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Friday Poll

Dane Pound

Enemy of the State School-Albany's biggest rival  

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I noticed the Times Union is running a reader poll with questions somewhat similar to the Sports Illustrated format. One of the questions asks about the area's best rivalry and offers UAlbany vs. Siena basketball as one of the choices. I guess Brian Ettkin didn't have a hand in drafting the poll choices.


I believe it is available on line and has run in the past three days print editions.

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Statefan I was so waiting for you to post about this.

I guess a columnist is doing a good job when you remember what he wrote eight months ago and it still ticks you off.

I couldn't find the online version of the poll.

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Eight months is nothing. I'm still ticked off about the officiating at the 1973 Albany (or as I say "State")- Siena game.


Two other comments relating to this string. One, it is interesting to me that the poll in this string shows that we are equally divided with half considering old-time rival Siena as our chief rival and half considering more modern University Center rivals Binghamton and Stony Brook as our chief rivals. I'm guessing the votes for Siena were from older board members and the votes for Binghamton and Stony Brook from younger. There's no right or wrong here; just interesting.


Two, I think the fact that the Times Union survey appears and that the UAlbany official men's basketball website has been updated this week shows that this board is monitered and that when we come up with good ideas and valid constructive criticisms, our voices are heard.

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I'm not sure you can call Siena a rival anymore. We don't play them nearly enough in any sport to make them a true rival. Being that we play Bing and SBU in every sport possible due to the conference, I would think that would make you more natural rivals than geography alone.


Xavier and Cincinnati are rivals, but it's different because they've been on the same level division-wise for so long, whereas we have not. I think that hurts Siena as a possible rival for UAlbany.

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Personally, I think some of it is how much exposure you get to the other teams fans.

I know a couple of Bing grads and don't know any Stony Brook grads/fans. On the other hand I work with a gaggle of $iena fans so it's hard not to develop some kind of rivalry. Especially when a pair of them come by your desk (as happened two seasons ago) after every Danes basketball loss and ask "so, lose again last night?"

Should we win the $iena game one of these years you can't imagine how much I'll enjoy searching those two out.

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Although I'm not sure why New Hampshire was not in the poll, I'd have to say that Stony Brook is the biggest rival. True, Siena is in town, but the only sport that Siena has an advantage of UA is in basketball. That is two sports out of nineteen! The other sports, UA has a BIG advantage in. UAlbany has made tremendous progress in ALL of their sports, not just a couple. Stony Brook made the jump to DI about the same time as UA did, and stands in our way towards conference championships (not Siena). Because of that, I'd say that SB is our biggest rival, followed by Binghamton and then Siena.


As I'm writing this, I'm thinking that maybe the biggest rival should be whoever is at the top of the commissioner cup year in and year out for the best athletic program in the America East. I'm not sure who has won it the past few years. I'm guessing that it would be somewhere on the conference web-site. Maybe THAT is who should be our biggest rival.

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I left UNH out because there were only 10 spaces in the poll. I could have left the NYS Bar out to but that was an aside to Dane96 who will be taking it the week after next (good luck to him).

Admittedly there are probably more logical rivalry choices that $iena. For the most part these things are more about proximity, passion and vitrol than logic(see my post above). As you and DaneFan2K3 pointed out the two schools only play a few sports and in the future they will only be on an equal footing in two (men's and women's basketball).

Each sport at UA has it's own rivals depending on who is the top dog in the conference and that certainly changes from time to time. It's all part of the fun of college sports.

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siena ... yes, it is only basketball ... they have avoided new meetings in areas where UA has an edge, and their football team is no more ... but, siena gets my vote as the 'biggest rival' because a win in basketball would create the community interest that is critical to growing the program (filling a new football stadium, RACC, etc.) ... locals matter ... they don't tend to pay significant attention to UA victories over bing, umbc, etc. (unless they lead to NCAA tournament appearances), but their curiosity would certainly be more than grabbed by a UA victory at the pepsi ... it may only be a single, one sport, regular season, non-conference game, but it is the one that matters most

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I would say that although I agree with the above post and Dane Pound in terms of local interest, I don't think that Siena fans as a whole are generally interested in UAlbany and whether they win or lose. That could be wrong on a case-by-case basis though.


(They would, however, sit up and take notice if UAlbany could win a game vs. Siena one of the next couple years.)


To me, though, a true "rival" is someone that the athletes and coaches would also consider a rival. I'm sure that Will Brown and Trina Patterson might list Siena for the reasons given above.


But I think you'd be hard pressed to find a coach of a non-basketball sport who would list Siena ahead of Binghamton or Stony Brook. And that would probably be the same for the athletes. Clearly, Scott Marr and the men's lacrosse team is not going to list Siena, probably not even in their top five rivals. I don't think that would change even if they met once a year in a non-conference game. I think that goes for some other sports as well (softball has had some heated conference games recently and would probably pick one of those teams, baseball doesn't play Siena, field hockey owns Siena, volleyball ditto the softball situation, etc.)


I also think a true rivalry means that you play the opposition on a consistent basis. If Siena discontinues the basketball contract with UAlbany, as they already have with the women, then a rivalry cannot develop.


I think that the series was discontinued for so long while UAlbany was left behind in DIII, that for many fans they did not grow up watching UAlbany play Siena (as some posters on this board did). So for the younger crowd of Siena alums and fans, and ditto for UA, they probably don't care about the rivalry at all.


And visa versa with the SBU and BingU rivalries, which skews to the younger alums and current players.


It really all depends on your definition of the term rivalry. I like to go with the schools you play in everyone, or as much as you can, as often as you can.

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