Learning about regional rivalries is one of the best parts of visiting new places and meeting new people. What’s better than finding out that Michigan people and Ohio people hate one another? Or that southern California people forget northern California exists, and this drives northern California people crazy? Or that North Carolina and South Carolina fight about who gets to refer to themselves as “Carolina?” (Ed.: North Carolina. Obviously.)
Some of the most fun expressions of the regional pride underpinning these rivalries can be found in the friendly wagers that elected officials engage in when they’re facing one another for a big game, perhaps especially when that game is the Super Bowl. It’s one thing to trade a hatchet or a bell or an odd rock back and forth with your local rival, but when the competition is between two distinct regions of the country, the stage is big so mayors often get creative. Here’s a look back at some of the highlights of the past several years of Mayoral Super Bowl bets:
Super Bowl XLV (2011) — Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
“If the Steelers win, [Green Bay Mayor Jim] Schmitt will shovel snow from the walkway of a Steelers fan in Green Bay, while clad in Steelers attire. He’ll also fly the Pittsburgh city flag at Green Bay’s city hall for a day and send Mr. Ravenstahl a package of local food products. If the Packers win, [Pittsburgh Mayor Luke] Ravenstahl will shovel the walkway at St. Rosalia in Greenfield. That’s the family church of Pittsburgh-born Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Mr. Ravenstahl also will fly Green Bay’s flag at the City-County Building and donate Pittsburgh food to a Wisconsin food bank.”
Outcome: Ravenstahl shoveled the snow.
Super Bowl XLVI (2012) — New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
“If the Giants win, one New York City family will be chosen to get a super tour of Boston. The winning family will receive four roundtrip tickets on JetBlue, a two-night stay at the Ritz Carlton, dinner at Legal Seafoods Harborside and Top of the Hub, tickets to a show at the Citi Performing Arts Center, box seats to a Bruins or Celtics game, a Duck Tour ride, and tours of the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, personal diaries of John Adams and Samuel Adams Brewery. If the Patriots win, one Boston family will get four roundtrip tickets on the Delta Shuttle, a two-night stay at the Grand Hyatt, dinner at the Russian Tea Room and B Smith’s restaurant, club seats to a Rangers or Knicks game, tickets to the Phantom of the Opera, a ride with the captain on Statue Cruises to Liberty and Ellis Islands, and tours of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Brewery.”
Outcome: ALTTAB was unable to confirm that a family of New Yorkers was able to successfully complete a two-night stay in Boston.
Super Bowl XLVII (2013) — Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers
“The winning mayor will host the mayor from the losing team for an AmeriCorps Day of Service. In addition, the losing mayor will visit the [victor’s] local crab market, donning the jersey of the winning team and crack the region’s well known crustacean–Dungeness crab in San Francisco or blue crab in Baltimore.”
Super Bowl XLVIII (2014) — Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos
“[Denver Mayor Michael ] Hancock is wagering a sampling of Denver’s amazing green chile (it’s good luck!) from the following local, venerated restaurants: Jack -N- Grill, Little Anita’s, La Casita, The Original Chubby’s, El Taco De Mexico, and Brewery Bar. He also wagered a hoodie, ball cap and skis handmade by Denver’s locally grown Icelantic Skis. [Seattle Mayor Ed] Murray is wagering salmon and Dungeness crab, a road bike from Seattle’s Rodriguez Bicycles, and a piece of blown glass art by Seattle’s own Dale Chihuly.”
Outcome: New Mexicans, famous for their own green chiles, called shenanigans on Denver’s claim to the delicious plant and promptly sent both Seattle and Denver mayors care packages of the real stuff.
Super Bowl XLIX (2015) — New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks
“[Boston Mayor] Martin Walsh has refused an offer by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray to make a wager on the game…“Following two unsuccessful sports bets [2014 AFC Championship game when the Pats lost to the Broncos and the Boston Bruins’ 2014 playoff exit at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens] with other mayors, Mayor Walsh — a lifelong Patriots fan and season ticket holder — is forgoing a bet with Seattle for this year’s Super Bowl because he does not want to jinx his beloved Patriots,” spokeswoman Bonnie McGilpin said in a statement. So Murray has turned to another large New England city, striking a bet with Providence, R.I., Mayor Jorge Elorza.”
Outcome: Murray sent Elorza Northwest alder-smoked salmon from Pure Food Fish Market, whole bean coffees from the original Starbucks at Pike Place Market and a giant bag of Skittles. Skittles are the favorite snack of Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch.
— Andrew Augustus (@AndrewAugustus) February 12, 2015
Super Bowl L (2016) — Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers
“Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver and Mayor Jennifer Roberts of Charlotte agreed that the winning mayor would arrange for the mayor from the opposing team to participate in a day of volunteer service with AmeriCorps members.”
Outcome: Roberts picked up the trash.
Super Bowl LI (2017) — New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons
“Flowery Branch, GA, Mayor Mike Miller has placed a few local goods on the line against Foxboro, MA, Chairman David Feldman, including a Ricardo Allen jersey (a Falcon defender and Flowery Branch resident) to be worn at the next commission meeting…Should Atlanta lose, Miller will be forced to don a “Pats” jersey at his next public meeting.”
Outcome: Miller wore the Pats jersey.
Super Bowl LII (2018) — New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles
“If Philadelphia wins the big game, Brockton’s statue of the undefeated Marciano will be clad in Eagles gear. If New England wins, Philadelphia’s Rocky will wear Patriots attire.”
Outcome: We’ll find out February 4!
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