Now that the gauntlet has been thrown down, or at least been placed authoritatively on the ground at the feet of our civic leaders, we will find out once and for all if the twin communities of Tampa and St. Petersburg are capable of working together as one.
It is reasonable to have some concerns or even doubts. It's not something that happens very often ... but it does happen.
The presence of bridges between the two cities indicates some level of cooperation has and continues to exist. And it's not like the two cities hate each other; it's just that each city just kind of refers to the other as "over there" and not "here."
Where does that come from? Government? Citizens? The fact that there's a relatively small and easy to navigate body of water serving as a natural boundary between the two?
How do other twins go about their business when they need to get something done?
Minneapolis and St. Paul (they are in Minnesota, way up past the Florida-Georgia border and a bit to the west): These are the best-known "Twin Cities." These two are in a near-constant state of sibling rivalry, stemming from how each views the other.
St. Paul considers themselves a city of working class people, while Minneapolis is home to bourgeois elitists. Minneapolis sees itself as vibrant and cosmopolitan, teeming with art and culture, while St. Paul is a nearby town.
As a result, Minneapolis is home to the Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves and Wild.
Meanwhile, St. Paul has an independent Northern League franchise, the Saints, a team that routinely pokes fun at whatever is going on in Minneapolis (and Major League Baseball).
Benton Harbor and St. Joesph (they are in Michigan, way up past the Florida-Georgia border and slightly off to the west): I was born and raised in Benton Harbor, so I'm personally familiar with this relationship.
What's interesting to note here is the extreme differences in racial demographics; Benton Harbor's population is over 90 percent African American while St. Joesph's is about 90 percent Caucasian. These two cities get along about as well as you'd expect (okay, maybe not quite that well).
Ulm and Neu-Ulm (they are in Germany, and you need a boat to get there:
"We were here first" -- Ulm.
"Were not!" -- Neu Ulm.
"Were too!" -- Ulm.
Rome (we're gonna need another boat): One city, but two founders: twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who were raised by a she-wolf after being abandoned in the woods by their uncle.
You'd think that after overcoming something like that, the boys would be able to work through any other difficulties they may encounter. Not so.
They had some disagreement in the initial planning stages of the city, as in where it should exist and what to call it. Arbitration didn't really work out, so Romulus ended up killing Remus and named the city after himself.
The ballpark is still in Rome but hasn't had a major league tenant in a very long time.
Ronde and Tiki (They are both Barbers): Aside from their collaborations in children's literature, the nature of these two twins' business when they "worked together" required them to bash into each other at high speeds.
Logan and Noah (They are both Millers): Twin brothers who grew up dreaming of playing baseball fell short of their ultimate goal.
However, when their father, a homeless alcoholic, died alone in jail in 2006, they pledged to tell his story in a major motion picture starring Ed Harris.
In spite of (or, in some cases, because of) having no film making experience ... or money ... whatsoever, they completed and released the film "Touching Home" in 2008.
So see? It can be done.