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Football: What makes the Garfield-Roosevelt rivalry so special?

November 5, 2008 |  7:11 am


A little over a month ago, I asked everyone in the blogosphere what was the Southland's greatest rivalry. Some people accused me of asking a dumb question. And I'll admit I had an obvious answer in mind, because how could anything top the annual East Los Angeles Classic?

Some folks might think playing for smudge pots or leather helmets is great, but the storied rivalry between Garfield and Roosevelt is arguably one of the nation's greatest high school events. The game typically draws about 20,000 fans (about twice as much as Servite-Mater Dei), pitting neighbor against neighbor in a community that shares an unbreakable bond with its respective team.

But I want you to tell me why this rivalry is so great. Is it the history, the community or just great football? I'll be heading out to East Los Angeles College on Nov. 14, and I want to get a feeling as to what this game means to people who've actually been apart of it. Free feel to use the comment board to post your thoughts.

Also, who's the favorite to win this game? Roosevelt leads the all-time series (39-28-6) and proved its definitely one of the City Section's best with its upset over Jordan a couple of weeks back. Of course, Garfield's season-opening triumph over two-time defending champions Birmingham was very impressive.

I'll leave you with some video highlights of the 2006 game:

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: Roosevelt's Norman Watters evades a couple of Garfield defenders during the Roughriders' 41-0 victory in November 2000. Credit: Anacleto Rapping / Los Angeles Times