All bets are on as the Mile High City anxiously awaits today's Super Bowl, when the Denver Broncos will face off against the Seattle Seahawks. Everyone from the mayors of the team's home cities to local zoos to Seattle and Denver firefighters have placed wagers on the game -- but not without some controversy. New Mexicans are mad that Mayor Michael Hancock wagered green chile -- which they consider one of their own state's claims to fame. And the Seattle Art Museum had to renege on the original terms of its bet, after angering a Native American tribe.
In a bet made this past Monday, Hancock and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray agreed to swap products from local businesses. If Denver loses, Hancock will send Murray green chile from several local businesses (although Little Anita's is actually a chain out of Albuquerque), as well as a sweatshirt, a hat and skis from Icelantic Skis. Hancock also agreed to auction off a Denver-themed item to support the Seattle-based Lifelong AIDS Alliance.
If the Broncos win, Murray will send Denver salmon, Dungeness crab, a bicycle from a Seattle shop and a piece of blown glass made by Dale Chihuly, the renowned artist who lives in Washington. He also promises to auction off another Chihuly work, and give the money to Denver's Road Home, this city's plan to end homelessness.
But another proposed art swap between the Denver Art Museum and the Seattle Art Museum landed the Seattle institution in some hot water. Under the original terms, if the Broncos won, SAM would have had to display "The Bronco Buster," a bronze by Frederick Remington from the DAM's collection, for three months. If the Seahawks won, DAM would have displayed a Native American piece that represented a seahawk -- a mythical bird -- until the Nuxalk Nation, which is based in British Columbia, complained that it was offensive to use a sacred object in such a swap. Instead, if Seattle wins, SAM will now loan DAM a piece called "Sound of Waves," a painted screen of an eagle. So far, there have been no complaints over a last-second wager between Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo and Denver Zoo. If the Broncos win, a curator from Woodland will hand-deliver a case of Washington apples to the Denver Zoo's Przewalski's horses (P-horse) and spend a day working with the horses and elephants wearing a Bronco jersey. Should the Seahawks win, Denver Zoo Curator of Birds John Azua will take a case of trout to Woodland Park Zoo for its sea eagles and spend a day working with the zoo's animals while sporting a Seahawk jersey. And there's more! Keep reading for other Seattle/Denver wagers. Denver International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport have agreed that the airport of the losing team will wave the victor's flag for 24 hours after the game.
Denver and Seattle firefighters made their own bet featuring Kidde's Worry-Free smoke alarms. Kidde will donate 250 of the alarms that can go ten years on the same battery to the fire department in the winning city.
Punch Bowl owner Robert Thompson and Alex Rosenast, the owner of Garage Billiards, a pool parlor and bowling alley in Seattle, have made another $1,000 bet for charity.
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And yes, other politicians have made bets.
If Seattle wins, Colorado Treasurer Walter Stapleton will send Washington Treasurer James McIntire some Colorado lamb chops, while if Denver wins, McIntire will send Washington salmon. The losing treasurer will also make a donation -- not from state coffers -- to a charity: Stapleton has chosen the Boys and Girls Club.
Colorado senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall both have bets on board, featuring such local products as Stranahan's whiskey and tamales, Celestial Seasonings Tea, Enstrom Toffee, Rocky Mountain oysters, sirloin steaks from Ranch Foods Direct, a six pack of Dry Dock beer and beer from Caution Brewery.
From the current issue: "Top twelve Broncos fans you've probably met"