KUSA - Ahead of the AFC matchup between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, many comparisons have been made. Two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Two teams who are consistently in the playoffs. Two fan bases who are passionate about their teams.
But what about the states themselves? According to recent census data, Massachusetts has more than 6.7 million people living in it, compared to Colorado's more than 5.4 million residents. That being said, Denver actually has more residents than Massachusetts' capital city of Boston (about 650,000 to about 646,000). Let's move away from sheer statistics on population however and move towards the more fun stuff.
So here's a rudimentary list of what makes Colorado better than Massachusetts:
Skiing is just better here
What do you picture when you think of New England skiing? If you answered rocky and icy, you'd be correct. When you think of skiing in Colorado, you picture fresh powder and sunny slopes. The runs are higher, steeper and longer than those out east. Not to mention the Colorado skiing has many participants in short sleeves and shorts a good bit of the season.
Beer, beer and more beer
Yes, Massachusetts' Samuel Adams is arguably one of the first -- if not the first -- microbrews in the country. But it's not about who invented it. It's about who perfected it. And there's no argument that says Colorado isn't known for its beer. From Great American Beer Fest to the fact that Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state, Colorado beer is king.
Colorado is too good for the Olympics
While Massachusetts is practically begging to host the Olympics, Colorado remains the only state in history to turn down the Olympics. In 1976, the Winter Olympics were planned to be held in Denver. However, 62 percent of all state voters choose not to host the Olympics, because of the cost, pollution and population boom it would have on the State of Colorado and the City of Denver. But, both states produce a great deal of Olympians.
Our bridges are intimidating
Colorado's most famous bridge isn't some budget-draining project like the Big Dig. It's the Royal Gorge Bridge. The Royal Gorge Bridge spans the Arkansas River at a height of 1,053 feet. The Big Dig is still tallying up the cost, but at recent check, it is going to cost about $22 billion including interest. The Royal Gorge Bridge cost $350,000 back in 1929. Adjusted for inflation, that is about $20 million. Even with renovations (totaling about $3 million), it's still a much cheaper project. Cheaper of course doesn't mean better. But beyond that, our bridge is very intimidating to cross.
On the sunny side of the street
All Colorado residents have heard it: Colorado gets 300 days of sunshine a year. Thought some climatologists refute that claim, it's still much sunnier in Colorado than it is in Massachusetts. Massachusetts receives about 50 inches of rain annually. Conversely, Colorado receives close to 15 inches of rain a year. Massachusetts state has its share of extreme weather, prone to nor'easters and to severe winter storms. Summers can bring thunderstorms, averaging around 30 days of thunderstorm activity per year. Thunderstorms are common east of the Continental Divide in the spring and summer, yet are usually brief. Massachusetts has had its share of destructive tornadoes, with the western part of the state slightly more vulnerable than coastal areas in the east. Massachusetts, like the entire United States eastern seaboard, is vulnerable to hurricanes. Extreme weather changes are common in Colorado, although the majority of extreme weather occurs in the least populated areas of the state. Funny enough, the forecasts for Denver and Foxboro (where the Pats actually play) is nearly identical, with highs in the 40s and a wintry mix.
Colorado invented the cheeseburger
What's more patriotic (see what I did there?) than the cheeseburger? The trademark for the name "Cheeseburger" was awarded in 1935 to Louis Ballast, who started slanging them at Denver's Humpty-Dumpty Drive-In. Of course, Massachusetts has their own claims to fame culinary wise, but when someone asks you to think of "American" food, you're most likely going to name a burger.
Just try and drive our roads
The highest paved road in North America is the Road to Mt. Evans off of Interstate 70 from Idaho Springs. The road climbs up to 14,258 feet above sea level. If we're going to compare roads, between the epic traffic on the Mass Pike or the extreme danger on Route 24 or the fact that Massachusetts drivers are consistently called the worst drivers in the country, it seems like New Englanders might be intimidated by our curvy, high-altitude routes.
I know what you're thinking. No, not that kind. We mean the state is literally high ... up. In fact, Colorado contains 75 percent of the land area of the U.S. with an altitude over 10,000 feet. The highest point in Massachusetts is Mount Greylock at 3,491 feet. Heck, our capital city is higher than that. In case you were curious, the highest point in Colorado is Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet above sea level. Good try, Mass.
Our people are nicer
There's a clever nickname for those who live in Massachusetts (we'll let you Google that on your own ... ) but the general reputation for Coloradans is positive. They're generally laid back and understanding and open minded. Maybe it's because Coloradans aren't always stuck in traffic or that the natural beauty of our state calms us. Whatever it is, Colorado is a nice place to live in where you will rarely encounter a rude resident.
But this whole article isn't meant to be mean. Heck, there are some things that draw Massachusetts and Colorado together. For instance, both states inspired really patriotic songs (Colorado was the inspiration for "America the Beautiful" and Massachusetts inspired "My Country 'Tis of Thee" -- though technically Samuel Francis Smith took the tune of "God Save the Queen" and just rewrote the lyrics ... but that's not the point. But when a game of this magnitude comes to the Centennial State, it's important to remember who wins no matter what: those who get to live in Colorado. Go Broncos!
*Editor's Note: The author of this article has lived in both Massachusetts and Colorado.*
(© 2016 KUSA)