Who wins? Let’s settle it on the field, boss
Braden, I read with great interest your Seattle vs. Boston pop culture smackdown the other day on boston.com (“New England is Better Than Seattle at Football and at Everything Else, Too”). Not sure why you guys capitalized all those words, but other than that, I must say, I think you did a fine job for a 14-year-old.
Now, I happen to know a thing or two about this type of story. I’ve written dozens of these the past 25 years, any time a Seattle team plays in a really important game (which, I will grant you, hasn’t been all that often). I’ve compared Seattle to, among others, New York, Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and, if this were actually worth the effort to look up, I’m sure I’d find that I’ve taken on Boston, too.
In the spirit of friendly competition, let me share a few tips, rookie:
First, and you might have already figured this out, don’t get worked up reading the commenters who refer to your efforts as a waste of time, using words like “garbage” or “trash” or “click-bait” and — this one must hurt — comparing the venerable Boston Globe to the Herald. Ouch. I mean they’re right, but still … they just don’t get the joke.
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And it was so obvious. I mean, Boston over Seattle as a food city? Good one. And the real clue that this was all crazy talk was giving Boston the edge over Seattle in music. I almost choked on my kale and seaweed salad when I read that.
What really tipped me off was not the fact you didn’t know anything about Seattle. That’s a given, maybe even an advantage in a futile exercise like this. But the way you pretended not to even know much about your own city? Brilliant. The J. Geils Band? Obviously you used them only so you could sneak in a Magic Dick reference (you said “Magic Dick”). A less sophisticated writer might have gone with Aerosmith, the Cars, the Pixies. Not you, bro. You compared the J. Geils Band to Seattle’s unbelievably rich musical history. And then you put the check mark in Boston’s column. Genius.
You smartly used a similar tactic in the Film and TV category, including “Legally Blonde” as an example of classic movies set in Boston, while leaving out “The Departed,” which is not just one of the best films set in Boston, but one of the best films set anywhere. Ever. And clearly better than anything ever filmed in Seattle. Kudos, sir.
Which reminds me. It’s OK to be gracious when we’re wasting our readers’ time like this. Let the other city win a couple. I usually give the other guys a few of the inconsequential categories, like “best taco truck” or “fastest-moving body of water.” I rig the game so it’s always tied going into the last category, then, bam! Guess what? It’s music time. Seattle wins, pulling out a thrilling 4-3 victory.
Anyway, is Boston a better place than Seattle? Beats me, I’ve never been there (but they tell me it’s nice). The fact is, they’re both great cities, and if anyone is actually taking silly Super Bowl-week stories like yours (and mine) seriously, they’ve got bigger problems.
Really, all that matters Sunday is who has the better football team (and whether Marshawn Lynch finally discusses his controversial views on global warming). Having recently moved from the Sports department to become editor of Pacific NW, our Sunday magazine, I am no longer bound by the “no-cheering-in-the-press-box” rule. So, who will win the Super Bowl? The Seahawks, of course.