Big Game Battle: New England vs. Philadelphia
Which super city will reign supreme?
After 256 grueling regular season games and 10 intense playoff games, two professional football teams emerge to play one more time with the right to be called world champions on the line.
The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles won their respective conferences and will travel to Minneapolis to play against each other on February 4, 2018, in a sporting spectacle that is expected to be viewed by tens of millions of people. Plenty will be said between now and then in terms of on-the-field expectations but we’re more interested in which city is the better travel destination. To make the call, we examined a few key categories:
Editors’ Note: Comparing Philadelphia to an entire region (New England) would be unfair so to level the playing field, we used Boston as the Patriot’s home city.
Boston: Beantown is known for many delicious foods (clam chowder, beer, lobster rolls, etc.) but the Boston cream pie might be the sweetest. Consisting of cake, custard and a chocolate glaze, the Boston cream pie was named the official dessert of Massachusetts in 1996.
Philadelphia: No food is more synonymous with a city as the cheesesteak is to Philadelphia. The iconic sandwich is simple enough (meat, cheese and bread) but the City of Brotherly Love consistently gets it right more than any other. Some may say the signing of the Declaration of Independence was the most important event in Philadelphia’s history but I would argue it was the invention of the cheesesteak.
Philadelphia: Along with scarfing a cheesesteak, running up the Rocky steps (pictured below) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and taking a picture with the fictional boxer's statue is right up there as something you must do when visiting Philly. Once you have your selfie, head inside to take in some of the stunning artwork in the collection and then make plans to check out a spooky tour at Eastern State Penitentiary, grab a bite to eat at Reading Terminal Market (oldest firmest market in the country) or kick back at Longwood Gardens where horticulture is an art form.
Boston: The historical city is home to Fenway Park, one of the oldest professional baseball stadiums still in use, Harvard University, Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, the Samuel Adams Brewery and so much more. If crowds and museums aren’t your thing, head over to the Boston Public Garden, known as the first public botanical garden in America.
Boston: Boston played a major role in America gaining independence from Britain and many of the historical sites are still standing today. The best way to see these places is to travel along the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile-long journey will take you past 16 fascinating sites, including the Paul Revere House (pictured above), Bunker Hill Monument and Faneuil Hall.
Philadelphia: Not to be outdone, Philly boasts historical sites that even Boston would be jealous of. Independence Hall (pictured above), for example, was the site of the signing of both the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the U.S. Constitution in 1787. There’s also the Betsy Ross House, the Liberty Bell and Franklin Court where Benjamin Franklin’s house once stood.
Philadelphia: As tempting as the Delaware River may look, I don’t advise going for a swing. Philly residents typically drive South to New Jersey, Delaware or Maryland for beaches much better.
Boston: You wouldn’t think of Boston as a beach town but drive 20 minutes north of the city center and you’ll discover Revere Beach. The two-mile-long stretch of sand was established in 1896, which makes it the oldest public beach in the United States.
Philadelphia: To warm up for the big game, residents of Philadelphia have the “Wing Bowl” to look forward to. Typically held on the Friday before the championship game, “Wing Bowl” began in 1993 with the objective to see who can eat the most Buffalo wings. Entry to the contest can only be gained by completing an eating stunt on the radio or competing in a “Wingoff” at a local bar. The winner of the 2017 “Wing Bowl” successfully ate 409 wings. Legend.
Boston: Patriots’ Day is a state holiday in Massachusetts and on the third Monday in April, Bostonians start the day by cheering on the Red Sox at 11 a.m. (a tradition that started in 1968), and follow that up by either participating in or supporting friends and family in the Boston Marathon. The day honors the first battles of the American Revolutionary War and is unlike any other celebration around the country.
Winner: Boston (no one should eat 409 wings in one sitting)