Super Bowl reignites New York-Boston rivalry

Wed Feb 1, 2012 10:08am EST
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By Daniel Trotta and Daniel Lovering

NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) - The rival camps have been infiltrating each other for centuries. New Yorkers head to Boston for an education. Bostonians follow their career paths right onto Wall Street.

In the struggle for supremacy, curses are exchanged, aspersions cast. These two great American cities cannot avoid one another, and they are on a collision course once again in the Super Bowl.

Sunday's big game between the New York Giants (who really play in New Jersey) and the New England Patriots (home town: Foxborough, Massachusetts) is stirring passions across trading floors, bars and chatrooms throughout the U.S. Northeast, a proxy for greater battles over commerce, academia, cultural achievement and clam chowder.

"Half this firm has roots in Boston, the CEO is a Bostonian," said Peter Kenny, managing director of the Knight Capital brokerage in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

"I don't think there is another team that is represented on a fan basis at Knight other than these two teams, so that is really an intense conversation. It almost lacks humor, yet at the end of the day it's a good thing, it is very much about camaraderie," Kenny said.

New York surpassed Boston in population, cultural significance and financial strength about 250 years ago, and the rivalry has been lopsided ever since. Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles have taken turns as the challenger, but New York has reigned supreme.

"If the subject is sports, New York hustles to stay up with Boston. If the subject is economic, population, media and all that other stuff, it's not really a competition," said Kenneth T. Jackson, a history professor at New York's Columbia University.

"But I don't want to say anything against Boston," Jackson said. "If all of America was like Boston, sophisticated, cultural, we'd be a better country."   Continued...

<p>For the first time, the NFL allows football fans to attend media day for the NFL Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis January 31, 2012. The New York Giants will play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl on February 5. REUTERS/Brent Smith</p>