Arbitrary Rivalry Wednesday: DEN vs DFW

by J.R.

With NBC declaring Hump Day as Rivalry Wednesday and then determining what is and isn’t a rivalry seemingly at random — tonight Auld Enemies Minnesota and Detroit hook up for the 46th time! — III Communication will feature a true Conference III rivalry each and every Wednesday in Arbitrary Rivalry Wednesday Powered By Corporate Champions Wal-Mart Brand Frozen Peas.

Today, in honor of the real on-ice rivalry on the schedule, III Communication invites into the arena the Denver International Airport and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Throw out the record books — we’re doing this III Communication style.





Traditional Metrics: Denver International Airport (IATA Code: DEN) opened in 1995, 16 months behind schedule, at a cost of $4.8 billion, $2 billion over budget. At 53 square miles, it is the largest airport in the United States and its Runway 16R/34L is the longest public-use runway in the U.S. In 2011, it served nearly 53 million passengers, making it the world’s 11th busiest airport.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW) opened in 1973. It comes in at a paltry 28.2 square miles, but still the country’s second-largest. In 2011, it served 57.8 million passengers and finished as the world’s eighth busiest airport.

Verdict: The flashy newcomer is twice as large as its older rival and still had 4 million fewer passengers. Maybe it has more upside — the mainstream media hacks at Time declared Denver the Best Run Airport — but the wily old vet knows the game. Advantage: DFW.

Advanced Analytics: For this we turn to the number crunchers at Yelp. Both Denver and Dallas come in at 3.5 stars, seemingly a tie, but using just that raw number is like comparing players using Corsi and not even considering their zone starts.

Dallas benefits a bit from small sample size, with just 778 reviews compared to Denver’s 998. Looking at the “rating details” tab shows both DEN and DFW have a plurality of 4-star ratings, but in the 30-day weighted average, DEN is on the rise while tried and true DFW has been steady (except for a serious dip in January).

But, as we know, these advanced numbers are nothing without scouts to evaluate them.

Yelper Eliot J. on DFW:

Great airport. The interior is very modern and full of nice shops, but on the outside, it’s not as nice.

Yelper Mark C. on DEN:

7am flight, 2 senior citizens, 2 kids under 4, 2 parents of said children, arrived 45 minutes before the flight with checked baggage needs.

We made our flight. You make the call hot shot… is that an efficient airport?

Verdict: We will make the call, hot shot. It is an efficient airport. Advantage: DEN

Conference III Connectivity: What good’s an airport if it can’t get you to the other six cities in Conference III, all beautiful in their own way sort of? Being major hubs, both DEN and DFW provide plenty of non-stop options to the other cities in the Conference III heptarchy — with one exception. You can’t get from Dallas to Winnipeg non-stop. You have to go through Denver which offers two daily non-stop United/Air Canada flights to the Gem of Manitoba.

Verdict: No question. Advantage: DEN

Strangest Destination (besides Winnipeg): In Conference III, we know sometimes it’s advantageous to get out of town fast and to get to the weirdest place possible to avoid a dangerous criminal, the prying eyes of the CIA or a subpoena from your former employer’s corporate counsel. Denver offers twice daily non-stop service to McCook, Neb. (population: 7,698) home of George Norris, a guy who sat in Congress for 40 years and was a progressive Republican who championed the TVA while in the U.S. Senate (Thanks for the cheap electricity from Nashville!).

From DFW, American offers eight daily non-stops to the city Jon Stewart once called the “third most glamorous city in Louisiana”: Shreveport, where you can gamble and visit the Independence Bowl.

Verdict: Unless McCook is a refuge for these so-called progressive New Deal supporting Republicans and has been hording them to unleash upon us all like Dr. Moreau and his weird humanoid animals, it’s hard not to give this to the city which hosts a bowl game once sponsored by Poulan Weed-Eaters (Private to Poulan: If you are interested in getting back into the sponsorship game, our contact email is available on the About page). Advantage: DFW.

Wild Card: In 2005, DFW debuted SkyLink, an automated people-mover with 64 trains, running every two minutes, traveling at 35 miles an hour, connecting disparate parts of the airport with the longest trip coming in at nine minutes tops. The key feature is that, unlike the previous system, it is completely behind security. No need to go through pesky TSA scans a second time!

Meanwhile, Denver is the center of one of the most bizarre conspiracy theories ever forced into existence by the addled minds of failed hockey bloggers.

From Skeptoid, a snippet:

The Illuminati appear to have detailed their plans for global genocide and a New World Order in two large murals. The first depicts a huge Nazi soldier with dead women and children scattered around him, and the second shows Third World populations dying, a few elite species protected from the apocalypse in sealed containers, and the Mayan symbol for 2012 presiding over all. In the floor near the murals is written “Au Ag”, the abbreviation for the deadly toxin Australia Antigen, evidently the Illuminati’s weapon of choice to accomplish the genocide. On other places, strange words in an unknown (possibly alien) language are written on the floors (“DZIT DIT GAII” and others). Most telling of all is the granite monument that the airport claims is a time capsule. It’s emblazoned with the symbol of the Freemasons, well known among conspiracy theorists to be a major arm of the Illuminati, and engraved with the words “New World Airport Commission”. And finally, the Queen of England, another alleged Illuminatus, has been secretly and anonymously buying up the property surrounding the airport.

Sidenote: when I lived in Newquay, Cornwall, my apartment sat on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, so technically my landlord was Kate Middleton’s father-in-law.

Verdict: As cool as automated transportation is — and it really does sound quite convenient — that conspiracy theory is the top. If only Man-Toad Gary Bettman and his devious anti-Canuckian conspiracy made the mural. Advantage: DEN

FINAL JUDGEMENT: It was close, but congratulations to the Mile High City, her Avalanche and her airport for winning the first ever edition of all-time of Arbitrary Rivalry Wednesday Powered By Corporate Champions Wal-Mart Brand Frozen Peas.