Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.
January 30, 2014 at 6:08 AM
Super Bowl smackdown: Seattle and Denver writers take their best shots
As the Seahawks and Broncos prepare for Sunday’s Super Bowl game, I am taking on Denver Post editorial writer Jeremy Meyer on why Seattle tops Denver in any contest.
- My take: What’s with the John Denver obsession?
- Jeremy Meyer: “Boast Mode: 5 reasons Denver beats Seattle”
Also check out our previous smack talk with the San Francisco Chronicle leading up to the NFC Championship Game.
My take: What’s with the John Denver obsession?
For hating on a Seahawks opponent, Denver is a bit of a letdown.
It is no smug San Francisco, and Broncos coach John Fox, who recently had open-heart surgery, is not the sideline performance artist John Harbaugh is. Instead, Denver is Spokane on steroids, quaint Midwestern charm amid suburbs sprawling across the prairie. Its most famous dish is deep-fried bull testicles; one must get desperately hungry with so much weed. Denver appears to be a compassionate city, setting aside the mile-long 16th Street outdoor mall for out-of-work folk buskers and the homeless. Denver is a wind-burnt 30-something snowboarder in a cowboy hat, taking his 16th “sick day” this month to share his Coors up the chair lift.
All the talk this week has been about Richard Sherman’s mouth, but Seahawks fans know that it’ll be defensive lineman Michael Bennett’s sack dance – he describes it as “two angels dancing while chocolate is coming from the heavens” – doing all the talking.
Setting aside more important matters for a day, the Seattle Times and Denver Post agreed to talk some civic trash. The Post’s writer, Jeremy Meyer, is a Puget Sound transplant. He needs a few reminders why he misses Seattle. The Top 5:
1. Making Musak. Seattleite Johnny Allen Hendrix moved to London in 1966 and exploded with the sheer fabulousness of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. At the same time, Denver’s music obsession, Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., aka John Denver, was entertaining our grandparents with the clean-cut Chad Mitchell Trio. While John Denver was making Musak, Hendrix was setting his guitar on fire. It’s been like that ever since. I like Denver’s band of the moment, The Lumineers, but aren’t they from New York?
2. The geek squad. The Puget Sound hot house of innovation has three current Fortune 100 companies. We could order Jeremy up a Costco catalog (Fortune #22) and a pound of Starbucks (Fortune #208) using Microsoft Internet Explorer (Fortune #35), shipped via Amazon.com (#49). The Broncos flew to the Super Bowl on a Boeing 767, made right here. Colorado doesn’t have any Fortune 100 companies. The state’s biggest firm is something called Arrow Electronics. They have a “conflict minerals” disclosure statement. That’s never a good sign.
3. Lots of dirt. As Seattle Times reader Russ East put it, Seattle has water, Denver has dirt. In Colorado, water’s for fighting over. Seattle has so much of it, and so many tasty critters in it, that sea lions named Hershel, Hondo and Big Frank nearly killed off a steelhead run by merely camping out at the Ballard Locks. To scare them off, government set off firecrackers, launched a giant plastic killer whale and shipped the sea lions to California. They came back, again and again, because that’s how awesome the sea is here. You couldn’t make this stuff up.
4. The real oysters. Colorado U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner put up Rocky Mountain oysters in a Super Bowl bet with Washington’s Congressional delegation. Our delegation put up local wine, cheese, chocolate and apples. Thanks, Rep. Gardner, I’ll stick with Pacific oysters. The talk of this Super Bowl is each state’s new legal crop, marijuana. Call it a draw. Seattle has the “Beast Mode” strain. Denver is already off and smoking, with legal stores. I’m just glad the Seahawks’ pot-loving Legion of Boom isn’t wandering around Denver.
5. No chain store left behind. Denver and Seattle have the same population, but Denver has twice the land mass. That’s convenient for plunking down one shopping mall after another on the prairie. Denver has such a bad case of sprawl that even Siri seems to get bored giving directions around town. Seriously, do you have to take a flight to get into Denver from the airport?
Smack talk before the Super Bowl shouldn’t be confined to just the sports pages, talk radio or Richard Sherman’s postgame interviews.
Today, the editorial board of The Denver Post will go mano a mano with our colleagues at The Seattle Times over which city is better.
And in our humble opinion, the Emerald City ain’t got nothing on the Mile High City.
We’re not talking football here, because that argument will be settled on game day in MetLife Stadium.
Rather, we’ll explore five reasons why Denver is better than Seattle at everything else.
Of course, we will respectfully not include the most obvious example — the weather. Or, more to the point, we will avoid talking about the buckets and buckets of rain that fall over Seattle 10 months out of the year and the ceaseless cloud cover that turns its citizens into moss-covered tree frogs.
It wouldn’t be fair to boast about our 300 days of sunshine. So we’ll let that one be.
We’ll also avoid mentioning Seattle’s lack of an NBA team or their baseball team’s failure to get to the World Series, because those are, frankly, just low blows.
Nor will we harp on Seattle’s insufferable traffic or mention that our city is so football-crazed that Denver Mayor Michael Hancock was once “Huddles,” the Broncos’ former on-field mascot.
You also won’t see us touting our superior, world-class ski resorts and the fact we had the Olympics begging to come here in 1976 and we turned them down.
Nope. Too easy.
For that matter, we won’t compare the official state animals of Washington and Colorado. Because Washington state doesn’t have one and we have the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep or ram, which is the mascot for Colorado State University.
That’s not a fair comparison to raise when one of Washington’s state schools, The Evergreen State College, has a geoduck as a mascot. A geoduck is basically a pornographic shellfish. (Look it up. But not at work.)
I know all of this because I grew up in the suburbs of Seattle, went to Washington state schools and escaped the world of mold and slugs for the blue skies of Colorado.
There are so many things we cannot bring up because this discussion needs to be done on a level playing field.
So here are some other things we are leaving out:
• Colorado’s mountains don’t erupt, whereas Washington state sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is basically a bubbling, burbling cauldron on the verge of exploding or quaking at any moment.
• Colorado was first to venture into the world of recreational pot, while Washington is cowering behind legislation that won’t allow sales for another four months.
• Colorado cannot be held responsible for “Clippy,” the Microsoft embedded animated character in past versions of Word that just popped onto my computer screen asking, “Are you writing a smack-talk column?”
• Also, our state cannot be blamed for the ridiculous ways the country now orders coffee, such as asking for a “tall” when you mean “small. ”
• No one can ever accuse Denver for the flannel craze, bad haircuts and grumpy disposition of youth in the 1990s.
• Here in Denver, as my former colleague Dan Haley says, men grow beards to keep the cool winter breezes off their rugged mugs, not to be ironic for their long weekend trip to Portland.
• And Denver is known as the Gateway to the Rockies, while Seattle is Gateway to “Hey, I can see Russia from my house!”
But seriously, now that we have set the record, here are the five reasons Broncos fans know their city is better than Seattle:
1) Peyton Manning.
2) Peyton Manning.
3) Peyton Manning.
4) Peyton Manning.
5) Peyton Manning.