Jay Z vs. Beyonce: AL Wild Card tale of the tape
Tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, the Yankees will host the Astros for the right to play the Royals in the American League Division Series. With 162 games under their respective belts, each team needs one more victory to move on.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Yanks and 'Stros match up pretty evenly. The Yankees lost the season series, 4-3, and won one more game in the regular season, but the Astros led the AL in homers -- and that was with only 99 games from AL Rookie of the Year candidate Carlos Correa, who hit 22.
In the name of science, let's turn to the fail-safe "tale of the tape" method to examine the cultural intangibles each team brings to the table for the purpose of formulating an accurate hypothesis as to which will emerge victorious.
Who ya got?
Billy Crystal vs. Dennis Quaid
Crystal -- a HUGE Yankees fan -- starred in the "City Slicker" film series, has hosted the Oscars nine times, directed a movie about the Bronx Bombers and was once a cast member on "Saturday Night Live."
Quaid -- an Astros fan who played former Rays pitcher Jimmy Morris in "The Rookie" -- once hosted "SNL." Go Yankees!
Rudy Giuliani vs. George H.W. Bush
Giuliani was born in Flatbush, raised in New York, and later served as mayor of the city for eight years. He's New York royalty and routinely takes in Yankees games with famous faces like Jimmy Fallon and Lorne Michaels.
But, President George H.W. Bush played baseball at Yale, was once the leader of the free world, raised a son who became leader of the free world, and raised another son who's running to become leader of the free world. Turns out the Yankees aren't the only American dynasty. Go Astros!
Jay Z vs. Beyonce: A house divided
The One True First Couple of America will ostensibly occupy a house divided on Tuesday as H.O.V. was born and raised in Brooklyn, while his better half hails from Houston. While it's hard to deny the lyrical prowess of the guy who rapped on the anthem that blared from Yankee Stadium the last time the team won a World Series, it's even harder -- given the current state of popular culture -- to doubt the power and influence of the BeyHive.
A vote against Queen Bey is a vote against humanity at this juncture. Go Astros!
The Undertaker vs. Mick Foley
You've probably never heard of Mark Calaway, but you've definitely heard of The Undertaker, one of the most successful professional wrestlers in the history of the WWE.
They're the same guy and that guy hails from Houston. The Undertaker won a record 21 straight WrestleMania matches, but his best-known performance came at a 1998 pay-per-view event when he threw wrestler Mankind off the top of a cage and eventually secured a victory. You might know Mankind by his real-life name, Mick Foley. Foley is from New York.
"Big Apple" vs. "H-Town"
"H-Town" sounds great and all -- it's even fun to say. But, it falls short here in a few different arenas:
1. Houston doesn't even contain the word "town"
2. Harrisburg, Hartford, Helena, Honolulu ... those are just the other "H-Town" candidates that happen to be capital cities
3. It isn't edible. Go Yankees!
Pizza vs. BBQ?
Best. Pizza. In. The. World. Italy does pasta and Chicago does deep-dish -- which is great in its own right, but is a different food entirely. New York, New York is the planet's preeminent location to score the best, greasiest, most delicious pizza imaginable, fold it in half and scarf it down while hovering over a trash can next to the subway entrace so you can run to catch your train.
Unless you're a rat, in which case you bring that stuff with you:
Houston barbecue is beautifully spiced and slow-cooked to near perfection, but there are half-a-dozen towns in Texas that make a case for one-upping Houston in that department, and that's not even taking cities in other states into consideration (we hear you, Kansas City and St. Louis).
Plus, think about how silly it would look if you caught an armadillo hauling brisket down a set of stairs:
"The Pride of the Yankees" vs. "Boyhood"
In 1942, Gary Cooper landed the role of a lifetime when he played The Iron Horse himself, Lou Gehrig, and starred in a dramatic re-enactment of Gehrig's iconic "luckiest man on the face of the Earth" speech.
The film was nominated for Best Picture, but lost out to "Mrs. Miniver."
Last year, director, baseball nerd and Houston native Richard Linklater released "Boyhood," a revolutionary film that was filmed over 12 years with the same actors and actresses. In the film, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane and Lorelai Linklater (Richard's daughter), play characters who attend an actual Astros game (well, two Astros games).
It too was nominated for Best Picture, but lost out to "Birdman." Though both "Boyhood" and "Pride of the Yankees" are wonderful films, IMDB score and Rotten Tomatoes ranking skew in favor of Linklater's project. Go Astros!
"New York, New York" vs. "Houston"
Nothing against Dean Martin, but his ode to H-Town can't hold a candle to Frank Sinatra's love song to the city that never sleeps. It's been playing after Yankee wins for years and is as much a part of the franchise's winning tradition as the pinstripes on those home uniforms.
... Go Yankees!
This endeavor turned out to be a push, but there's no game clock in baseball, so the Yankees and Astros are going to have to duke it out until someone's declared a winner. The AL Wild Card Game presented by Budweiser will air live on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET tonight.