Definitely better! Okay, not in baseball as the franchises from both cities hit the diamond today in KC for the Show-Me bragging rights; but within those teams, tell me the name of a player that actually grew up and calls either city or the state of Missouri home. Yep, I am not sure we can find a local on the squads. They are mainly imports from other regions of the nation and world. However, the thing that really makes a city is the local people themselves, and quite frankly, Kansas City is better!
Let’s get some of the facts out of the way. Both cities are metropolitan areas in which the main portion is in Missouri, but there is quite a buildup in the neighboring state as well. Right off the bat, we can easily admit that Kansas City, Kansas is a lot (A LOT!) nicer place than East St. Louis, Illinois. Now, lets get back in Missouri; St. Louis is always finding itself on those wonderful lists that portray the most dangerous cities in America. It seems to be in league with Detroit. Sure, KC has its share of thugs, but St. Louis has a lot larger population of them. You can see it in certain malls up there. The chances of surviving a trip to the big city in Missouri is greater if you visit Kansas City.
I am sure St. Louis would counter-debate in mentioning its tourist attractions and history, and I’ll agree they do have that. But, in calling themselves the Gateway to the West, they forget that the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails actually started in the Kansas City region. With the exception of the arch (which is nice, but can remind everyone of how claustrophobic they are), Kansas City has similar sites to see and visit. Both cities have the riverboat casinos, and wonderful museums and parks. Yet, KC has its barbecue, its fountains (in league with Rome), Harry Truman (the man with balls to use the bomb), a great baseball history with the KC Monarchs and the Negro League museum, and a better level of common sense (if you can find such stuff in a big urban area).
The stadiums themselves in each city are proof of common sense being more prevalent in the western side of Missouri. Kansas City did it right the first time. They built separate football and baseball facilities while St. Louis, as usual, copied a bunch of easterners and built one multi-purpose facility, only to whine two decades later for the state to build them new ones. Great use of tax dollars, St. Louie! KC went in and gave their older (but again, better) facilities a nice renovation and it seems they look just like new. Parking is a lot easier in Kansas City as well. Their stadiums actually have a parking lot. Go figure! And go tailgating!
Local, home grown athletes seem to prevail better in Kansas City as well. I believe that is right. The KC side of the Show-Me state (good ole’ western Missouri) has better overall athletes. High school football is one of the more difficult sports out there, and the western side of Missouri consistently wins the state titles in that sport a lot more often. Of course, the state title games (the Show-Me Bowl!) are played in our taxpayer-funded dome named after some blasted corporation (should be called the Show-Me Dome) in St. Louis. I guess that is good though. It gives the losing teams a shorter drive home.
Now that we have this settled, let’s take a look at the Royals-Cardinals match up. Sam Mellinger’s commentary in the Kansas City Star today quotes Royals’ great, Frank White (one player on a major league team that was a hometown fellow), saying there is no longer a rivalry with the Cardinals. 1985 is now a long time ago, and the Royals haven’t really been competitive since then. I’m in agreement with that. Right now, it is going to take the Royals stepping up and trying to win titles in order for a rivalry to truly be renewed. But what about the fans of each team? On the locals that will be in attendance,I will declare the ones wearing blue are more legitimate fans. They are the ones that have stuck with their team through 25 years of misery. How many of those fans in red are phony baloney? How many of them will stay cheering if the Cardinals were to enter such a slump (I would enjoy seeing that happen, but not sure it will)? Would they stay in there or would they jump off the bandwagon? While in the long run of things, it won’t matter who wins and who loses the games in this series, but KC fans can already take heart in knowing they were the better fans from the better city.