Michigan and Ohio State. Duke and Carolina. Celtics and Lakers. Giants and Dodgers. Yankees and Red Sox. These are what most American sports fans consider a rivalry. Examining the Superclasico between River Plate and Boca Juniors makes these American rivalries look like friends. Stadiums rocking, stampedes in the street, fights, jail time, and even death have unfortunately been associated with this fierce rivalry.

There is no doubt that tensions are high in what we consider rivalries, but when would you hear of a “Cameron Crazy” sneaking into the tunnel to pepper spray UNC basketball players as they walk out? Games that are unsafe for rival fans to see each other at, lest it result in violence. The video we watched shows that when these two teams play, the entire country stops. The result of this fixture can shake up an entire nation. For us sports fans in America, when you lose to your rivals, you might lose your bragging rights for the year, but you wouldn’t expect burning flags or bottles of urine to be hurled your way.

It almost seems as if there can be no winning in this rivalry. Sure, your team might emerge victorious, but the odds are high that you will wind up fighting rival fans or the police. For the players themselves? Riding to their opponent’s ground is a bone-chilling experience; fear of what might happen even on the ride over is ever present in their minds. When they step onto the pitch, losing is not an option. What Americans consider a rivalry game is usually just that, a game between rivals. For Boca and River fans, it is a matter of life and death.