Dear mayors of Green Bay and Pittsburgh: Please, no lame wagers
Image Credit: Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images; Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesWith their victories yesterday, the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers advanced to the Super Bowl, setting up a dream match-up between two of the NFL’s traditional powerhouses. Unfortunately, the teams don’t kick-off in Dallas until Feb. 6, leaving us two weeks of doldrums where the sports media grasps wildly for any semi-game-related non-story. My favorite of those is the traditional wager between the mayors of the competing teams. First of all, it’s always great theater when politicians pretend to be sports fans. Secondly, the stakes are never particularly worth winning. Last year, New Orleans’ mayor put up a care package of music CDs and Bourbon Street appetizers for his Saints, while the mayor of Indianapolis countered with some high-end shrimp cocktail for his Colts. (Because that’s really what the folks in Nawlins crave — shrimp from Indianapolis.) Rah-rah. So don’t be surprised later this week when Pittsburgh’s Luke Ravenstahl puts up a case of Steel City brew against Green Bay’s Jim Schmitt’s cheese-related product.
For once, I’d like these pols to put up something of real value. Shrimp? A music mix? I mean, do they have any confidence in their squad or not? Instead, the mayors should raise the stakes and enlist some of their famous fans. For example, if the Packers win, historian and nostalgic-voice-of-authority David McCullough — born and raised in Pittsburgh — should have to narrate a documentary about Packers fan Larry the Cable Guy. If the Steelers win, noted Green Bay fan Lil Wayne should have to sample Steelers superfan Hank Williams Jr. on his next album. These are bets with real pop-cultural ramifications!
So I open the floor to Cheeseheads and SteelerNation: What famous fan or local celebrity are you willing to wager on the outcome of the Super Bowl?