NASA vs. The Soviet Space Program
Uh, this was kind of the most epic nerd rivalry of all time. Wernher von Braun's team at NASA and Sergei Korolev's team in the USSR were nose-t0-conical-nose during the Space Race, until Kennedy's aggressive plan for a moon landing pushed the United States ahead. Rockets propelled each nation to new heights, but you know what propelled the rockets? Brains. It was the one thing both nations had in common: the most brilliant, glorious, unrepentantly nerdy eggheads in the world. How inspiring that today, astronauts and cosmonauts are finally working collaboratively on the ISS, rather than in competition.