Traditionally,sports teams are named after the respective cities or states that they represent. In recent times,however,the more successful teams have been those with a little more unique scope.
The only two franchised regions,New England and Carolina,both went to championships last year. (The New England Patriots were Super Bowl Champions; the Carolina Hurricanes went to the NHL Championship.) This year's Super Bowl features the first ever championship team named for a body of water: Tampa Bay. In this sense,this year's participants represent strikingly different worlds…
RELATIVE SIZE IN STATE
Oakland: Oakland is the eighth largest city in California.
Tampa Bay: Tampa Bay is the largest open-water estuary in Florida.
Oakland: 56 sq. miles
Tampa Bay: 400 sq. miles
Tampa Bay: Too difficult to count – a single quart of bay water may contain as many as 1 million phytoplankton. Each square meter of bay sediment contains an average of 10,000 animals – mostly tiny,burrowing worms,crustaceans and other mud-dwellers that are known as benthic invertebrates.
Oakland: 35.7 percent black,31.3 percent white,21.9 percent Hispanic,15.2 percent Asian
Tampa Bay: More than 200 species of fish are found in Tampa Bay,including the popular snook,redfish and spotted sea trout,and 25 different species of birds,from the familiar white ibis and great blue heron.
Oakland: On average,42 feet above sea level.
Tampa Bay: On average,the bay is 12 feet deep.
Oakland: Horace W. Carpentier bought part of the Rancho San Antonio and incorporated it into a town in 1852.
Tampa Bay: Formed 6,000 years ago as the polar ice caps melted after the last Ice Age.
Oakland: Numerous evergreen oaks in the surrounding landscape.
Tampa Bay: Mapmakers named the bay for the native settlements in the region,known to the tribes as “Tanpa.”
Oakland: Clint Eastwood,Mark Hamill,Hammer,Tom Hanks
Tampa Bay: The regal reddish egret – the most rare heron in the nation.
Oakland: Oakland Symphony,Oakland Zoo,Chabot Observatory
Tampa Bay: Mangrove-blanketed islands.
Sources: www.infoplease.com; Tampa Bay Estuary Program; Tampa Bay History Center