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NYC vs. Boston: Tale of two cities

Mark Wahlberg, a Massachussetts native, in

Mark Wahlberg, a Massachussetts native, in "The Departed," left, and Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Paul Sorvino in "Goodfellas."

While Roderick Boone, Bob Glauber and the rest of our football crew break down the Jets-Patriots playoff game in the NFL divisional round this Sunday (4:30 p.m. on CBS), we take a different approach.

Here's a pop-cultural look at the cities of the teams.

CITY-BASED SITCOMS

Boston: "Cheers"
New York: "Seinfeld"

Tough call here. Sam Malone and the gang at Cheers came first and helped make NBC's Thursdays a dominant sitcom force. "Cheers" helped pave the way for ensemble shows such as "Seinfeld." Both left lasting impressions -- postal workers in a bar and guys named "Noooooooorrrrrrm"; "The Moops" and "Why don't you just tell me the name of the movie you'd like to see?" -- so the debate will rage on as to which was better. But it's undeniable that "Seinfeld" had the bigger impact on pop culture.

Edge: New York.

FAMOUS COLLOQUIAL SAYING

Boston: Pahk the cah in Hahvad Yahd
New York: Fuhgeddaboudit

Leaving Brooklyn? Fuhgeddaboudit. New York slang for "forget about it," Italian-American gangsters on television made the very-compound word famous. On the flip side, you've got the r-less version of "Park the car in Harvard Yard." According to Wikitionary, the phrase actually demonstrates that a Boston accent is "non-rhotic;" a linguistics term that refers to a dialect that doesn't pronounce the letter 'r' unless it is followed by a vowel. Very, err, scientific.

Edge: Boston

EPIC SPORTS FAILURES TO OPPOSING CITY

Boston: Patriots losing to Giants in Super Bowl XLII
New York: Yankees losing to Red Sox in 2004 ALCS

One loss was historic, the other embarrassing. And you can interpret that anyway you wish. The Yankees led the 2004 American League Championship Series, 3-0, and took a one-run lead into the bottom of the ninth with Mariano Rivera on the mound. Enter Dave "Bleeping" Roberts, the steal and a four-game run by the Red Sox en route to their first World Series win in 86 years. On the other side, we have the Patriots, the 18-0 Patriots, led by 50-touchdown passes Tom Brady and 22-touchdown receptions Randy Moss. Enter David "Bleeping" Tyree, his miraculous catch, and Eli Manning's touchdown in the corner to Plaxico Burress as the Giants won Super Bowl XLII and prevented the Patriots from becoming the first undefeated NFL team since the 1972 Dolphins went 17-0.

Edge: Boston.

THE GARDEN

Boston: Boston Garden
New York: Madison Square Garden

The Boston Garden was erected in 1928. It hosted 16 Stanley Cup Finals, 19 NBA Finals and five All Star Games. Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pearl Jam all played there. In Nov. of 1997, it was demolished, the new TD Banknorth Garden taking its place. On the flip side, the current Madison Square Garden - still standing, of course - was erected in 1968, though its roots date back to 1879. What it lacks in championship volume - "just" five NBA finals and three Stanley Cup Finals have been played there - it makes up for in pop culture. From "Rocky III"'s main event between Clubber Lang and Rocky Balboa to its prominent role in "Godzilla," it's a mainstay in American culture. (And we didn't even mention Ali-Frazier.)

Edge: New York.

SCORSESE-DIRECTED GANGSTER FILMS

Boston: "The Departed"
New York: "Goodfellas"

Martin Scorsese won his first Oscar for directing for 2006's "The Departed." As good as that movie was -- thank you, Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin -- that Oscar is as much a career achievement award as it is a statue for "Departed." Set in Boston, the movie puts a cop undercover in the Irish mob, and an Irish mobster undercover in the state police. Still, no movie is as quotable among males 18 to 45 as "Goodfellas." If you think differently, go home and get your shine box.

Edge: New York.

SOUP

Boston: New England clam chowder
New York: Manhattan clam chowder

New England clam chowder is the white soup, Manhattan is the red. Thanks to "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" for letting us never forget that. Which tastes better is a matter of personal preference, but New England clam chowder appears to be more popular at restaurants. Plus, it was created first.

Edge: Boston.

LATE NIGHT HOST

Boston: Jay Leno
New York: Jimmy Fallon

Jay Leno's got a ton of fans … and a ton more haters. The host of "The Tonight Show" from 1992-2009, Leno dominated in ratings on NBC. In Sept. of 2009, the decision was made to move Leno to primetime, opening the door for Conan O'Brien to host "The Tonight Show." Unfortunately for O'Brien, "The Jay Leno Show" flamed out almost immediately, and Leno went back to his original slot, forcing Conan to go to Cable. Fallon's "Late Night" follows Leno on the evening schedule. While it doesn't pull in the ratings or get the pub Leno gets, we're Team Coco.

Edge: New York.

CONTEMPORARY COMEDIAN

Boston: Dane Cook
New York: Chris Rock

Dane Cook's rise to fame was almost instant. Building vast fan bases, primarily among college students, Cook killed it with a couple of widely-popular stand-ups. However, as fast as Cook became famous, the detractors started knocking on his door, accusing him of ripping off material and, at times, being generally lame. Rock, on the other hand, has withstood. Comedy Central voted him the 5th greatest stand-up comedian of all time, with good reason; all of Rock's stand-up routines are timeless.

Edge: New York.

MIKE MILBURY

Boston: Enforcer who hit Rangers fan with his own shoe
New York: Lousy general manager who helped destroy Islanders

The question here is what New York-related debacle will Milbury be remembered for. Depends on whom you ask. Rangers rooters will remember Milbury charging into the stands at Madison Square Garden after a fan stole a teammate's stick, removing the fan's shoe and whacking him with it several times before being restrained. Islanders fans will remember, try as they might to forget, Milbury's trades that sent the franchise into the abyss: Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha; Zdeno Chara and the No. 2 pick for Alexei Yashin; Todd Bertuzzi and Bryan McCabe for Trevor Linden; drafting Rick DiPietro over Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik. And now that we've gone through that painful exercise, this is actually an easy decision: New York gets the worst of it, and Boston's the winner.

EDGE: Boston.

HISTORIC BIG MAN

Boston: Bill Russell
New York: Patrick Ewing

The prize of the first NBA Lottery - and maybe the biggest coup in NBA history - Ewing went on to play for the Knicks for the prime of his career, before wrapping up in Orlando and Seattle. His numbers were extravagant; nearly 25,000 points, over 10,000 rebounds, and 11 All Star appearances. However, Ewing never won a ring. Russell, meanwhile, is the champion that all modern day champions strive to live up to. Playing in an era that lacked dominant big men, Russell's paint presence led the Celtics to 11 NBA titles. That's right, the same amount that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have combined for. While Patrick is the GOAT when it comes to Knicks centers, Russell's rings are insurmountable.

EDGE: Boston.

MARATHON

Boston: Boston Marathon
New York: New York City Marathon

The New York City and Boston marathons are among the best-known in the world. Both are virtually the same distances (26 miles), but usually more people enter the New York City Marathon every year. Some say the Boston Marathon is harder because of the terrain through the small towns of Boston; those running through the five boroughs and over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge don’t have it any easier either. Even though the Boston Marathon has been around since the 1890s, the New York City Marathon garners more national attention.

Edge: New York.

BABE RUTH

Boston: Babe Ruth the pitcher
New York: Babe Ruth “The Sultan of Swat”

You can’t talk about a New York City-Boston rivalry without talking about the man who started it all, Babe Ruth. Ruth began his career as a pitcher with Boston going 89-46 with a 2.19 ERA in six years. He also threw 29.2 consecutive scoreless innings in the World Series, and that was a record until 1961. He was traded to the Yankees in 1920 and led the team to unprecedented success. The Red Sox would not win another championship until 2004. His personal accomplishments as a Yankee are astounding. The Bambino became the king of baseball, hitting more home runs than most American League teams. Ruth hit 659 of his 714 homers as a Yankee and became the measuring stick for every baseball player after him.

Edge: New York.

TERMINATED FCS FOOTBALL PROGRAM

Boston: Northeastern
New York: Hofstra

Originally the Flying Dutchmen, then the Pride, Hofstra's football program was the only game in town for much of its existence. The school had a knack for turning out wide receivers, including Wayne Chrebet and Marques Colston. Behind the NFL stars were guys like Joe Gardi, who coached the team to 119 wins, and Raheem Morris, a former graduate assistant and defensive backs coach who now heads the Buccaneers in the NFL. The team played its last game in 2009. Northeastern was also terminated in 2009, the administration citing a lack of expenses coupled with consistent losing seasons. During its existence, the school did manage to churn out a few NFLers, including Josh Heinrich Taves, Dan Ross and Sean Jones.

Edge: Nobody.

CONFUSING THE KIDS IN GEOGRAPHY CLASS

Boston: New England is not a city or state
New York: The Jets play in New Jersey

The Patriots are the only major professional sports team in North America to not represent a city or state in its name. The New England Patriots represent the region, yet play in Boston. The New York Jets practice and play in New Jersey, which is geographically close to New York but misleading to those who may not know sports too well.

Edge: Boston.

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