, as they are showing “Dune,” which hopes to get a sequel down the line. 

The atmosphere is also something to behold. It is extremely rare to find yourself watching a film in a theatre amongst people who are all there to closely watch the film. There is not the usual smell of popcorn and soda filling the air, and while that may not be ideal for a film as long as “Dune,” it helps keep you focused on the film. Plus, Lincoln Center is located in the perfect part of New York City with fantastic restaurants such as Rosa Mexicano, P.J. Clarke’s on 63rd, or Il Violino. 

Whether you are a casual moviegoer or a diehard “cinephile,” the New York Film Festival can easily wet your appetite with their variety of films. I cannot recommend enough that if you ever have a chance of attending a screening at any film festival, jump at the opportunity and experience it for yourself.

Open Letter: An open letter to my favorite artist, Paul McCartney

You may know me for wearing U2 shirts all the time, but before Bono and The Edge came into my life, Paul McCartney was my biggest influence growing up. Before losing my necklace in Iceland over this summer, I wore my Paul McCartney Hofner violin bass guitar necklace everywhere I went since I got it for Christmas a few years back. It is a reminder of my musical roots. I am by no means anywhere close to the same stratosphere of the great Paul McCartney, but it reminds me of those nights I would spend learning “Blackbird” or “Yesterday” on the guitar. I even wanted to force myself to learn the guitar and bass lefthanded. I even remember the time I went to the Allentown Symphony Hall to catch “Paul McCartney & Wings: Rockshow” with my dad when I was 12. Regardless of how much I have changed as a person, Paul McCartney and his music have always been a constant in my life.  

While I believe that it is unfair to really compare all four of the members of The Beatles for their full body of work, it is also hard to argue McCartney’s success. McCartney went from The Beatles to his self-titled solo album, “McCartney,” which includes one of the greatest love songs ever in “Maybe I’m Amazed.” His next group, Wings, was also a success and brought songs like “Band on the Run,” “Jet,” “1985,” “Silly Love Songs,” and “Listen to What the Man Said” to the table in just seven albums together. 

Even McCartney’s last three albums, “New,” “Egypt Station,” and “McCartney III” have continued his success. They are not necessarily filled with hits like his previous works, but songs like “I Don’t Know,” “Early Days,” “Queenie Eye,” and “Seize the Day” are all a part of my daily rotation. It amazes me that McCartney has matured so much in his writing, and the sheer fact that he can still put out full albums (including some where he plays every instrument) is incredible. 

Perhaps most importantly, McCartney has been touring for fans for decades. Say what you want about his voice in 2021, but he deserves credit for constantly traveling the world and bringing songs from The Beatles, Wings, and his solo albums to fans. I was lucky enough to see him on his “Out There” tour in 2013, a support tour for “New,” and I would say that this was one of the last years with his voice at full strength. It was a three-hour show of hit after hit, and I do not know if any concert experience will ever top that, especially given that the concert happened on Father’s Day that year, and my dad was the one who sat down and burned each and every album by The Beatles on my iPod when Apple did not have the rights to their music. 

So while I cannot act like McCartney’s lyrics are all as deep as the likes of U2 for example, but there is a timeless quality to McCartney’s music that has resonated with me since I was a child. With this crazy pandemic, I do not know if McCartney will ever tour again, but I am thankful for the opportunity I had to see him. Even though he will never see this, thank you, Paul, for all that you have done. I am far from the only person he has touched, but now at 79 years young, it feels appropriate to celebrate the one and only Paul McCartney, because I am amazed that he has been with me all this time. 

Some of Sports’ Most Heated Rivalries: A look at two of the biggest rivalries in professional sports.

Rivalries are part of what makes sports so entertaining. Whether you follow a professional sports team or you rep your school spirit as they take on a heated rival, rivalry games always bring an extra flare. Some rivalries are born out of being placed in the same division, others are from playoff losses or off-field history between players and coaches. Regardless, rivalries can bring out the very best in teams, and two of the best examples of this are the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Boston Celtics and the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Baltimore Ravens. 

One of the most legendary rivalries is the rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. The two teams have faced off in the NBA Finals on 12 occasions dating back to 1959, when the Lakers were the then “Minneapolis Lakers.”  There was a gap between 1969 and 1984 where the Lakers and Celtics didn’t meet in the Finals, but they have since played five series against each other. The Lakers have won three of the five matchups beginning in 1984, including the 2010 Finals, which went the distance of seven games. The 2010 NBA Finals was the last championship that the late Kobe Bryant won, and he put up 28.6 points per game. 

In the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens are two divisional rivals with a back-and-forth history. The two teams are generally competitive and usually in the playoff race, but the Steelers currently lead the all-time series 30-24. The Steelers have won the last two matchups in 2020, but the Ravens swept the series in 2019, including an overtime victory on a walk-off 46-yard Justin Tucker field goal. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 15-10 in the regular season and 2-1 in the postseason in his career against the Ravens. Despite having a winning record against the Ravens, his statistics take a dip against the same team. In his career, Roethlisberger has a passer rating of 93.9 while posting a rating of 85.3 against the Ravens. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is technically 2-2 thus far into his short career as the Baltimore signal-caller, though he has only started two of those games and is 1-1. The Steelers and the Ravens don’t face off this year until Week 13 before they close out their seasons in Baltimore for their second matchup. Knowing the AFC North, the Week 18 game could have the teams’ playoff hopes up for grabs. 

With the NFL season in full swing, the MLB postseason coming up and the NBA starting up again soon, get ready to sit back and watch some great rivalry games unfold.

Sources: Basketball Reference, The Football Database, Land of Basketball, Pro Football Reference