Now that baseball's playoffs have begun, oddsmakers and pundits are poring over ERAs, batting averages and slugging percentages to see how Tampa Bay stacks up against other American League playoff teams.
But why limit comparisons to the playing field? What about the broader quirks and events that define an area?
As the Rays enter baseball's big-time today, here's an unofficial guide to the Tampa Bay area, and how it measures up to its three, big metro brethren.
Population growth, 1900 to now
Boston: 600,000 to 4.4-million
Los Angeles: 170,000 to 12.4-million
Chicago: 1.7-million to 9.2-million
Tampa Bay: 45,000 to 2.4-million
Edgy civic gathering
Boston: Boston Tea Party
Los Angeles: O.J. Simpson trial groupies
Chicago: 1968 Democratic Convention
Tampa Bay: Guavaween
Boston: Crew races on Charles River
Los Angeles: Disney invents Jungle River Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain
Chicago: Flow direction of Chicago River is reversed
Tampa Bay: Dockside Dave's serves authentic grouper
Boston: Birthplace of Christian Science
Los Angeles: Largest Catholic archdiocese in U.S.
Chicago: Nation of Islam headquarters
Tampa Bay: World Scientology headquarters
Boston: Matt Damon/Ben Affleck
Los Angeles: Jack Nicholson
Chicago: Oprah Winfrey
Tampa Bay: John Travolta (occasionally, and not another word about the Hulkster)
Boston: Racial tension
Los Angeles: La-la land
Chicago: Dead voters
Tampa Bay: Green benches, Mons Venus (tie)
Boston: Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire kills 492 (1942)
Los Angeles: St. Francis Dam collapse kills about 600, (1928).
Chicago: Heat wave blamed for 739 deaths (1995).
Tampa Bay: Summit Venture knocks down Sunshine Skyway, killing 35 (1980).
Movie, TV locales
Boston: Good Will Hunting, Cheers
Los Angeles: Chinatown, Dragnet
Chicago: Blues Brothers, Untouchables
Tampa Bay: Cocoon, Second Noah
Hall of Famers
Boston: Ted Williams, John Hannah, Larry Bird, Bobby Orr
Los Angeles: Sandy Koufax, Norm Van Brocklin, Magic Johnson, Wayne Gretzky
Chicago: Ernie Banks, Walter Payton, Phil Jackson, Bobby Hull
Tampa Bay: Lee Roy Selmon, Wade Boggs (borrowed), Phil Esposito (borrowed)
MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL championships
Los Angeles: 18
Tampa Bay: 2