It's Betting Season for America's Mayors

This football season, some go all in

Image

Around playoff time, mayors tend to get real cute.

It’s become a sort of unofficial tradition for cities facing each other in football games to make little bets over the outcome. Before Pittsburgh and Denver faced each other earlier this week, the mayors of those two cities made a friendly bet - the losing mayor had to "Tebow" for cameras.

Pittsburgh lost the game, and as a result, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl agreed to don the jersey of Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and to take a knee in a praying pose that’s become Tebow’s much-publicized pregame ritual. "This is not something I ever thought I’d have to do, and it’s certainly not something I’m looking forward to," Ravenstahl said in a statement.

There are likely other gambles in the offing. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is reportedly cooking up a wager with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino over the Broncos’ upcoming game against the New England Patriots this Saturday. The Denver Post reports that Hancock suggested that Menino send over New England lobster if the Broncos win. If they don't, he’ll offer up some Colorado beef.

Another face-off this weekend, between the San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints, has San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee in the betting mood. According to the San Francisco Examiner, Lee is willing to offer New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu a prize of Dungeness crab, Ghirardelli chocolate, sourdough bread and "maybe some regional wine" if the Saints prevail.

He says he’d be willing to accept some crawfish if the 49ers win, but hasn’t yet heard back from Landrieu.

Image of Tim Tebow courtesy of Reuters

About the Author

  • Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.