Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The NBA Finals matchup between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder looks to be one of the best in recent memory on the court. The battle between Miami and Oklahoma City as respective towns is quite a dichotomy.
The cities were founded just seven years apart. Oklahoma City was founded on April 23, 1889, while Miami was officially incorporated as a city on July 28, 1896. The city of Miami’s current population is 408,568, which is much less than Oklahoma City’s population of 579,999.
Advantage: Oklahoma City
But it’s beyond the numbers where comparing the two cities really takes on a fun aspect.
In sports history, Oklahoma City’s still relatively young, but the state of Oklahoma claims the legendary history of the Oklahoma Sooners football program. The Sooners’ greatest feat still stands to this day, winning 47 straight games between 1953 and 1957.
The head coach of that Oklahoma City team, Bud Wilkinson, didn’t lost a conference game until his 79th conference game at Oklahoma. He established Oklahoma as a national power with a legacy that lasts to the current day.
Miami’s not without its own legendary coach, Don Shula.
The NFL’s all-time winningest coach is a walking legend who set an NFL record that no team has been able to pull off since. Shula’s 1972 Miami Dolphins went through the regular season and won the Super Bowl.
Shula built the Dolphins into a winner and the team hasn’t been the since she he walked away from the sidelines.
The University of Miami is no slouch either and has won multiple national championships. In fact, the coach who led them during some of their glory years, Jimmy Johnson, was brought into ‘The U’ from Oklahoma State University.
When it comes to the celebrity factor, Oklahoma City is no match for the lure of Miami.
Among the most famous people from or living in Oklahoma City now: Wes Welker, Skip Bayless (which should automatically result in a forfeit), Elizabeth Warren, Sam Bradford, Toby Keith, two members of the Flaming Lips, Trisha Yearwood, Miss America 2007 Laruen Nelson, and Olivia Munn.
Some famous people from or now living in Miami: The Rock, Eva Mendes, Sidney Poitier, 2 Live Crew, the Estefans, Barry Gibb, Dave Barry, Patricia Cornwell, Pitbull, Flo Rida, Andy Garcia, and Steve Spurrier to name a few.
Miami has South Beach, which speaks for itself, while according to the Daily Oklahoman, the hip place to hang out in OKC is Bricktown. The Oklahoman also pointed out when it comes to tan lines, Miamian’s worry about bikini tan lines, while Oklahoman’s worry about farmers tans.
Oklahoma City has had its fair share of criminals, though Pretty Boy Floyd was born outside the city. The most infamous crime in recent memory was in 1978 when six employees of a restaurant were executed in the restaurant’s freezer.
Miami is its own monster when it comes to crime. From the early days with Al Capone to the Cocaine Cowboys days of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Miami has seen it all with crime…at least until Memorial Day 2012.
That’s when Miami vaulted into the spotlight again when Rudy Eugene attacked Ronald Poppo and chewed up his face in a horrific crime that made international headlines.
Advantage: sadly, Miami
When it comes to natural phenomenon, Oklahoma City and Miami deal with arguably the two worst natural disasters out there, hurricanes and tornadoes. Miami was devastated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, while Oklahoma City was hit by an F5 tornado in 1999.
Andrew cost between $23 and $35 billion in damage while the 1999 tornado cost approximately $1 billion.
Advantage: Oklahoma City
Finally, as the Daily Oklahoman pointed out, the median household income in Miami is approximately $29,621 compared to Oklahoma City’s $43,798.
Advantage: definitely Oklahoma City.
Those are just a few of the comparisons between the two teams, but in this brief comparison it comes out a 3-3 tie between the two cities.
The Heat and Thunder will settle at least the basketball argument starting Tuesday night at 9 p.m. in Oklahoma City.