In our world, much seems to be made of rivalries. London and Paris always seemed to be pitted against one another. Oxford is always seen as competing with Cambridge. Toronto was a long time rival of Montreal. When I lived in Australia, Sydneysiders and Melbournians were always debating about which one was the better city. Growing up in Saskatchewan there was competition between Regina and Saskatoon about who was better. And here in Alberta, Edmonton and Calgary always are at loggerheads. Edmonton brags about being the provincial capital, being the city of Champions, and being the home of Gretzky. Calgary boasts about its location next to the mountains, the Stampede, and Western flair.
The thing is about these rivalries is that they are always based on the fact that the two participants in the rivalry are in many ways rather similar. London and Paris are both multicultural international cities. They were the seats of government for two countries that battled for control of the planet during imperial colonialist days. Both Oxford and Cambridge are well known , well established universities who have raised between them many brilliant minds. For years Toronto and Montreal battled each other to see who would be the cultural and economic centre of the nation. When it was a 6 team NHL world, one of the greatest rivalries was the Canadiens and the Maple Leafs. Sydney and Melbourne are both about equal sized yet have a different vibe about them. Regina and Saskatoon used to be about equal size and had a few differing qualities although many similar ones.
Rivalries exist to help us in our mind distinguish one thing from another. For instance, it would be foolish to compare my home town of Moose Jaw with New York City. Besides being both communities in North America there is really not much of a comparison (of course Moose Jaw is better just ask me). But when two cities are very similar it is much easier to build a rivalry. Edmonton and Calgary, to an outsider, seem to be very similar cities just separated by a few hundred kilometres. Those who live in one of those cities might be able to list several reasons why their city is better than the other city but to an outsider from far away, those small differences don't seem to matter.
As children, we learn the importance of differences. Watching Sesame Street, one song I listened to was one of these things is not like the other. Puzzles in the newspaper asked us to find the subtle differences between one picture and another. This differentiation is important. And I think that is where rivalries come from. Mostly the rivalries I listed above are somewhat good natured. Even the most avid fan of Sydney has to admit that Melbourne has some good qualities too. Calgarians must admit that there are a few good attributes in Edmonton and vice a versa.
So who will will the battle of Alberta? I really don't mind. I know that whoever wins, there will be some fans who will say, "See I knew my team was best." There will be another group of fans who will say, "So their team won, but the hex is on them, they have to live there. So go team go. Blessings.