As a veteran of prep coverage in the Spokane area, you don’t have to tell me about the rivalry between Spokane’s schools and those from the Tri-Cities.
Actually, it isn’t all that intense. The teams meet once a year with a state berth on the line, but because the Columbia Basin League is spread out all over the, well, Columbia Basin, and because Spokane schools tend to stand out in certain sports (cross country, basketball, etc.) and the Tri-Cities’ schools control others (football, baseball, etc.), the rivalry isn’t as heated as it might be if the playing fields were more balanced.
Which, finally, brings me to my point – and the Spokane Shock.
Spokane travels down Interstate 90 and U.S. Highway 395 today to face the expansion Tri-Cities Fever for the first time (5 p.m.; KHQ-6; 105.7-FM). And it seems some people (see this Tri-City Herald story) think it will become an instant Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.
Even Shock coach Adam Shackleford admits that’s the case in Jessica Brown’s story in today’s S-R. But he also says it’s just another football game for the af2 West-leading Shock (7-3) and the Fever (5-4).
A win for Spokane and its division lead probably expands. A loss and the rest of the division has hope. That’s more motivation then someone screaming “beat those guys from the nuclear plant.” As rivalries go, this one has a more made-for-television feel than one of the Academy Award-winning variety.