One city wore red, the other pale blue. One was recognized throughout the world, the other preferred to be known by true fans alone. One gloried in the adoration it received, the other despised them for it and called them false.
One city claimed it truly represented the location, had the best men and the most beautiful women, the cleverest leaders and most spectacular buildings. It had more followers and believers, though few lived close to the city. This city liked to be seen by others and liked to be noticed. This city was perhaps a little superficial, more interested in appearances than words and deeds.
The other city made no such claims, for it did not need to. This city did represent the local people who lived there about. They too had good men and lovely women and smart leaders and fancy buildings, but this city chose not to make these things the focus of everything. This city liked to do and say, rather than see and be seen.
Twice every year, the two rivals for the title of The City came together to do battle. The red city paid handsomely for men to join their team and to do their all to win the honours of the day. Those men wanted to be in the red team because they were well paid and recognized around the world. The blue city had men who wanted to win for the people. They knew that the people deserved a team of whom they could be proud and a team who rewarded their support with loyalty and skill, not showmanship and disinterest.
Sometimes the red team won and sometimes the blue team won, but the battles were always keenly fought. Memories lasted long after the field had cleared and local pride was strong, even when red beat blue.
When the red team won, people across the world were happy. When the blue team won, the real people of Manchester city beamed with pleasure for days.