Hands up all the Leeds United fans out there that consider Middlesbrough our number one rival?

What, none of you?

OK, that is a little unfair as we have many more reasons to hate other clubs after all.

Hands up if they’re in your top three?

…top five?

…surely someone ranks them in their top ten?

Whilst Middlesbrough v Leeds United may be no more significant that any other game for most Leeds United fans, this weekends game is considered the seasons highlight for our opponents.

It’s not unusual for teams to create unreciprocated rivalries with Leeds United, just look at Millwall and Norwich for recent examples. We were also rated the most hated club in England (a proud moment) in a poll run by the Football Fans Census, so another team hating Leeds United will surprise no one. But with Middlesbrough, things are a little different…

Geographically, they aren’t our closest rival. By current day boundaries, they’re not even in the same county. Since 1968, Middlesbrough was kicked out of Yorkshire and forced to start a new country called “Teeside”. Unaccepted by their neighbours, the Geordies and Sunderland (who contest their own bitter derby match and fail to recognise the existence of Boro), the fans of the unwanted Teeside town have strived to create a derby with anyone they can create even the thinnest of links to.

It’s in this geographical insignificance of Middlesbrough that the Teesider’s cling to their Yorkshire routes and demand acknowledgement from Leeds United fans as genuine Yorkshire rivals.

If Leeds United’s motto is to be ‘everyone hates us and we don’t care’ then it stands to reason that Middlesbrough’s should be ‘nobody cares and we hate it’.

In a shameless attempt to hype up this weekends match, the authors of comeonboro.com have been on a mission to add some validity to this imagined rivalry with a tireless array of posts designed to get a rise from the superior fans of Leeds United FC. Here’s an example of the content from the afore mentioned site;

Unfortunately when you used to come to Middlesbrough in the 70s and 80s, you always ran away when our Frontline appeared and you were never as big and hard as your reputation suggested..

Hands up if you’ve heard of the Frontline..? No one?

I rest my case your honour.

Click here for a slightly more sensible look ahead to the match.