New Orleans: It has “soul”, which is what white people call character, if character is infused with voodoo, jazz and dark skin. The Big Easy is rife with flaws, some merely depressing but most at least interesting. The city also has a compelling redemption story, which is linked inextricably to art forms, cuisine and other cultural rituals that either originated in or have come to define it. The locals also bond tightly over the Saints, a team whose rise would parallel their own, if only New Orleans got good as quickly as the Saints have.
Indianapolis: It has a good football team, which is celebrated by the local populace by appropriating another region’s signature icons and culture because Indianapolis lacks one of its own. Wave those Terrific Towels, everybody! You’re the 12th Man! A chain restaurant of your choice wants to host your Super Bowl party! They got sliders!
There may very well be less desirable places to live than Indianapolis, but you’d be hard pressed to find one that’s more bland or nondescript. For God’s sake, their governor is wagering that infernal shrimp cocktail AGAIN!
Meanwhile, the cities’ respective art museums (surprisingly, Indy’s isn’t only filled with TGI Friday’s wall decor) are engaged in an escalation of pretentious wagers during the early run-up to the championship. I think the New Orleans museum is just baiting Indy until they put up the world’s biggest ball of takeout menus.