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New Jersey vs. Los Angeles: A comparison of two finalists

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

It's Los Angeles vs. New Jersey, the home of paparazzi vs. home of one of paparazzi's biggest targets (I'm looking at you, Snooki).

If you throw New Jersey into the greater New York scene, as you should, you have the two biggest markets and iconic cities in the United States. Everybody is going to claim one area or the other is superior -- OK, probably not many outside of New Jersey are going to say New Jersey -- but which is really?

Well, luckily for you I put together this handy comparison guide so you can decide for yourself. (And before you get worked up, please remember this is all in good fun.)

Iconic view: Manhattan skyline vs. Hollywood sign

I am personally a major fan of skylines, I can't get enough of the views. I drive by a major city and I have a hard time keeping my eyes on the road.

That said, the Manhattan skyline is kind of like cheating. I mean that's in another state altogether and there is a rival team with an arena in that very mess of buildings.

The classic Hollywood sign sort of wins by default, then.

Beach: Jersey Shore vs. California shore

On the one hand, L.A.'s beaches are full year-round and you can find some of the world's best surfing spots along their shores. You could run across some muscle heads at muscle beach.

On the other hand you have the Jersey shore where you might or might not encounter some muscle heads who have somehow made it famous thanks to MTV and they will likely try to fight you.

Point: Los Angeles.

Signature food: New York-style pizza vs. Organic food

All right, so for the food we are kind of crossing the Hudson River here to get the pizza, it's just so pervasive for the whole area. The thin, delicious pizza is a delicacy for many.

When I asked my friend who lives in the L.A. area what their signature food is, he suggested maybe Mexican or Fusion until I brought up Organic -- to which he replied "Oh yeah, throw the word organic on something and the price goes up 20 percent and people will still eat it up."

Give me the artery-clogging pizza any day.

Twitter account: @NHLDevils vs. @LAKings

Is this really a contest? No. No it is not. L.A. conquers all!

Mascot: N.J. Devil vs. Bailey

Bailey is, like the Kings Twitter account, one of the best in the business. It's mostly because he has his own Twitter account, which makes him a lot more fun to the average fan. And he mocks local television stations.

But N.J. Devil? Well, first of all, his name is awful. Is that really the best they could do? But his saving grace is the great SportsCenter commercials he was in, both in an elevator and playing with the thermostat.

I've got the underdog in the Devils mascot here. I can't get enough of that elevator ad.

Fan base: Devils vs. Kings

Let's be honest here, neither of these teams has a reputation for having the biggest and best fans. New Jersey often is ridiculed for not selling out playoff games -- although that hasn't been a problem this year -- and mediocre regular-season attendance.

The Kings? Well, let's just say hockey isn't the No. 1 sport in L.A. and the fans there have reputations for arriving late and leaving early. When this guy is leading the bandwagon, you know you have problems. That said, they do put butts in the seats.

Still, I'm giving it to New Jersey with the extended run of success building a good following. That and Devils outfits/makeup in the crowd just look better than the Kings' equivalent.

Pop-culture reference: Puddy on Seinfeld vs. Eazy E

Does anybody who ever watched Seinfeld -- and if you didn't/don't, I don't want to know you -- forget the scene of Puddy the Devils fan? It was an all-time great in the show, made all the better by the fact it involved hockey.

From the L.A. side you have old-school gangsta rapper Eazy E sporting Kings gear. Maybe there were some other options to go with from L.A. but honestly, nothing and/or nobody is going to beat Puddy here.

Celebrity fan: Kevin Smith vs. Matthew Perry

Smith has given us a lot of references in his movies over the years with hockey and has been seen wearing a lot of Devils garb over the years. It makes sense since he's a Devils fan who was born in New Jersey. But he does lose a little bit of cred for me having worn so many different sweaters over the years of not just the Devils.

Matthew Perry, from Friends fame among other things, is the Jack Nicholson of the Kings. He is a true fan of the team who is found at Staples a lot when the Kings are playing.

It's tough because Perry, in my mind, deserves credit for sticking so long with the franchise that hasn't had a ton of success, but Smith has given us hockey movie fans plenty, including another movie coming down the line dedicated just to hockey.

Biggest mystery: Where is Jimmy Hoffa buried vs. Did O.J. do it?

The location of Jimmy Hoffa's body has been a mystery for a long time in New Jersey. The rumor had long been that it was located under the Meadowlands Stadium of the Giants. It's the first thing I think of when I hear Jimmy Hoffa, not the man, but instead the infamy of his burial.

Los Angeles in return has arguably the most influential murder case in American history in the way that it affected the culture and television. Simpson walked and the murder was technically left unsolved, but the vast majority of people believe the state had their man but let him get away.

I'm going with the Hoffa mystery.

Musician/band: Bruce Springsteen vs. Beach Boys

Bruce, simply known as the Boss. He is a New Jersey legend ahead of fellow musicians Jon Bon Jovi and Frankie Valli. He routinely sells out arenas even to this day, no matter where he goes. The Boss is big.

The Beach Boys are legendary in their own right. Before the Beatles came to the States, it was either the Beach Boys or Valli's Four Seasons. The Boys had tons of great records through the years under Brian Wilson's work.

I know I'll have tomatoes thrown at me for this one, but I like the Beach Boys. I'm just not a Springsteen fan. I also would have considered the Doors, Guns & Rose and Red Hot Chili Peppers over Springsteen, but that's just me.

"It" girl: Snooki vs. Kim Kardashian

I dare you to look at the tabloids at the supermarket checkout line. You're going to for sure see both Snooki Kardashian at least once. At least.

Neither is exactly a role-model lady or entirely popular with the typical hockey fan. So on that note, I'm going with Kardashian because, well, she's Kim Kardashian.

Transportation: New Jersey Turnpike vs. I-5

If you start in North Jersey and drive all the way to the Delaware border, did you know that it will cost you about $15? That's to use an interstate, folks. Talk about a rip-off.

If you were to take I-5 in L.A., what would take you 30 minutes without traffic will probably take you three hours in rush hour. Seeing I-5 during the middle of the week is not something to soothe the old anger and road rage issues.

But I'll take the free road over the toll road almost every time.

So there you have it, a dead tie, six categories apiece. If you are looking for a tie-breaker there's always weather.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 
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