Blue Collar vs. White Collar

A lot of US cities — and, by default, their sports teams — are thought of as, and consider themselves to be, “blue-collar.” Pittsburgh immediately comes to mind. As do Philadelphia and Cleveland.

And then there are the “white-collar” cities. Los Angeles, Dallas. Washington, D.C. The list goes on.

But wait a second…

Is this whole blue-collar vs. white-collar thing merely a stereotype? Or is it actually rooted in facts?

Within the realm of sports — where, like I said, teams tend to take on their city’s identity — those two terms make complete sense and paint a very clear picture.

A blue-collar team will outwork you to death. What they lack in talent, they make up for in grit. A white-collar team is the opposite. Loads of talent. Superstars abound. But do they have what it takes to win the battle in the trenches?

Off the field, however, it’s not so black and white.

Because, I mean, think about it:

When you hear someone say “Los Angeles,” you picture beaches, mansions, and movie stars — which leads you to the conclusion: white-collar. And yet, the majority of LA’s residents can’t see the beach, don’t live in mansions, and definitely aren’t movie stars.

Similarly, when you hear someone say “Pittsburgh” a steel mill enters the frame; and when you hear “Philadelphia,” the Rocky theme song immediately starts playing in your head. Conclusion: BLUE-COLLAR! And yet, there are plenty of white-collar folks living in both of those cities.

And so, I ask you: What does “blue-collar” or “white-collar” mean in the context of an entire city?

Is it strictly a jobs/income thing? Does history play a factor? Is it regional (Midwest = blue-collar)? Political?

Is Boston blue-collar because you saw The Town? Or is Boston white-collar because it’s one of the most educated cities in America?

Need your help!

Audience participation time. We’ve compiled a list of every US city with at least three major sports teams (there are 24), and it’s up to you to vote: blue-collar or white-collar? We’ll share the results next week. Very curious to see!


Reflection (recapping last week’s most important stories)

* MLB: Elon Musk’s tunnel construction firm, The Boring Company, is building a 3.6-mile tunnel that will transport fans from East Hollywood to Dodger Stadium in fewer than four minutes (currently takes 1+ hour via car).

* NFL: Browns WR Josh Gordon announced his return to the team following a leave of absence. Great news for Cleveland, and great news for the producers of Hard Knocks.

* Soccer: A regular-season Spanish La Liga game is coming to the United States, possibly as early as this season, with Real Madrid or Barcelona likely to be involved.

Scripture (articles worth reading)

FiveThirtyEight: Jacob DeGrom Is Breaking The Cy Young Formula: “Pitcher wins were already an unpopular metric among the sabermetric set, but Jacob deGrom’s 2018 season may have officially put the final nail in their coffin, even for traditionalists still hanging on to their old-school stats.”

New York Times: The Rise Of The College Football Strength Coach:“Beholden to the head coach, the strength and conditioning coach is often tasked with doling out punishment to players in the form of extra push-ups and sprints.”

The Ringer: Why ESPN Chose Joe Tessitore To Rebuild Its Relationship With The NFL:Monday Night Football needed a shot in the arm. Who better to provide it than the Frank Sinatra of the broadcast booth?”

Onward (coming up this week)

* Tuesday, 10 PM (ESPN) ➞ St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: Both teams have a legit shot at the postseason, so this is a huge series. A sweep would do wonders for the victor — and would be equally detrimental to the losing side.

* Thursday, 8 PM (FOX) ➞ Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cleveland Browns:Thanks to Hard Knocks and No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield, the Browns are as relevant as ever. And the Eagles, well, they’re the defending Super Bowl champs. So you should probably watch.

* Saturday, 10 PM (ESPN2) ➞ Wyoming vs. New Mexico State: College football is here! Not the most exciting matchup, let’s be real, but it’s football! And it counts! And it’s on TV! See you there.

-Kendall Baker for Religion of Sports