The big game might be the only occasion when our public leaders openly gamble. Even the Colorado state treasurer put up a bet last week.
Because the Broncos lost, he’ll send some Colorado lamb chops to his counterpart up north.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has to give up some Colorado beef stakes, thanks to a bet he made with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on the Colbert Report last week.
Hancock will also send Murray a pair of handmade skis from Denver’s locally grown Icelantic Skis to be auctioned off for charity, and a sampling of green chile from Denver.
The chile bet has drawn ire from New Mexico. Many New Mexicans took to social media to explain why their state is the green chili capital of the U.S.
And then, in a strange twist, officials in Pueblo asked Gov. John Hickenlooper to defend Colorado’s claim to green chile. According to the Pueblo Chieftan, Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rod Slyhoff asked Hickenlooper to “join his call for a cook-off between Pueblo and New Mexico at next fall’s Chile and Frijoles Festival.”
For public officials, betting on football isn’t new: In 1999, Colorado’s then-governor Bill Owens won a weekend on the Jersey Shore when the Broncos beat the Jets in a playoff game.
But this year, cultural institutions and social service groups got in on it, too.
The Denver Art Museum will soon be missing an iconic piece of Western art: Frederic Remington’s The Broncho Buster sculpture, modeled in 1895 and cast by 1902. DAM is loaning the piece to the Seattle Art Museum for three months.
The Seattle museum first offered up a 19th-century Nuxalk First Nations forehead mask that resembles a raven’s head. But a representative of the Nuxalk First Nation took issue with it, saying the mask is a sacred ceremonial object. The Seattle Art Museum replaced the mask with the screen for the wager.
CPR’s Jay Keller made his own wager with Seattle-area public radio station KUOW on the public radio program Here & Now and now must honor the bet.
For more on local Super Bowl bets this year, see this list.