One of the few things as American as football is government officials betting on the outcome of the games. Mayors of the cities that are represented in the Super Bowl have bet on the big game for the last 10 years, and, not surprisingly, nine of those wagers included food (the only time it did not was Super Bowl XLIII between the Cardinals and the Steelers, when the mayors bet the planting of native trees).
The mayoral bet on this year’s Super Bowl between the Giants and Patriots is the second wager for New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino, who made a huge bet when their cities’ teams faced off in Super Bowl XLII in early 2008. This year the mayors are betting a slew of prizes that boast the best that their cities have to offer, including four tickets on JetBlue, a two-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton, dinner for four at Legal Harborside, dinner for four at the Top of the Hub restaurant, and four box seats at a Bruins or Celtics game at the TD Garden if the Giants win; and four tickets on the Delta Shuttle, a two-night stay at the Grand Hyatt, dinner for four at the newly reopened Russian Tea Room, lunch or dinner for four at B. Smith’s restaurant, and four club seats at a Rangers or Knicks game if the Patriots win.
When mayors make these bets, it’s not just pride on the line — it’s the best of what their cities have to offer. Here’s a small taste: deep-dish pizza and a whole pig from Chicago, Larry’s Smokehouse Salmon from Seattle, dinner at Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, Fla., a tray of cookies from the now-closed T.J.’s Gingerbread House in Oakland, Calif., pierogis and kielbasa from Bloomfield Bridge Tavern in Pittsburgh, and much, much more. Spoiler alert: Because the Patriots have been in four Super Bowls in this stretch, there is enough Boston cuisine wagered (but only lost once) to feed half of Fenway Park.