Tale of tape: Baltimore vs. San Francisco

Actress Claire Coffee introduced her new favorite pastime, Knapernicking, on Twitter last week. Courtesy of Claire Coffee

TV reception at her temporary house isn't so hot. Her computer's live stream isn't working. She's nowhere near home in California.

That won't stop actress Claire Coffee, who was born in San Francisco but is now working on a show in Portland, from watching her 49ers play the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl.

"I thought about going to the game but I have to work first thing Monday. It's my first day back at work after a break!'" said Coffee, who portrays Adalind Schade on the hit NBC show "Grimm," a fantasy police drama filming in Portland. "If my 49ers don't win, it might be better for me to get into character Monday because I play a villain!"

Celebrities are no different than the rest of us when it comes to their hometown allegiances to their football teams.

Coffee isn't a fair-weather fan. She grew up rooting on her 49ers, played fantasy football and even co-hosted a fantasy football web show. She thought about watching the game by herself, but how much fun is that?

"I get so nervous and I pace back and forth. I'm really no fun to watch a game with," said Coffee, who has been acting for 10 years. "So we'll get the cast together to head to a bar. We have some of us from California so it's going to be fun."

It seems that this Super Bowl doesn't have much animosity between the teams or the cities. Both cities have great culture and great histories. But which one is better?

"San Francisco has perfect weather and very easy-going people who are ex-hippies," she said. "Everyone is so laid back. That's the kind of lifestyle I like. I've never been to Baltimore. The only thing I know about that city is the TV show 'The Wire' and I never finished watching that series."

Jack Barakat, lead guitarist for the Baltimore band All Time Low, spent New Year's Eve in San Francisco but said Baltimore is better.

"Baltimore is a one-of-a-kind city. In a sense it's like the beginnings of America," Barakat said. "The cobblestone roads. Drinking at the bar where Edgar Allan Poe wrote 'The Raven.' It's really U.S. history."

Barakat's band showed its love for the city by recording a song called "For Baltimore" a few months ago.

And there is no way he'd miss this weekend's Super Bowl. In fact, his band never books a show out of the United States before the big game.

"Every year we make sure we're home just in case our team makes the Super Bowl," Barakat said. "In fact, this year, the day after the Super Bowl, we're heading to UK for a European tour."

Barakat originally was heading to downtown Baltimore to watch Sunday's game but got a game ticket Thursday and now is flying to New Orleans.

"I'm so invested in this team. It's really surreal we're to this point," said Barakat, who has befriended several of the players and coaches. "This means so much to me."

Now what if you technically live on both coasts? That's what Baltimore celebrity chef Duff Goldman is doing now that he has started a new store -- Duff's Cakemix -- in Southern California. He hasn't decided whether he'll fly back East to watch the game at the The Otto Bar where it's pot luck and he's responsible for 100 pounds of chicken wings. Or whether he'll stay in California and head to Michael Voltaggio's restaurant called Ink on Melrose.

The one thing Goldman knows is he will be wearing one of his lucky Ravens' jerseys.

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do right now. I just want to watch this game," said Goldman, who hit it big with his Charm City Cakes in Baltimore. "There is no drama between the teams. It's going to be awesome."

Playbook threw out all the official football stats for this game and asked humor writer D.J. Gallo to help figure out which city has the advantage.


Famous attractions

Baltimore: National Aquarium in Baltimore; Baltimore Inner Harbor; Baltimore Museum of Art

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge; Alcatraz Island; Fisherman's Wharf

Advantage: Baltimore has nothing as visually stunning as the Golden Gate Bridge. The Inner Harbor and Fisherman’s Wharf are similar, but Alcatraz gives San Francisco a big advantage, too -- at least until Baltimore opens city lockup to “The Wire” fans and tourists. SAN FRANCISCO

Famous actor born there

Baltimore: David Hasselhoff (Knight Rider, Baywatch, singer, Broadway actor)

San Francisco: Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple, activist, TV star)

Advantage: It’s bad when you have to resort to The Hoff for your “actor.” Maybe Baltimore should annex Columbia, Md., so they can claim Edward Norton. SAN FRANCISCO

Famous actress born there

Baltimore: Parker Posey (Dazed and Confused, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind)

San Francisco: The late Natalie Wood (Miracle on 34th Street, Rebel Without a Cause, married to Robert Wagner)

Advantage: Posey is outstanding in her roles in Christopher Guest’s satirical movies. No doubt she can appreciate Ray Lewis’ amazing parody performance of a redeemed, spiritual linebacker out to win a championship in his final game. BALTIMORE

Famous producer/director born there

Baltimore: Barry Levinson (Diner, The Natural, Rain Man, Bugsy)

San Francisco: Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven, Mystic River, Gran Torino)

Advantage: Levinson is the superior director. His best work has stood the test of time; Eastwood’s only enduring movie as a director might be “Unforgiven.” However, if we’re talking who would win in an old-man fight, it’s Eastwood by a mile. He’s bigger, stronger and could use a chair as a weapon like a pro wrestler. BALTIMORE

Famous singer born there

Baltimore: Ric Ocasek (lead singer of the Cars with songs such as "Shake It Up" and "You Might Think.")

San Francisco: The late Jerry Garcia (lead singer of Grateful Dead with songs such as "Touch of Grey" and "Foolish Heart.")

Advantage: You have to give the nod to Jerry Garcia due to the Dead’s pioneering as a jam band. But it’s a close call. Ocasek is pretty amazing, too. He somehow married Czech supermodel Paulina Porizkova despite looking like this. It may be one of the most remarkable achievements in human history. SAN FRANCISCO

Famous food

Baltimore: Blue crabs and pit beef

San Francisco: Sourdough bread and steam beer

Advantage: You can’t go wrong in either city. Good food is good food. Neither Baltimore nor San Francisco is a culinary Hasselhoff. But let’s give it to Baltimore. All of those bread and beer carbs in San Francisco will put you to sleep before halftime. BALTIMORE

Famous movies set there

Baltimore: Diner, Hairspray

San Francisco: Vertigo, Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Advantage: Let’s give it to Baltimore because “Hairspray” was made into a Broadway musical, too. For some reason, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” has yet to make it to Broadway. Disappointing. BALTIMORE

Famous TV shows set there

Baltimore: The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street, Roc

San Francisco: Dharma & Greg, Full House, Too Close for Comfort

Advantage: Baltimore’s crime problems have inspired some great television. So … that’s something to be proud of? BALTIMORE

So it appears that Baltimore is winning the off-the-field battle. Will that translate on the field Sunday?