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Print media and the Internet.

Blush and rouge (didn’t know about that one, did you?)

Offense and defense.

Pro-lifers and pro-choicers.

Boxers and briefs. (Who cares about seeing David Beckham, when a girl can imagine Harry Connick Jr. in briefs?)

Cowboys and Indians.

The NFL Redskins and Cowboys’ rivalry dates to the late 1950s, when Texas oilman Clint Murchison tried to open a franchise in Dallas.

Having tried to buy two teams, including the Redskins, he ran into luck courtesy of Redskins owner George Preston Marshall, who at one point struck a deal with the tycoon that later fell apart.

Marshall was the only NFL owner who did not support Murchison’s expansion proposal — until Marshall learned that Murchison owned the rights to the Redskins’ hail-hearty fight song.

After further discussions, the two men brokered a deal: Marshall would vote in favor of Murchison creating a team, and Murchison would sell the song rights for $2,500.

Done and done.

So even before Washington and Dallas played their first game in October 1960, a natural rivalry between two businessman had begun.

That the ‘Skins began in Yankee territory in Boston and landed below the Mason-Dixon Line is another chapter of the story.

Lots of older black Washingtonians are what I call Cowboys sympathizers because Marshall had refused to sign a black player. He finally caved in 1962, when Bobby Mitchell became the first black Redskin to take the field.

Fifty years’ worth of history between two NFL teams and the fact that one owes its birth to the other underscore the dynamics each time these teams play — and when they play on Thanksgiving Day, even more so.

Story Continues →