Last Sunday marked a win for the Seattle Seahawks in their championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, but there was a surprising group that benefited from that win as well: Seattle meal programs.
This is because the last few San Francisco mayors have made a tradition of trash talking with a purpose when it comes to the 49ers. For the last several years, Mayor Ed Lee and his predecessor Mayor Gavin Newsom have set up bets with mayors of other cities over the results of various 49er games—with the loser having to supply some of its signature food to the winner.
This year, however, the mayor’s office isn’t the only group that gets to share in the bounty. While Seattle Mayor Edward Murray and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee agreed to swap traditional signature foods (with Seattle supplying Molly Moon’s ice cream and Theo Chocolate, while San Francisco promised Mitchell’s ice cream, Poco Dolce chocolates, and Lefty O’Doul’s Bloody Mary mix), they also agreed to help raise money for charity in the other city—to the tune of $10,000 of support for meal programs for the winning city.
And it’s not just San Francisco and Seattle. The mayors of Boston and Denver made a similar wager on the AFC championship game, with the loser receiving either chocolate or green chili respectively. But with the Broncos win, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh will also be donating inscribed books from more than a dozen Boston authors to the Denver Public Library.
Even better, college football is getting into the game as well. In November, Mayor Bill Ham of Auburn and Mayor Walt Maddox of Tuscaloosa bet money on the Auburn University and University of Alabama Iron Bowl game. It wasn’t much—each mayor only promised $100, but Auburn’s Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County was likely happy to have it all the same.
If one thing is certain, however, it is that all this charity going around certainly gives us a good excuse to keep track of our local sports team.