From’s Tom Curran.

Colts-Patriots may not be the NFL™s most storied rivalry but it™s one of the most bitter. With both teams among the AFC™s elite, the showdown at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 5 has an alluring combination of talent and tension.

The Patriots ratcheted things up recently by asking the league to ensure the safety of team employees when the Colts visit. That was a shot across the bow of Polian who, according to sources, was made to apologize to a New York Jets employee after getting physical with him on Oct. 1 at Giants Stadium.

Why the bad blood? First of all, both teams are talented and well-run which leads to direct competition which leads, naturally, to toe-stepping. Secondly, both have strong-willed personalities running the team “ Polian and owner Jim Irsay with the Colts; Bill Belichick (above), Scott Pioli and the Kraft family for New England.

To the Patriots, the Colts™ frequent whinnying to the officials, the competition committee and the league in general after losses and wins seems a constant sour-grapes drone.

To Polian? Well, a moment during the game between the teams at Foxborough last year shows what his beef with New England is.

After the Colts scored a late touchdown and opted to go for the two-point conversion, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick threw his challenge flag on the field. Only he had nothing to challenge. He just didn™t have the right defensive personnel out there.

œThere™s one set of rules for him and one for everybody else, raged Polian in the Gillette Stadium press box.