The San Francisco Giants will win the 2014 World Series. At least according to San Francisco radio personalities Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey, or Murph and Mac to listeners of their morning show on KNBR (680 AM).
For several years now, whenever a major sporting event occurs, from the World Cup to the Super Bowl to the BCS Championship, Murph and Mac predict the winner by way of their “Pop Culture Showdown.”
So in the early morning hours before Game One of the 2014 World Series, Murph and Mac looked at the popular culture of Kansas City vs. San Francisco to predict a winner. No surprise, San Francisco won thanks to Journey, Harvey Milk and Tony Bennett, but Kansas City’s BBQ and jazz influence kept the contest far from a landslide.
Inspired by Murph and Mac, here’s our own look at how Kansas City and San Francisco match up in several fun categories. And while we’ll leave the bold predictions to the experts, I’m sure you can guess which team we’ll be rooting for. Hint: They’re from California.
1) MLB History
San Francisco | Established in 1883; In San Francisco since 1958
Originally the New York Gothams in the 1800s, then the New York Giants, the team moved west to their current home in San Francisco in 1958. Today, the San Francisco Giants are experiencing a “golden era” of baseball – with World Series appearances (and two championships) in three of the last five years. Saying this is a golden era of Giants baseball is a big statement, considering the franchise has won seven World Series championships and boasts more Hall of Famers than any other team in baseball.
Kansas City | Established in 1955 as the Athletics; Royals born in 1969
The Royals were not the first MLB team in Kansas City. From 1955-1967 a now California team called the city home – the Athletics. In 1969 the city was granted an expansion team and the Kansas City Royals were born, named (at least partly) for an annual livestock show, horse show and rodeo called American Royal. The Royals had a strong showing in the playoffs during the mid-70s and 80s, finally winning the 1985 Fall Classic. That championship would be the last time the team made the postseason until this year. Thirsty for victory, the Royals are riding high this postseason, having swept both the ALDS and ALCS, after a late comeback win during the play-in Wild Card game versus, appropriately, the Oakland A’s.
2) Signature Dish
San Francisco | Mission Burrito
For a foodie city, it’s hard to pick just one signature dish. Do you go with the foods created there (for anyone who wants a primer, The Bold Italic created a nifty SF Native Foods map)? Do you follow the crowd and see what they’re lined up around the corner for (like Bi-Rite, State Bird Provisions or Tartine)? Or, and our friends down south may take issue with this, do you praise thee Mission burrito? We say, pass the hot sauce. The Mission burrito is unlike any other, doused in sauce, enormous and mouth-watering. And the question of where to find the best Mission burrito is one of the great San Francisco debates.
Kansas City | BBQ
Unlike San Francisco, there’s no question about Kansas City’s culinary signature – it’s BBQ – typically smothered in KC-style tomato-and molasses-based sauce. And if you’re talking KC BBQ, you have to mention Arthur Bryant’s. Internationally recognized, Arthur Bryant’s has been a staple in Kansas City since the 1920s, serving succulent meats to many notable diners over the years, including Steven Spielberg, Jack Nicholson, Bill Clinton, and, this past July, President Obama stopped in for a plate of ribs.
3) Celebrity Baseball Fans
San Francisco | Tony Bennett, Steve Perry, James Hetfield and Robin Williams
The Giants have many celebrity fans, including music luminaries Tony Bennett and Steve Perry, whose music is featured at the stadium (Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” following home victories and Journey’s “Lights” or “Don’t Stop Believin’”during the 8th inning). The late actor Robin Williams was also an avid Giants fan and famously rallied the crowd during the 2010 postseason.
Kansas City | Paul Rudd and Eric Stonestreet
Known for comedic roles in films such as 40-Year-old-Virgin, Knocked Up, Anchorman and Role Models, Paul Rudd grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, and is a huge Royals fan. In fact, after the Royals swept Baltimore, Rudd invited everyone to a party at his mom’s house. Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet, who plays Cam on the popular television show, also cheers faithfully for the Royals.
4) Home Ballpark
San Francisco | AT&T Park
AT&T Park, with its breathtaking views and classic design, received rave reviews throughout the country as one of the “splash” hits of 2000 when the Giants moved into the heart of San Francisco after 39 years at Candlestick Park. Notable features include McCovey cove, an 80-foot Coca-Cola bottle shaped slide, the @Cafe social media gathering spot and The Garden, supplying fresh-picked greens, vegetables and fruit for Bon Appétit’s ballpark menus. It’s also the most vegetarian-friendly ballpark, according to PETA.
Kansas City | The K
If you thought the Royals played in the state of Kansas, home of Dorothy Gale, you could use a geography lesson alongside Hunter Pence. The Royals actually play in “The K”, or Kauffman Stadium, in Kansas City, Missouri. The K opened in 1973 and underwent a $250 million renovation prior to the 2009 season and notable features include an enormous, interactive crown scoreboard and the largest privately funded fountain in the world.
5) Musical Influence
San Francisco | Rock and Roll
The San Francisco Sound refers to rock music performed live and recorded by San Francisco-based rock groups of the mid-1960s to early 1970s. Associated with the counterculture community in San Francisco during these years, bands like Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and The Fish, Santana and Steve Miller Band are among the best-known and most successful examples of San Francisco Sound.
Kansas City | Jazz
Many equate jazz with New Orleans, but Kansas City deserves its own place in the jazz movement, hosting greats such as Count Basie and Charlie Parker. During Prohibition, Kansas City’s speakeasies were alive with jazz and the tradition continues today, with more than 20 jazz nightclubs in the area.
6) Urban Park
San Francisco | Golden Gate Park
With 13 million visitors annually, Golden Gate Park is the fifth most-visited city park in the United States. Notable attractions include the de Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences, the Japanese Tea Garden, the San Francisco Botanical Garden and Stow Lake.
Kansas City | Swope Park
At 1,805 acres, Swope Park is more than twice the size of New York City’s Central Park. Swope attractions include the Kansas City Zoo, Kansas City Community Gardens, golf and disc golf courses, a pool, and many trails.
The 2014 World Series featuring the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals will air live on Fox beginning Tuesday, October 21, at 5:07 PM PST.
Game 1 – Tues, Oct 21 – Giants @ Royals; 5:07 PM PST
Game 2 – Wed, Oct 22, Giants @ Royals; 5:07 PM PST
Game 3 – Fri, Oct 24 – Royals @ Giants – 5:07 PM PST
Game 4 – Sat, Oct 25 – Royals @ Giants – 5:07 PM PST
Game 5* – Sun, Oct 26, Royals @ Giants – 5:07 PM PST
Game 6* – Tue, Oct 28 – Giants @ Royals – 5:07 PM PST
Game 7* – Wed, Oct 29 – Giants @ Royals – 5:07 PM PST