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In case you thought the rivalry between the Colts and Patriots was watered down this year...

Lots and lots of love.

Photo: Reuters

Yes, I know the Bengals are the Colts opponent this week. And no, I am not dismissing them. I just came across this article from Yahoo, and it re-affirmed pretty much what I already knew: The Colts and Patriots still absolutely hate each other.

Keep your Cowboys v. Giants. You can shelve your Chiefs v. Raiders. Tell Steelers and Browns fans to take a back seat, because THE greatest rivalry in the NFL (and all of professional sports) is still Patriots v. Colts.

You'd think that this year, with the loss of Tom Brady and the injury to Peyton Manning, that the friction between Patriots and Colts players and coahces would simmer down. Um, no. They still f&@king can't stand the sight of the other:

And with all due respect to the Jets, the feelings of bitterness run deepest for the Colts, who have found a myriad of reasons to loathe the Patriots coach. From the postseason history to Spygate to his annually frigid handshakes with Colts coach Tony Dungy, it’s a recycled hatred that has reached self-sustaining proportions.

This year’s moment didn’t get a lot of media attention, but it irked the Colts just the same. It took place when, during the run-up to the Nov. 2 game at Indianapolis, Belichick seemed to make a subtle hint that the Colts weren’t being honest with their injury report.

It seems ole Billy Boy took a subtle dig at how the Colts listed Peyton Manning on the injury report leading up to Indy's game over New England, which Indy won (of course). Colts players found Bill's dig on Tony Dungy's injury reports amusing, especially Dwight Freeney:

"Coming from Bill Belichick, that’s frickin’ hilarious," Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney said. "Tony’s not going to do that. He’s not that type. That’s the type of stuff Bill does. That’s just the type of mentality Bill has and they have as a team. Every week last season, frickin’ Tom Brady was on the damn injury report with an ankle or whatever, and he was playing every week. That’s just the kind of stuff they do. So don’t come out and try to act like we’re doing something with our report."

Ah yes, count on Dwight to let Bill and the Pats know how he truly feels. Look, it is pretty well known that most of the NFL dislikes Bill Belichick. He is a known cheater and often tries to skirt rules in order to gain a competitive advantage. It is a win at all costs attitude, rules and integrity be damned. Some admire this mentality. Most loath it. And when Tony Dungy, a man who is viewed as an out-and-out saint both within and outside the NFL, gives you an icy handshake, it pretty much means you are the lowest form of life on the planet. Slugs make fun of you. Such is Bill Belichick.

But, that said, this season might be the best coaching job both Belichick and Dungy have ever done. Both have dealt with devastating injuries. Yet, do you really think a team like the Tennessee Titans are "better" than a Bil Belichick coached Patriots team? Seriously, would anyone here be surprised if the Pats and Matt Cassel walked into Nashville and plastered the Titans for a big, fat "L" in the playoffs? I know I wouldn't.

This latest tiff is yet another log on the fire for this burning, seething rivalry; a rivalry that the NFL very much needs to stoke. If I'm wearing my Colts hat in NY and a transplanted Pats fan crosses my path, more often than not we give each other "the look." This look is one that says, "My team just kicked your team's ass... and I banged your sister last night, chump. How you like them apples?"

Fortunately, we have a great blog rival in Pats Pulpit who provides us with the necessary foil we Colts fans need. The Pats v. Colts rivalry is still alive and well, and now it is more Belichick v. Dungy than Brady v. Manning.