Wellesley vs. Needham ranks 10th on Boston Magazine’s list of Best Feuds. Read the whole list here on Boston Magazine’s website. And here’s what the magazine says about our rivalry:
10. THE NEEDHAM HIGH ROCKETS VS. THE WELLESLEY HIGH RAIDERS
Dueling Towns Take Their Beef to the Gridiron, 1882–present
HOW IT STARTED: Wellesley and Needham have been at odds since the former seceded from the latter more than a century ago. They exercise their enmity in a football game, which they’ve played each Thanksgiving since 1882—the nation’s oldest public high school pigskin rivalry.
HOW IT ENDURED: Back in the olden days, players nearing the end zone were routinely tackled by spectators. The teams have been known to enlist ringers, including college football players and even one kid’s dad. And more recently, a nasty brawl broke out in the stands when a seventh-grade Needham girl jumped a 40-year-old Wellesley dude.
OUTCOME: Unsatisfied with the yearly tussle, the towns now dig up other reasons to argue: When Needham was honored by the state for its high recycling rates in 2008, Wellesley went berserk, calling the figures “unreliable.”