Sunday, February 2, it was Seattle versus Denver going head-to-head in the Super Bowl. Leading up to the football game of the year, residents of each city were playing full-on defense for the virtues of their hometown. Beyond the trash talk, the truth is that, as cities, they're similar – great places to get outdoors, drink beer, eat well, and catch a concert. They're roughly the same size: As of 2012, the difference in their respective population counts was only 271 souls, with Seattle in the lead. And they both have excellent craft beer scenes, acclaimed restaurants, beautiful scenery, die-hard fans, and legal weed. The only question is which one deserves our – and your – allegiance.
To make a tricky decision easier, we pitted each city's subcultures against each other, asking the experts who live there to make the case for local superiority in six arenas that deeply affect a man's quality of life. Predictably, competition was fierce.
Peyton Partisans versus Sherman's Army
Denver: "Broncos fans bleed orange," says Baca. "It's a religion," Reilly adds. "On Sunday at 2 pm, people have to get indoors like they were going to turn into a pumpkin at midnight. The entire city does it." And while the national media deliberated about Richard Sherman's explosive postgame interview, Denver fans are being a bit reasonable about it. "They're our former AFC West rivals, so we've always hated the Seahawks, and now we have another reason to hate them, because this guy goes and mouths off," Baca says. "I can't imagine how much adrenaline was running through that dude's veins." Kurowski, a fan for 43 years, offered the boldest prediction: "Peyton Manning is going to have a three-touchdown game, and I see the score being 28 to 13."
Seattle: "If there was an election held today, Richard Sherman could be elected mayor of Seattle," Burlingame says. The team won't be helped by the 12th Man when they play at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium, but the forecast looks to hinder both offenses. "Seattle's defense is dominant enough to at least slow Denver’s offense down and win the turnover battle, and with Percy Harvin back from injury, the Seahawks offense will be able to move the ball," says Mitchell. And then there's everyone's favorite Skittles-chewing running back. "Us against them on the ground game, I have to go with Marshawn," says Stowell. "Nobody bets against him. That guy steps up in every big game."
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