Tale of the tape: Boston vs. Los Angeles

Boston vs. L.A. We've been here before, right? Yes, and no. When the New England Patriots (who play in Foxborough, a Boston suburb) face off against the Los Angeles Rams on Feb. 3, this will be the first Super Bowl matchup pitting the two cities against one another.

But it's not the first time the cities have faced off in a championship game or series.

Most recently, in 2018, the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. And in basketball, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have faced off 11 times -- with Boston winning eight of those matchups.

L.A. does hold the edge when it comes to Major League Soccer, as the LA Galaxy have won all three MLS Cup matchups vs. the Foxborough-based New England Revolution.

So, which city holds the upper hand? We broke down the best features of each one.


Titles: The Pats are going for their sixth title when they face they Rams, who won a title in 2000 but as the St. Louis Rams. The Raiders won a championship in 1983 when they were L.A.-based. The Celtics have the most titles in the NBA with 17, but the Lakers aren't far behind with 16. On the baseball diamond, the Red Sox have nine World Series wins, and the Dodgers franchise has six (one as the Brooklyn Dodgers). And don't forget the 2002 title belonging to the Angels, who were then the Anaheim Angels. Meanwhile, the Bruins have six titles, while the LA Kings have two and the Anaheim Ducks have one.

In the college ranks, USC claims 11 national titles in football, and UCLA has 11 in basketball. In Boston, the BC and BU men's ice hockey teams have each won five NCAA titles.

Stars: Boston has Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Ted Williams, David Ortiz, Tom Brady and Bobby Orr. Los Angeles has Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Sandy Koufax, Clayton Kershaw and Eric Dickerson.


Although there have been plenty of popular TV shows ("Cheers," anyone?) and movies set in and around Boston over the years, it's hard to compete with L.A.'s very own Hollywood.

TV shows: Other shows that have featured Boston as their backdrop include: "Ally McBeal," "Boston Med," "Crossing Jordan," "Dawson's Creek," "Fringe," "A Million Little Things," "The Practice," "Rizzoli & Isles," "St. Elsewhere," "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" and "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place."

There have been numerous shows on the small screen set in the greater Los Angeles area, including: "Baywatch," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Beverly Hills, 90210," "The Brady Bunch," "Charlie's Angels," "CHiPs," "Entourage," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "The Hills," "Melrose Place," "Modern Family," "Moonlighting," "The Rockford Files," "Saved by the Bell" and "Three's Company."

Movies: "Black Mass," "Boondock Saints," "The Departed," "Fever Pitch," "The Fighter," "Gone Baby Gone," "Good Will Hunting," "Legally Blonde," "Manchester by the Sea," "Mystic River," "Patriots Day," "The Social Network," "Spotlight," "Ted" and "The Town" are among features on the big screen set in the Boston area.

Los Angeles has been the setting for scores of movies, including "Beverly Hills Cop," "The Big Lebowski," "Boogie Nights," "Boyz n the Hood," "Chinatown," "Clueless," "Die Hard," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "The Graduate," "The Karate Kid," "L.A. Confidential," "L.A. Story," "La La Land," "Lethal Weapon," "Mulholland Drive," "Pretty Woman," "Pulp Fiction," "Rebel Without a Cause," "Singin' in the Rain," "Speed," "Straight Outta Compton," "Sunset Boulevard," "Swingers," "The Terminator," "Training Day" and "Troop Beverly Hills."


Boston: You're probably already well aware that Boston has superfans in Ben Affleck, Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon. Who else pledges their allegiance to Beantown? Among them are Gisele Bündchen, Jennifer Garner, Sarah Silverman, Christie Brinkley, Maria Menounos, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien, Amy Poehler, Dennis Leary, Chris Evans, Kenny Chesney, James Taylor, John Krasinski, Neil Diamond, Rob Corddry, Stephen King, Dane Cook and Donnie Wahlberg.

L.A.: Jack Nicholson (Lakers) and Billy Crystal (Clippers) are staples on the L.A. sports scene, which also garners support from Will Ferrell, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ty Burrell, Terry Crews, Jason Bateman, Rob Lowe, Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba, Andy Garcia, Ice Cube, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Flea and Anthony Kiedis, among others.


Boston and L.A. both draw many tourists each year, and there is no shortage of attractions or activities in either city.

Boston: Boston definitely wins if you're into history, with the Freedom Trail, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Paul Revere's home, the Bunker Hill Monument, Faneuil Hall, the USS Constitution, Quincy Market and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Sports fans will want to check out Fenway Park, and the Samuel Adams Brewery is also a favorite spot. Boston Common, the Boston Public Garden and the Waterfront provide places to relax and enjoy nature, while different neighborhoods, such as the North End and Beacon Hill, have their own unique vibes. And what visit to Boston would be complete without a visit to Cheers and Harvard Yard?

L.A.: Los Angeles is second to none when it comes to the movie and entertainment industry, and there are plenty of attractions to visit. From a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame to touring one of the many movie studios in the area to taking in the famous Hollywood Sign, the glitz and glamour is all around. Those seeking a more relaxed vibe might head to one of the many beaches, including Venice Beach, or enjoy a day on the Santa Monica Pier. Spending time enjoying nature at Runyon Canyon and Griffith Observatory are also popular activities. Sports fans will appreciate seeing the Rose Bowl, Dodger Stadium and Staples Center. And don't forget about the happiest place on earth, Disneyland, which is less than an hour away in Anaheim. Other top draws in the area include, the Getty Center, Universal Studios Hollywood, the Petersen Automotive Museum, La Brea Tar Pits, the Hollywood Bowl and Rodeo Drive for some shopping.


There are only winners here when it comes to satisfying appetites. Soups and salads, appetizers, desserts, stadium food, fine dining -- you can't go wrong in either city. It just depends on what you're craving.

Boston: Want some seafood? Head to Boston for some clam chowder, raw oysters or clams before you dig into that lobster feast. Just make sure to save room for Boston cream pie for dessert. Those in search of something a little more casual might enjoy fish and chips, a cannoli or some Boston baked beans. And if you're at a Red Sox game, sample those Fenway Franks.

L.A.: On the West Coast, Asian cuisine is popular in L.A., especially if you enjoy ramen, Korean BBQ, Chinese food or sushi. That dish not spicy enough? Just pour on the Sriracha. But no problem if you're not a fan of Asian fare. There's tacos (even from trucks!), French dip sandwiches, Cobb salad or bacon-wrapped hot dogs. You can dine in at places like In-N-Out Burger, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles or perhaps grab a Dodger Dog while rooting on the boys in blue.


On the surface, this would seem to be a walkover for Los Angeles, right? But when you dive deeper, Boston's musical history is pretty deep, especially when it comes to rock 'n' roll and alternative music.

If you like classic rock, then Boston is the place to be. Not only do you have Aerosmith and Boston, but Beantown is also the home of The Standells (who penned the classic "Dirty Water," which is played after Red Sox victories). Of course, Los Angeles has an argument with The Doors, The Byrds, The Monkees, The Eagles and The Beach Boys, but Boston could actually win this round, especially if you add James Taylor to the mix.

Alternative music might be the most competitive genre between these two cities. L.A. claims Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction and Weezer, while Boston claims The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Letters to Cleo, The Pixies and Godsmack. Beantown can also break out some punk with the Dropkick Murphys, with L.A. bringing some Latin flavor with Los Lobos.

Where these cities differ are in pop/rock acts. Though Bostonians have the classic pop sound of The Cars, it's also a bit boy-band crazy with New Edition and New Kids on the Block. Add in Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and teenage girls dug Boston pop sounds. L.A. went the hair-band route during the same time period, rocking out with bands such as Guns N' Roses, Mötley Crüe, L.A. Guns and Great White. Each also have women who rock, with Boston claiming disco queen Donna Summer and L.A. sporting the girl-rock band The Go-Go's. So the tiebreaker here might be Toto -- which is an L.A. band -- and "Africa" beating out Boston's Extreme and "More than Words." Otherwise, it's to each their own.

As far as hip-hop and rap, how can you beat the L.A./West Coast sound of Death Row Records in the early and mid-1990s? Between N.W.A. and its spin-offs (Dr. Dre, Ice Cube/Westside Connection, Eazy E), the phenomenon of Snoop Dogg and more contemporary acts such as The Black Eyed Peas and Kendrick Lamar, Los Angeles sets a high standard. Boston has its moments with House of Pain (and its anthem "Jump Around"), Benzino, Everlast and Slaine, but this is L.A.'s category.