The Golden State Warriors are the most successful NBA team in recent history, having secured three championships (and hopefully counting) in eight years.
The Boston Celtics, however, vie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the title of most successful NBA of all time. Both of those storied franchise hold 17 NBA championships. And Bay Areas are hoping that the Celtics won’t break that tie in 2022.
There’s certainly a lot on the line when the Warriors and Celtics face off in the 2022 NBA Finals beginning on June 2 at Chase Center in San Francisco.
To join in on the fun, we decided to match up these two world-class cities and surrounding regions in a few other important categories — such as music, food and tourist attractions — and see which one came out on top.
We tried to be unbiased in our approach. But, for the most part, failed miserably in that endeavor.
Best rock band
Aerosmith (Boston): You were expecting us to go with the band Boston? Well, we actually like Boston (and the Cars and the Pixies and, especially, the Throwing Muses) way better than Steven Tyler and company. Yet, Aerosmith is the top-selling rock band to come out Boston, having moved some 150 million albums to date.
Metallica (San Francisco): Yes, the Grateful Dead would’ve been a fine choice as well. But no Bay Area band has sold more albums (some 125 million and counting) than Metallica. Plus, the group still rules in concert — as it recently underscored during its headlining set at BottleRock Napa Valley.
Winner: Metallica. The band’s catalog is vastly superior to Aerosmtih’s and it’s still producing high-quality material (see “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct”). Sure, Aerosmith holds an edge in records sold. But check back in a few years and we bet Metallica surpasses the boys from Bean Town in that regard as well.
Best signature song
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco”: It’s hard to imagine any city having a better signature song than this 1962 classic. The irony, of course, is that this ode to San Francisco was made famous by New Yorker Tony Bennett.
“I’m Shipping Up to Boston”: It’s a gloriously rowdy Celtic-punk offering, which is used at sporting events in Boston and beyond. It comes courtesy of the Dropkick Murphys, using lyrics from none other than the great Woody Guthrie.
Winner: Come on … you know this has to go to “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” And that would pretty much be true no matter what song Boston offered up.
Boston terrier (Boston): The Boston is a popular small dog known as the “American Gentleman.” According to the American Kennel Club, the dogs are highly intelligent and easily trained; friendly and at times stubborn. In 2017, the Boston made the AKC’s most popular breed list, coming in at No. 21. Right now, it’s ranked No. 23. The Boston terrier breed originated around 1875 and all Bostons can trace their lineage back to a single dog known as the Judge.
French bulldog (San Francisco): The Frenchie didn’t originate in San Francisco, or even in the United States, but the Paris-born breed is one of the most popular in the world, especially so in San Francisco. In the 2022 AKC list of most favorite dogs, the French bulldog is No. 2 behind the wildly loved golden retriever, and it has been in the Top 10 list of most favorite breeds since 2004. The Frenchie, originally bred as a miniature bulldog and used for bull-baiting, is now known as loving, mischievous little dog with a big, brave heart.
Winner: Both dogs are worthy of the honor, but the win goes to the French bulldog, who frankly would chew our shoes to bits if we didn’t pick it.
Best food scenes
San Francisco: The city boasts one of the most popular and influential food scenes in the world, defined by the farm-to-table movement, cioppino at Sotto Mare and culinary trends we haven’t even heard of yet (and will be old by tomorrow afternoon).
Boston has … baked beans?
Winner: San Francisco, by more than a pinch.
San Francisco’s most famous beer is arguably Anchor Steam, even though it is now owned by Sapporo Breweries in Japan.
Boston’s most famous beer is Samuel Adams, the commercial for which features a belching robot.
Winner: It’s a tie, actually; the most famous beers in each city are largely irrelevant at a time when a new micro brewery is sprouting up on every other block. The truth is both cities offer a staggering amount of terrific brews.
Tom Brady (Boston): Brady is no longer playing for the New England Patriots, but he is still playing into his early 40s, and there’s no question he was the foundation on which the Pats built their decades long dynasty. He helmed the team to its first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXVI, as well as helping to deliver 17 division titles, nine Super Bowl appearances, and six Super Bowl titles before joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020 and leading them to a Super Bowl win. Of course, there was deflategate, in which he was accused of having footballs slightly deflated under NFL regulations to supposedly help with accuracy and distance, but he brushed off the criticism.
Joe Montana (San Francisco): Montana is the original Joe Cool, appearing on the scene when San Francisco was more of a threat to get first pick in the draft than it was to win a championship. Showing the same promise as he had in leading Notre Dame to a national title, the slender QB rose above a crowd of talented NFL players to reach golden status, giving the 49ers its very first Super Bowl win in 1982, then leading them to three others . How special was he? He was the first player to be named the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player three times, and he holds the Super Bowl career record for most passes without an interception (122 in four games) and has the all-time highest passer rating of 127.8. He was known for staying cool under pressure.
Winner: San Francisco wins no matter what QB you take. Joe is the city’s all-time greatest, but superstar Brady hails from San Mateo, so we claim him, too.
Best famous people
Note: We’re including famous folks from past and present, and included those who were born in the city, once lived there or live there now.
Boston: Benjamin Franklin, John F. Kennedy, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Edgar Allen Poe, Edward Norton, Sylvia Plath, Chris Evans, Leonard Nimoy, John and Abigail Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edward Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, Julia Child , Bill Russell, John Hancock, Alexander Graham Bell, Paul Revere, Helen Keller, Leonard Bernstein, Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, Steven Tyler, Casey Affleck, Louisa May Alcott, Michael Bloomberg, Connie Britton, Steve Carrell, Louis CK, Calvin Coolidge, Jennifer Coolidge, Chick Corea, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Bette Davis, Geena Davis, Louis Farrakhan, Matt LeBlanc, Amy Poehler. Ellen Pompeo, Aly Raisman. Lesley Stahl, Donna Summer, Alan Dershowitz, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Nancy Kerrigan, Jay Leno, John Malkovich, Elizabeth Warren, John Kerry, Mike Wallace, Barbara Walters, Sam Waterston.
Bay Area: Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood, Robin WIliams, Stephen and Ayesha Curry, Steve Jobs, Kamala Harris, Mark Zuckerberg, Tupac Shakur, Gavin Newsom, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Nancy Pelosi, Levi Strauss, Joe DiMaggio, Marc Benioff, Jack Dorsey, Elizabeth Holmes, Mario Batali, Michael Mina, W. Kamau Bell, Lisa Bonet, Carol Channing, Barbara Eden, Bruce Lee, Natalie Wood, Francis Coppola, David Fincher, Maya Angelou, Dave Eggars, Allen Ginsburg, Dashiell Hammett, Jack London, Barry Bonds, Steve Kerr, OJ Simpson, Daveed Diggs, Whoopi Goldberg, Rita Moreno, Andy Samberg, Alice Waters, Patty Hearst, Eric Schmidt, Billie Joe Armstrong, Adam Duritz, Jerry Brown, Eldridge Cleaver, Jerry Rubin, Timothy Leary, J. Robert Oppenheimer , Michael Chabon, Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thibeaud, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Mahershala Ali, David Carradine, Ryan Coogler, Huey P. Newton, Sly Stone, Tower of Power, Amy Tan, James Franco, Sergey Brin, Tim Cook, Joan Baez, the Grateful Dead, Grace Slick, Condoleezza Rice, Raymo nd Carver, Ken Kesey.
Winner: As noted above, since Tom Brady was born in San Mateo and no longer plays for the Patriots, we’ll claim him as a Bay Area, as well. Famous poet Robert Frost also is associated with both regions. He was born in San Francisco and spent his childhood here. He studied at Harvard, but he ended up teaching, writing and living at other schools through the East – so we’ll claim him too.
Before the start of his century, Boston might have the edge when it comes to nurturing famous people who’ve had the biggest impact in American society. After all, Boston was home to a serious lineup of founding fathers and mothers. It’s also the home of the Kennedys, long the closet America would ever get to having royalty. But the Bay Area nurtured the serious Hollywood star power of Hanks, Eastwood and Williams in the latter half of the 20th century. It currently is home to Warriors super couple Steph and Ayesha Curry, and its tech founders are among the world’s richest and most powerful people.
Winner: Bay Area.