While the San Francisco 49ers head to Atlanta, Georgia, to prepare for Sunday’s NFC Championship game against their rival, the Atlanta Falcons, both cities are gearing up for what promises to be an exciting game day, especially for the mayors of both cities who have placed a friendly wager of their own – on their own home NFL team. Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Mathews and Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller are preparing a home team lineup of their own – of Peanuts characters, bobble heads and Wrigley’s chewing gum, that is – for a game they are equally confident they'll win come Sunday.
Mayor Mathews and Mayor Miller have placed this friendly wager on Sunday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons competing for the NFC Championship title – doubling the fun with the payoff not just for the win, but for a case of Wrigley’s chewing gum offered by Mayor Miller, countered by a basket filled with Peanuts character plush toys and bobble heads offered by an equally humorous Mayor Mathews. Adding to to the sweet stakes, both mayors have agreed to wear the opposing team’s football jersey to their next city council meeting should their team lose.
Apparently, it was Mayor Miller who first placed the wager and offered to Mayor Mathews a case of Wrigley’s chewing gum should the SF 49ers win Sunday’s game, and with Wrigley’s largest plant in the United States located in his city, it was an easy promise to make. Wrigley’s is known for assorted gum, mints and confections including Doublemint, Skittles, Altoids and Life Savers – although Mayor Miller's double meaning behind his choice of chewing gum as a wager was not mistaken, nor was the humor behind “double the fun.”
Mayor Mathews countered Mayor Miller with a basket filled with “Peanuts” plush toys, consisting of Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Woodstock, all of whom roam the grounds of Santa Clara’s popular theme park, California’s Great America, along with popular bobble heads should the Falcons win. Although why Mathews countered with “Peanuts” characters might be a bit more obscure than Miller's reasoning.
"It may seem ironic to send 'Peanuts' to Georgia, but I don't think Flowery Branch is going to get the gift. Like Lucy, the 49ers are going to snatch the ball away from the Falcons and take it into the end zone," said Mayor Matthews, "I'm looking forward to doubling the pleasure and doubling the fun of the Super Bowl with a victory stick of Wrigley's gum."
Mayor Miller, expects a much different outcome on the scoreboard come Sunday, stating that “Santa Clara will have a lot to chew on when the 49ers lose on Sunday, but it won't be with our gift of gum. We may be known for southern hospitality, but the 49ers are not going to like the welcome they receive on the field of the Georgia Dome."
Although both mayors may have a disagreement as to the final outcome of Sunday’s game, both are in full agreement when it comes to their communities and their claim to the hard work that brought their teams to the championship level they are at; both should equally share in the victory celebration with bragging rights.
Santa Clara, about 40 miles north of San Francisco, has been the home of the 49ers headquarters and training facility since February 1987. The new San Francisco 49er stadium is under construction in Santa Clara and scheduled to open for the 2014 NFL season.
Such a wager may come as a surprise to some – but like any lightheartedness between two cities who care about their communities, it is about bringing an awareness and a much needed showing of camaraderie between two towns vying for the same title not only highlighting the journey of reaching that point; but knowing that regardless of who wins Sunday’s game, both absolutely deserve to be in this position now. Wishing both teams (and mayors) much luck come Sunday.
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For more information on the SF 49ers visit the SF 49er website.
For more information on the Atlanta Falcons visit the Falcon website.
Sunday’s game to be aired at 3 p.m. (ET) on Fox TV, at Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA.
(Note: A special good luck to the SF 49ers as I happen to be a 49er faithful. Predictions from the pros seem to be about 50/50, for a very close game (within 3 points).
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