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Bay Area vs. Pittsburgh: Who’s Better?

by Dan Marrazza / San Jose Sharks

San Jose or Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh or San Jose.

One of these two cities will be home to the next Stanley Cup champions.

Both of these areas are already home to much regional pride. But whose regional pride has a better base?

We’re clearly partial to the Bay Area. But Pittsburghers have just as much pride in their own area.

In the battle off the ice, we’ll leave it up to you about which area is better.

To make it a little more fair to Pittsburgh, we left weather out of the equation.

Playoff Beards

Alright, we don’t want to pile this on right off the bat. But comparing Brent Burns and Joe Thornton’s beards to anybody with Pittsburgh isn’t really fair.

So how about the captains?

We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. We promise not to say anything bad here.

Holiday Videos

To be fair, the Penguins produced a pretty good holiday video this year. Phil Kessel dressed as Joe Pesci’s character from Home Alone and getting his hair set on fire? We’re sold.

But the Sharks are the established champions in this category.

Who’s better? We’ll let you judge.

Local Filming Locations

In the 1995 action movie Sudden Death, Jean-Claude Van Damme saves Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final at Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena from a terrorist bombing and hostage scenario. This while telling his young son (conveniently in attendance at the game) to stay in his seat no matter what, even if the building comes down around him.

Well, Civic Arena (also known as the Igloo) no longer stands, having been demolished to make way for Consol Energy Center six years ago, and is now a parking lot just outside the current venue. And although our arrival at the Stanley Cup Final reveals no kid sitting anywhere in that vicinity (so Van Damme’s son clearly did not listen), the concept of this movie, including pretending Van-Damme’s Belgian accent was a French Canadian accent for hockey purposes, is kind of genius.

Adding in that Houseguest (with Sinbad and Phil Hartman) was also filmed in Pittsburgh, it’s pretty clear that much of the Steel City’s cinema is of the “it’s so bad it’s good” variety.

The Bay Area, meanwhile, boasts a more traditional quality lineup of filming.

Full House and Mrs. Doubtfire are classics. Dirty Harry and The Birds, if you want to go old school, and basically everything from HBO’s Silicon Valley is currently being filmed in the area.

But back to Sudden Death, there exists an urban legend that Jaromir Jagr held a grudge against the filmmakers for years, because the fictional portrayal of him in this movie had him going -3 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup.

TV Shows

There absolutely isn’t a current show more signature to the Silicon Valley area than Silicon Valley.

Pittsburgh’s equivalent at this time would be Dance Moms.

Dance Moms, to its credit, can be kind of addicting. On the other hand, Silicon Valley has scooped up a couple of Emmy Awards.

This is Dance Moms. We’ll let you decide which is better.

Famous Natives

Bay Area

Robin Williams

Clint Eastwood

Joe DiMaggio

Tom Hanks

Nikki Sixx

Joey Chesnut


Andy Warhol

Jeff Goldblum

Gene Kelly

Michael Keaton

Porky Chedwick

Grand Buffet (Google them)

There are plenty others on both sides, but as far as we’re concerned, the discussion doesn’t go past Grand Buffet.


The Bay Area is marked by landmark bridges, the most iconic being the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge.

Pittsburgh’s bridges take on the Bay Area’s with quantity more than quality.

And that’s nothing against Pittsburgh, except saying it has nothing has iconic as the Golden Gate Bridge. What it has instead is over two dozen smaller bridges, linking the Golden Triangle (downtown Pittsburgh) and the outer suburbs over the city’s three rivers.

Pittsburgh’s bridges earn style points for all being nearly identically gold and creativity points with their namesakes being such local figures as Roberto Clemente and Andy Warhol.


The San Jose area is the cradle of the technology boom, while Pittsburgh’s foothold in the steel and coal industries is a few centuries old.

Which of these is better?

Probably depends on which one you own stock in.

Although if you’ve ranked the Silicon Valley ahead in this category, we suggest you add some Pittsburgh Heinz stock to your portfolio. Just so you can ketchup…

Local Eats

Making a clean segue from ketchup to these areas’ local cuisine, everything starts and stops in Pittsburgh with Primanti Bros., whose sandwiches are truly mouthwatering, if not heart-burning.

Check out this sandwich, dually named for their current Hagelin-Bonino-Kessel, HBK Line, and WWE legend Shawn Michaels, the Heartbreak Kid.

Looks kind of delicious.

Does it match up with the Bay Area’s seafood and burrito one-two punch?

Depends on who wants to deliver us some free samples during the Stanley Cup Final.


The average one bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh rents for $958 per month.

Okay, we’ll give Pittsburgh one category.

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