Unless you've spent the past week and a half in stasis, or in a Mrs. Winterborne-type coma, you know that Sunday brings with it the game-of-all-games, the Super Bowl. This year's combatants, the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, are two storied franchises with long histories that make them two of the most important teams in the history of the sport.
Every year, here at G4tv.com, we make our predictions for who will win the game. Usually, as in last year's Feed article, it's based on videogames and what they might tell us about the future. We're down with that idea at Attack of the Blog, but we wanted to try something a little less scientific, namely comparing aesthetic points of the cities of Pittsburgh and Green Bay themselves, to see which one was truly worthy of winning the title.
Here's how it works:
Comparisons will be made, based on random statistics and half-truths. In each case, should a clear winner emerge, the winning city will score 7 points (a touchdown, if you will). If the decision is a little less clear, the winner will receive 3 points (for a field goal, get it?). At the end, we'll tally the points, and the winner will be declared. So, let's get down to the field for the opening kickoff.
Both cities' first European settlement was by the French, Green Bay in 1634 and Pittsburgh in 1717. Obviously, this means that there's no clear cut victor based on European origin, however, the original name of Green Bay, when it was settled, was La Baie des Puants, or "The Stinking Bay." Pittsburgh has three stinking rivers, but none of them stink enough to name the town after. This gives them the opening-drive touchdown.
Score: Pittsburgh 7 - Green Bay 0
Arts and Entertainment
Apparently, no one of any artistic interest has ever come from Green Bay. The closest I could find was Milwaukee, home of the mighty Violent Femmes. Now, while the Femmes were obviously one of the best American bands of the 80's and 90's, Pittsburgh can claim the most famous pop artist of all time, Andy Warhol, as their own. In fact, the Warhol Museum is one of the coolest things about the city. However, Pittsburgh gets a false start penalty for also claiming Rusted Root, pushing them out of the red zone and into field goal range. It's good.
Score: Pittsburgh 10 - Green Bay 0
Pittsburgh has a restaurant called Primanti Bros., which made a list of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die in the USA and Canada, a ringing endorsement. And why? Because the ridiculously large sandwiches they produce not only come piled sky high with grilled meat and slaw, but a generous pile of fries, just to try and kill you quicker. As if that weren't enough, Pittsburgh, by virtue of a large Polish community, is the American home of the pierogie, a cheese-and-potato filled dumpling that is boiled and then fried in approximately 15 lbs. of butter, virtually assuring you won't be able to move after eating them for about six weeks.
Green Bay is no stranger to Polish food, stuffed as it is with bratwurst, knockwurst, and all the other -wursts you can think of. And, as if all that sausage isn't enough to make your mouth water, they don't call Packer fans "cheeseheads" for nothing. Once, when I was in Wisconsin, I stopped at a place called Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet, a virtual cathedral to curds, which had been advertised for hundreds of miles along the road. It didn't disappoint. Next thing you know, my travel companion and I were literally driving down the freeway with one-pound blocks of cheese, happily gnawing them, cholesterol be damned.
Clearly, Green Bay gets the gentle nod here.
Score: Pittsburgh 10 - Green Bay 3
Interesting Team Facts
No one has won more Super Bowls than Pittsburgh, with six World Championships, and only Dallas has been there as many times, with eight appearances. Dan Rooney, who is one of the owners of the team, is the United States Ambassador to Ireland, having been appointed so by President Obama. The field in Pittsburgh is named for Heinz, the ketchup (or catsup) people, who have 56 other sauces that they like to talk about.
The Packers, on the other hand, are named after the company that ponied up a loan for the original owners of the team, Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, the Indian Packing Company. Interesting, but kind of lame. However, the selling point of the Packers is that they're owned by the people who live in Green Bay, making them the only publicly-held team in the NFL. Not only that, but the Super Bowl trophy is named for Vince Lombardi, Green Bay's most famous coach, and they once played in a game called The Ice Bowl.
Score: Pittsburgh 10 - Green Bay 10
Green Bay is lovely, bucolic, and filled with lots of gingerbread-looking buildings that speak of a long-ago time when America was simpler and quieter. It's all very lovely, just like many other cities in the Midwest.
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has a striking skyline, and a building called the Cathedral of Learning, which Frank Lloyd Wright (whose famous Fallingwater is just outside the city) once called "the biggest 'keep off the grass' sign ever made." Ugly? Yes. Striking? Yes. There's a multitude of interersting buildings in the city, making it the clear winner, architecturally.
Score: Pittsburgh 17 - Green Bay 10
"Quality of Life"
There's one compelling statistic you need to know when comparing the quality of life in Pittsburgh and Green Bay, and that's this.
Number of strip clubs:
Pittsburgh - 14
Green Bay - 5
Done and done.
Final Score: Pittsburgh 24 - Green Bay 10
Well, there you have it. Based on the relative merits of the two cities, the Steelers look to be headed for their 7th Super Bowl championship. Congratulations to the city of Pittsburgh and Steelers fans everywhere, and thanks for participating in our completely unscientific prediction process!