The Broncos loss to the Ravens in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs didn’t just hurt, it was embarrassing.
Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock is too well aware of that.
Hancock and Baltimore’s Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake put a friendly wager on that game, and he finally made good on his side of the bet. The Mile High City’s mayor showcased Tuesday a disgruntled, but eerily precise, enthusiastic and overall impressive Ray Lewis pregame dance from his office.
The wager began over a phone call several days before the game. The first stipulation was that the mayor of the losing team, besides being stuck with thousands of sad and irratated citizens, would have to pay up with a food unique to their city.
Rawlings-Blake would send a platter of broiled crab cakes from J. W. Faidley Seafood in Baltimore’s historic Lexington Market if the Ravens lost. If the Broncos lost, Hancock agreed to send a box of dry aged “cowboy cut” rib eye steaks from Lombardi Brothers Meats. The delicacy gamble wasn’t the main worry.
The second was the more prominent condition of the bet.
If the Broncos lost, Hancock had to perform the signature Ray Lewis pregame dance to honor the long-tenured Baltimore linebacker. If the Ravens had lost, Rawlings-Blake would have to order that Baltimore’s historic Washington Monument be bathed in blue and orange light.
Hancock was confident going in, and rightly so. His Broncos had won eleven consecutive games on their way to the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. “Denver is looking forward to an exciting game with the Ravens, and I expect an Orange Wave to come out on top at the end of the fourth quarter,” Hancock said during the conversation with Rawlings-Blake.
But the Broncos lost, and Hancock, being a good sport, had to pay up.