A pizza chain and sports league clash on the field of social media.

It’s a rivalry that has been brewing for decades. Two entities have stared at each other from their respective markets, eager to determine once and for all which one is best. Now they have met in a cataclysmic struggle that will shake the very foundations of pizza and football for years to come.

I’m talking of course about the Battle The Rice Bowl, which should probably be phrased “Battle for the Rice Bowl” or “Battle of the Rice Bowls” but who has time for grammar with all this competition going on! As the name doesn’t quite suggest, Domino’s Pizza and Japan’s professional American football league the X-League are competing for the honor of having the greatest Rice Bowl in the country.

In one corner we have the Pizza Rice Bowl from Domino’s Japan. These are bowls of buttery rice served with mozzarella cheese and various pizza toppings. Released in May of this year, it was touted as “the ultimate collaboration between pizza and Japanese food.”

And in the other corner is the X-League, the highest league of professional American football in Japan dating back to 1971. Every 3 January the X-League holds its own Rice Bowl, which is the championship game among its top tier X1 Super teams.

When considering the tale of the tape in this matchup it’s important to know these entities might be surprisingly different from how people in their originating country of the USA, or elsewhere, might view them. For example, Domino’s Pizza in Japan offers a remarkably different product than its US counterpart, not only in varieties available, but general quality which is truly a cut above.

▼ We felt their Tom Yum Goong pizza could have used some cilantro, but was still really great

And while the X-League is immensely overshadowed by the NFL, and even the CFL for that matter. It’s worth noting that the Japan national team has finished in the top three in every American Football World Cup since its inception in 1999 – being second and third only to the USA and Canada – thanks in large part to players from the X-League.

However, Domino’s has a considerable brand name advantage, which immediately makes the X-League underdogs in this competition. A series of videos have been posted on YouTube in which the two Rice Bowls are weighed in five categories: “Speed,” “Japan,” “Hotness,” “Brains,” and “Total Coolness Degree.” In each video a team of five Domino’s employees face off against a crew of three X-League players and two cheerleaders, all stating their case for being superior in each category.

▼ The first video that pits Domino’s and the X-League against each other in terms of “Speed”

After studying all five videos, informed voters are then asked to go to the Domino’s Japan Twitter feed and vote for the best Rice Bowl. As we can see, this also gives Domino’s a considerable home-field advantage over the X-League and it shows in preliminary results that have the pizza chain ahead 74.5 to 25.5 percent.

▼ Votes for Domino’s Rice Bowl (cyan), and for the X-League Rice Bowl (magenta)

However, voting will remain open until 5 January which is a mere two days after the 2022 Rice Bowl between the Panasonic Impulse and Fujitsu Frontiers. Although this is the first year that the bowl game changed its format from a “collegiate vs pro” match to an X1 Super championship, the Rice Bowl has attracted crowds of up to 30,000 in the past.

And that could very well give the X-League the fourth-quarter momentum it needs to steal the win. In fact, I’m going to break with journalistic impartiality and put my full weight behind the X-League too. The main reason is that it has the best team names of any major professional sports league in the world, but don’t take my word for it. Just ask the Asahi Soft Drink Challengers, Sony Solidstate, Club Barbarian, IBM Big Blue, Osaka Gas Skunks, or Tokyo Gas Creators.

▼ It’s because the Creators are owned by the company Tokyo Gas, but we can still dream…

Meanwhile, let’s face it. Domino’s Rice Bowls are really just nothing more than doria, which – although very tasty – are just a common Japanese dish that’s like a cross between gratin and rice pilaf. I really don’t like calling Domino’s out like that, but there’s a lot on the line here.

However, it’ll be up to the voters to decided once and for all which Rice Bowl is best, and 10 lucky voters will receive a prize set consisting of five free pizza coupons, autographs by X-League MVPs, and an original X-League hand towel and face mask.

▼ You can vote by clicking on one of the links at the bottom of the tweet (Top = Domino’s, Bottom = X-League). This will automatically generate a tweet for your account to post and be counted as a vote

So get out there an let your voice be heard, and for all you out there thinking Yoshinoya should win, they don’t use the English term “rice bowls” like Domino’s Japan does. Rather, Yoshinoya calls its rice balls by the Japanese word “donburi“, which means it’s automatically disqualified for, by the terms of this contest, the personal foul of illegal linguistic formation.

Source: Twitter/@dominos_JP, PR Times
Top image: PR Times
Insert images: SoraNews24, PR Times
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