A rivalry unlike any other

By Robert Janish

Senior Sports Writer

The Canisius College Golden Griffins and Niagara University Purple Eagles have been engaged in a rivalry that began just after our nation was deeply divided in a brutal Civil War. For nearly 150 years, these schools have been bitter opponents. While the origin feels like a long time ago, both schools to this day find new ways to liven up a rivalry that has spanned generations.

In the century and a half since, our schools have greatly expanded in many ways, but perhaps most significantly is regarding athletic departments. Of the various sporting events that occur throughout the semester, Canisius and Niagara always have the most intense games, and as a result, tend to draw the biggest crowds every time they square off.

Even though these schools are fierce rivals, it extends beyond their sports teams. The rivalry, believe it or not, exists within the classroom each day, since both schools are two of the best in the Western New York area. Niagara and Canisius are the two most-decorated and well-respected private universities in the area, which only adds to the long-standing rivalry between them.

The Battle of the Bridge is perhaps the greatest symbol of our fierce rivalry and also a cause for bragging rights. For the past six years, Canisius has gone undefeated in the rivalry en route to winning the Canal Cup. Canisius also currently has a 1-0 lead in their quest for a seventh consecutive Canal Cup.

In the first game of the 2016-17 Battle of the Bridge, Canisius women’s soccer devoured Niagara’s defense in front of a home crowd at the Demske Sports Complex in a 4-0 thrashing. The game displayed the Griffs’ athletic dominance, making the tensions extremely exciting to follow. Despite the many rivalries that compete around Western New York, the one between Canisius and Niagara definitely ranks in the top tier of Buffalo sporting matchups, and it always will.

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