There’s so much more at stake than a Super Bowl ring today. There’s also city pride. Be it Baltimore or San Francisco, the winning team brings home major bragging rights.
But each city has a few things to be proud with, or without, a Super Bowl win. Here are a few things you might not know about Baltimore and San Francisco.
• The first umbrella factory in America was established in Baltimore in 1828.
• The first post office system in the United States was inaugurated in Baltimore in 1774.
• The first dental school in the world was founded in Baltimore in 1840.
• The first telegraph line in the world was established between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore in 1844.
• Baltimore was the first city to implement 311 service as a non-emergency hotline.
• The first successful manned balloon launch in the United States launched from Baltimore and was operated by 13-year-old Edward Warren in 1784.
• The first professional sports organization in the United States, The Maryland Jockey Club, was formed in Baltimore in 1743.
• Baltimore was the first United States city to illuminate its streets using hydrogen gas in 1816.
• The first black-owned shipyard in the United States is now an African American heritage site, the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum.
After moving to Baltimore in 1953, the former Dallas Texans (NFL) played as the Baltimore Colts until 1984. During this period, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas set a record of 47 consecutive games with a touchdown pass surpassed only in 2012 by Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. The Colts advanced to the NFL Championship twice (1958 & 1959) and Super Bowl twice (1969 & 1971), winning all except Super Bowl III in 1969. The team name previously belonged to an All-America Football Conference which played in Baltimore from 1947 to 1950, then folded after becoming an NFL franchise team in 1950. The team which took the name in 1953 left Baltimore for Indianapolis in 1984, where it became the Indianapolis Colts.
The Baltimore Stallions was an expansion professional football team that joined the Canadian Football League in 1994. It remained in Baltimore for two seasons before relocating to Montreal after the 1995 season to become the Montreal Alouettes. While playing for Baltimore, the team posted the best two season starts of any CFL expansion team ever, advancing to the Grey Cup in both seasons. In its final season in Baltimore, the Stallions became the only U.S. based CFL team to win the Grey Cup, upsetting the heavily favored Calgary Stampeders.
Further information: List of Grey Cup champions
The NFL returned to Baltimore a year after the Stallions left, when the former Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore to become the Baltimore Ravens in 1996. Since then, the Ravens won a Super Bowl championship in 2000, four AFC North division championships (2003, 2006, 2011 and 2012), and appeared in four AFC Championship Games (2000, 2008, 2011 and 2012).
• James Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, which created waves of immigrants coming into the city to seek fortune. These immigrants included a large numbers of Chinese immigrants, forming one of the largest Chinese populations outside of Asia.
• Denim jeans were invented in San Francisco for Gold Rush miners across California. They needed tough clothing that would last and protect their skin and Levi Strauss was the man to deliver them.
• “Chinese” fortune cookies were invented at Golden Gate Park’s Tea Garden, and at Chinatown’s Ross Alley fortune cookie factory. A Rube Goldberg-like contraption turns them out by the dozens.
• The original United Nations charter was drafted and signed in San Francisco.
• San Francisco ranks 4th in the world in terms of numbers of billionaires living within its city limits. The ranking top three cities in the world are New York, Moscow and London.
• The Golden Gate Bridge is a top tourist spot in San Francisco. It is the world’s second longest single span bridge. It links San Francisco with Marin County and the Redwood Empire. The Golden Gate Bridge is continuously painted and repainted because the bridge is so long that by the time it is painted from one end to the other, it’s time to start over again.
• Known for it’s coffee shops, San Francisco is where Irish coffee was invented. Caffe Trieste is the first coffee shop, established in 1956. There are now over 300 coffee shops in San Francisco.
• In 1906, San Francisco was obliterated by the earthquake, along with a massive fire.
• Alcatraz, meaning pelican in Spanish, was a military fort before it became a well known prison. Former famous prisoners were Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly and Robert “Birdman” Stroud.
The San Francisco 49ers are the longest-tenured major professional sports franchise in the city. The team began play in 1946 as an All-America Football Conference league charter member, moved to the NFL in 1950 and into Candlestick Park in 1971.
In 2006, the team’s owners announced plans to move the team to nearby Santa Clara, Calif., by 2015; the team will still be named the “San Francisco 49ers”, even though they will be much closer to the city of San Jose.
The 49ers have won five Super Bowl titles in the 1980s and 1990s behind coaches Bill Walsh and George Seifert, and stars such as Joe Montana, Steve Young, Ronnie Lott, and Jerry Rice.