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Some cities just can't seem to get along. Residents argue about which city has the best sports team, historical landmarks, food, and nightlife. At times, the head-butting between old rivals seem to fade. However, don't be fooled. Right when you think the two teams have finally settled on the rules, the tug-of-war begins. Still, it's fun to watch the rivalry from a distance — those bragging rights are often hard-earned. Though the mood might be lighthearted at first, it is gloves off when reputations are at stake.
Dallas vs. Houston
There's a Texas-sized competition going on in the Lone Star State and locals wouldn't have it any other way. Sure, it has to do with sports, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Houstonians think Dallas natives only care about football. The Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys have been battling it out on the field since 2002. In 2019, the Dallas Cowboys won the Texas Governor's Cup at a bruising score of 34-0. It looks like the rivalry between the two cities is even extending to the XFL.
Meanwhile, Dallas natives are horrified by Houston's apparent lack of urban chic. Much of the rivalry rests on cultural differences. Houston is proud of its reputation as a food mecca, while Dallas boasts about Greenville Avenue with its large selection of award-winning restaurants and taverns. Dallas also has the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, which dwarfs that of Greater Houston.
Meanwhile, Houstonians claim their restaurants serve truck-sized portions, unlike those in Dallas. Yet, the biggest conflict centers around which city is the world's oil capital. That honor actually belongs to Houston. In defiance, Dallas points out that it's had five Super Bowl wins. So take that, Houston!
Minneapolis vs. St. Paul
The rivalry between the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul has been going on for quite some time. Today, it's more of a good-natured rivalry, but that wasn't always the case. It all goes back to the year 1890, when the two cities fought over census numbers. Officials in each city accused the other of padding the numbers to lay claim to the enviable position of being the largest city in Minnesota. In the end, Minneapolis won the population boxing match. Meanwhile, St. Paul natives consoled themselves that their city was still the state's capital.
Today, the sibling-style rivalry remains, but it's primarily focused on cultural and societal differences. While St. Paul offers a laid-back ambiance, Minneapolis boasts a more dynamic, cosmopolitan vibe. For its part, Minneapolis features a diverse landscape of theaters, bars, retailers, and restaurants. St. Paul is less exciting with historic neighborhoods offering a quiet reprieve from the hustle and bustle of life. For those who live there, it's a tradeoff they're more than willing to make.
Memphis vs. Nashville
Memphis and Nashville (Tennessee's two greatest cities) really try to get along. Neither city rushes to outdo the other. In fact, their companionable rivalry is as famous as the barbecue both cities are known for, but which city does barbecue best? We'll leave that for you to decide.
Are you a music fan? Nashville is known as America's Music City. Almost every country music artist has ties to Nashville in some way. Meanwhile, Memphis boasts a deep connection to blues, jazz, and gospel traditions. The rivalry between these music meccas is like an old dance with familiar steps. Neither seems willing to change its entrenched rhythms anytime soon.
Memphis has always been a hip tourist destination, but the tides have turned for Nashville. Sure, the latter doesn't have Graceland, Beale Street, or the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, but it does have a diverse food and art scene that gives the nostalgia-driven attractions in Memphis a run for their money. From Instagram-worthy murals to colorful festivals, Nashville is making its mark as Tennessee's go-to cultural destination. And that's not all. Recently, the city bested its rival in population growth and it's now the largest city in Tennessee. With that said, it's game on.
Los Angeles vs. San Francisco
The rivalry between California's iconic cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco, is more complex than you might think. Sports play a large part in the "Battle of the Best," but there's more to the rivalry than meets the eye. In particular, there have been political and economic conflicts between the two cities for years such as the feud over water rights and supply.
Still, both cities offer unmatched cultural diversity and a wide variety of attractions. As for the rivalry? San Francisco has more billionaires than Los Angeles, plus its Silicon Valley tech corridor is the envy of the world. Meanwhile, the City of Angels boasts more A-list movie stars and musical talent than you'll find anywhere else. When the contest is between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers, all bets are off.
New York vs. Boston
You might think that the epic rivalry between New York City and Boston is only about sports. Certainly, it's the most visible element of the feud — as observed by the multitude of fans in the bleachers of sports arenas. However, the rivalry between the two cities goes back to our country's founding.
Boston's brand of Puritan dogmatism clashed with New York's free-spirited ideals. The Puritans viewed New York's mix of diverse cultures with suspicion. Unperturbed, the Big Apple continued its quest to dominate East Coast commerce. The lines have blurred since that time. Each city has its share of bustling harbors and first-rate educational facilities. Boston has Harvard University, while New York has Columbia and Cornell.
This brings us back to sports. Nowhere in America will you find a more loyal sports fan base than in Boston and New York City. Team spirit gets fired up when the conversation between New Yorkers and Bostonians includes the words "Yankees" or "Red Sox." Plus, you don't want to be around when the Giants and Patriots play unless you have a high tolerance for loud arguments and colorful language. Some say friendly rivalries bring out the best in those who compete. For those who watch from the sidelines, the spectacle can be both entertaining and eye-opening.