BY MJ DUNNE
Rivalries are at the core of what makes sports so special. It’s what convinces seemingly sane people to lash out irrationally at strangers and berate each other’s mothers in public. These “hatreds” elevate players’ blood pressure and sense of team pride, fueling even more intense battles via Twitter (#wearenotadults).
Let’s take a look at some of the tense relationships within Indy City Futbol:
Everyone loves a good rivalry, but not as much as Bates-Hendricks FC.
Bates-Hendricks vs. ...everybody?
How do they hate thee? Let us count the ways.
BHFC vs Garfield AC
Some call their rivalry the "Neighborhood Rumble" or “Raymond Street Rumble”, but we’re not sure who actually wins and loses when the “prize” is the “Alley-Trash Trophy”.
From the team captain, Tyler: “This trophy was glued together using Great Stuff expanding foam, duct tape and gorilla glue. It features scrap metal and trash that was dumped in alleys in both Bates-Hendricks and Garfield Park. Whoever wins the game dictates where the trophy goes and whoever retains the trophy has to add something to it...The trophy itself is ugly and somewhat dangerous to hold due to its sharp edges. We estimate it's scrap metal value at around 35 cents.”
Pretty sure that’s a gross overestimation, Tyler.
BHFC vs FC Fountain Square
This rivalry is pretty scandalous, we must admit. BHFC poached Fountain Square Brewery as their team sponsor for the second season of ICF. Surprisingly, FC Fountain Square barely notices, or even cares. Well, they might care a little bit. Okay, they definitely care a lot.
The rivalry as told by Jairav, the previous team manager and co-creator of “The Golden Growler”:
“It all started a long long time ago, in a field far away - specifically at the beginning of season 2 of ICF. That was when the redheaded stepchild called Bates Hendricks was born into the league. Through some dark magic, they managed to acquire the coveted Fountain Square Brewery sponsorship for their team. That's right. The brewery named for our neighborhood (and their location) would be on their jerseys. As you can imagine, we were not happy with this. So we beat them by something like 9 goals. I don't think I can overplay this - we beat them so hard their neighborhood actually suffered a spike in crime. One of our players scored a goal 5 seconds after kick off.”
“Nonetheless, it turns out the Bates people aren't all that insufferable, and last year I became good friends with Sam Sluis - their goalkeeper. Sam also happens to be quite talented at woodworking. We decided to codify our rivalry and spite for the sponsor brewery situation by creating a giant oak trophy atop which sits a golden growler. Admittedly Sam did the majority of the work, but I did provide the growler and sanded one piece of wood. So you know.”
"The rules for the Golden Growler are still being developed, but so far it can be contested over anything as long as both teams agree. But it is always on the line when we play each other in Indy City. Over the winter I challenged them to a Golden Growler battle over duckpin bowling. Honestly it was because no one on our team wanted to keep it, and I live in a small apartment. So I decided to give them a taste of it until the summer when we would effortlessly regain it. "
"You should have seen their faces when they won. Charity is a great thing. It really makes you feel good inside!”
BHFC vs Real Fletcher Place
BHFC had a rocky start to last year’s season with a few losses. They were able to beat Real Fletcher Place, but Fletcher Place’s team captain, Andy, is confident his team will rise again.
“The I-70 Series has a nice ring to it,” Andy said about their rivalry.
BHFC vs Atletico Cottage Home
BHFC might not know that this rivalry even exists...sorry, Cottage Home. Maybe make a trash trophy?
Atletico Cottage Home vs Mass Ave United
What was once a battle of David and Goliath proportions, Mass Ave United has something to prove after multiple loses to Cottage Home.
Midtown FC vs Broad Ripple City
Two teams that you shouldn’t sleep on, Midtown FC and Broad Ripple City are looking forward to “The Canal Derby”. Midtown’s team captain, Mark, had some fighting words for BRC: “This town ain't big enough for two Broad Ripple teams, so Broad Ripple City is going to need to go for a swim.”
Sporting Herron Morton vs FC Fountain Square
Last season, Sporting Herron Morton was able to emerge victorious against Fountain Square on a thrilling last minute goal. Fountain Square dealt with their heartbreak by rooting against Herron Morton in the final, stoking the flames of this burgeoning rivalry.
Herron Morton rose from the flames to win the final, leaving Fountain Square in the dust.
Old Speedway City vs... nobody
From the team captain, Jian:
“Unfortunately, I am not aware of any rivalries for Old Speedway. I actually don't even live in the neighborhood. I think they asked me to be captain out of pure necessity. We have more transplants than the average team, which makes cultivating a rivalry a bit difficult. Maybe this year something will come up.”