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There are sooo many high-profile Super Bowl bets between Philly and Kansas City

Two quarterbacks sitting on stools.
David J. Philip
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, right, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts speak to the media during the NFL football Super Bowl 57 opening night, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Phoenix. The Kansas City Chiefs will play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. (AP Photo/David J. Philip)

Mayors, senators, hospitals, zoos — everyone’s getting into the mix, with cheesesteaks, barbecue, and Poor Richard’s Almanack at stake.

This story originally appeared on Billy Penn.

What’s a Super Bowl without some friendly intercity competition?

As the Eagles gear up to play the Kansas City Chiefs in Arizona this Sunday, everyone from mayors to science museums is getting in on the trash-talking, “we’re gonna win” spirit of the Big Game.

Leaders from Philadelphia and Pennsylvania — and one from Delaware, too — are hitting up their Midwestern counterparts to put more than just pride on the line, and some of Philly’s major institutions and businesses are doing the same.

Over a dozen people and institutions are betting on the Birds and have placed high-profile wagers on the outcome of the game.

If the Eagles win, expect to see politicians and institutions around here collecting plenty of spoils from Missouri, from Kansas City-roasted coffee to the region’s signature barbecue. If it’s a loss, the Midwest will be blessed with all kinds of Philly swag — think cheesesteaks, pretzels, locally-brewed beer.

Some institutions are leaning into their own specialties: each of the two cities’ art museums are preparing to loan a masterpiece from their collection if their team loses, and research libraries in each city are doing something similar.

How are local people and places setting the stakes? Read on to find out.

Mayor Jim Kenney vs. Mayor Quinton Lucas: A pretty solid care package

Mayor Kenney is in line for a pretty sweet deal if the Eagles emerge victorious. If the Birds win, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has agreed to send him barbecue from Gate’s Bar-B-Q, Boulevard Beer, apparel from Charlie Hustle, coffee from The Roasterie, and snacks from Guy’s Snacks. Plus, Lucas will make a donation to the nutrition nonprofit MANNA.

If the Chiefs win, Lucas will get a taste of Down North Pizza and a six-pack of beer from Philadelphia Brewing Company, courtesy of Kenney. But it seems like what Lucas really wants for his city is a Wawa. (Alas, Missouri isn’t part of Wawa’s planned westward expansion.)

Philadelphia Museum of Art vs. the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art: A TBD masterwork

Philly’s and Kansas City’s major art museums are willing to put a loaned masterwork on the table as a bet on their respective city’s team — though neither has said which one they’ll send the other.

Gov. Josh Shapiro vs. Missouri and Kansas governors: Flags and food

Pennsylvania’s top executive is squaring off with not one, but two other governors.

Shapiro — who was born in Kansas City, but apparently doesn’t let that impact his sports loyalty — has sent an Eagles flag to Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who will hang it in his office all next week if the Eagles win. In return, Parson’s given him a Chiefs flag, which Shapiro will have to display for a week if the Chiefs bring home the Vince Lombardi Trophy. (Hopefully Shapiro can work from home if that happens.

It doesn’t end there, though: Shapiro has decided to “double down” by also making a bet with Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas. (The Chiefs are based out of Kansas City, Missouri — which directly borders a smaller city of the same name in Kansas, a state with plenty of Chiefs fans of its own.)

Shapiro’s wager: a Southeastern Pa. care package, including soft pretzels from Philly Style Hand-Twisted Soft Pretzel Bakery in Levittown, cheesesteaks from Tony Luke’s, and Eagles mini donuts from Collegeville Italian Bakery. Meanwhile, Kelly’s betting a shipment of Creekstone Farms Black Angus Beef and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds.

Philly Zoo vs. Kansas City Zoo: Statue dress-up

Eagles win and the Kansas City Zoo’s “Polar Mahomes” statue has to wear some Eagles gear. Chiefs win and the Philly Zoo’s elephant statue reps the Chiefs. Plus, the winner gets to pick an Association of Zoos & Aquariums anti-extinction program to receive a donation.

Rep. Dwight Evans vs. Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver II: Cheesesteaks or barbecue

The U.S. rep from Philly is squaring off with Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver II of Kansas City. Evans has promised a cheesesteak if the Chiefs win, and Cleaver has promised him some Kansas City barbecue if things go the other way.

“My colleague is from the ‘Show Me State,’” Evans said in a release, “and I can’t wait for him to show me the barbecue!”

The two House members are using the bet to draw attention to their common opposition to the FairTax Act of 2023, which would levy a national tax on both cheesesteaks and barbecue but is unlikely to become law.

Prosecutors: Swag from local and Black-owned businesses

Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker of Jackson County, Missouri, and District Attorney Mark A. Dupree Sr. of Wyandotte County, Kansas have promised some signature regional items — they didn’t specify what — to Philly DA Larry Krasner if the Eagles win. The DA from the losing city will also have to wear the opposing team’s logo to a community event.

Philadelphia Soccer 2026 vs. Kansas City World Cup 2026: $2,026 to youth programs

Philly and Kansas City have something else in common: they’re both host cities for the 2026 World Cup. The respective orgs spearheading each city’s planning efforts are each betting $2,026 on their teams. The loser will donate the money toward a youth program in the other city — Rebuild if the Eagles win, and children’s charity Variety KC if the Chiefs pull it off.

American Philosophical Society vs. Linda Hall Library: Historic books

The research library founded by Benjamin Franklin is confident that the Eagles will “Dewey decimate” the Chiefs this weekend. So much so that the American Philosophical Society is offering to loan its Kansas City counterpart one of its founder’s Poor Richard’s Almanacks if the Birds lose.

If the Eagles win, though, Kansas City’s Linda Hall Library will loan APS a first edition copy of Mary Sommerville’s “On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences,” a bestselling 19th-century book, for an upcoming APS exhibition on the history of women in science.

WHYY vs. KCUR: Food from ‘Joe’s’

Billy Penn’s parent company WHYY is making a bet of its own: Joe’s vs. Joe’s. Kansas City’s public radio station will send our newsroom some barbecue from Joe’s Kansas City BBQ — or KCUR will get cheesesteaks from Joe’s Steaks in Fishtown.

Yards Brewing Co. vs. Boulevard Brewing: Beer and local cuisines

Yards is betting on the Eagles. The local beermaker is hoping for some barbecue and beer from Boulevard Brewing if all goes well, and will send over some cheesesteaks and brew to their Kansas City counterpart if things don’t work out in Philly’s favor. The brewery from the winning city also gets to pick a local charity for the other to donate to.

Franklin Institute vs. Science City at Union Station: Yet another food bet, plus a sponsored school visit

The winning museum gets food (either barbecue or a cheesesteak) from the city that didn’t win. In addition, the museum from the losing team’s city will sponsor a school group visit in the name of the winning museum.

Sen. Chris Coons (of Delaware) vs. Sen. Jerry Moran (of Kansas): BBQ, beer, chicken wings

Two U.S. senators are betting on their favorite teams, but neither of them actually live in the teams’ home states. Coons and Moran say they live in the closest geographic proximity to the Eagles’ and Chiefs’ respective home stadiums of anyone else in the Senate.

Really? Yep. Pa.’s two senators live, respectively, in Scranton — 125 miles from Philly — and Braddock, 300 miles away. Wilmington, Delaware, meanwhile, is just 32 miles outside Philadelphia. Related: Coons’ seat used to be occupied by now-President Joe Biden, a Scranton native who’s been called “Pennsylvania’s third senator.”

An Eagles win means Coons’ office will get some barbecue, and a Chiefs win will grace Moran’s office with some Delaware delicacies: chicken wings from Walt’s Flavor Crisp Chicken Express, and Dogfish Head beer. Seems like everyone wins in the end, though: according to Coons’ office, the loser will serve their regional foods at an event for “Eagles and Chiefs fans from the regional delegations.”

Museum of the American Revolution vs. National World War I Museum: No bet, just trash talk, history nerd style

These two history museums haven’t made any kind of wager, but they have figured out how to mash up sports and military history disses.

Philly McDonald’s locations vs. KC McDonald’s locations: Drive-thru competition for charity

Forget about what happens on the field — the two McDonald’s markets are competing to see who can give customers the “fastest drive-thru experience” during Friday and Saturday’s lunchtime rush.

The winning city will secure a donation to its Ronald McDonald House Charities chapter, while a franchisee from the losing market will have to publicly don a jersey from the other city’s team and either run up the Rocky Steps (if KC wins) or do the “Dirty Bird” dance (if Philly does).

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia vs. Children’s Mercy Kansas City: Competition for donations

No wagers here, just a friendly fundraising contest. CHOP has been competing with Children’s Mercy Kansas City and the other two NFL teams in the final four to see who can raise the most money in the “Touchdown for Kids Health” challenge. Both institutions have already surpassed their $15k fundraising goals, but Children’s Mercy has so far raised almost twice as much as CHOP.

Philabundance vs. Harvesters Community Food Network: A ‘Huddle to End Hunger’

Instead of betting against each other, they’re looking to outdo each other in donations: Philly-area food bank and nonprofit Philabundance is competing with the Kansas City-area food bank Harvesters up until midnight on Sunday.

Asha Prihar is a general assignment reporter at Billy Penn. She has previously written for several daily newspapers across the Midwest, and she covered Pennsylvania state government and politics for The PLS Reporter in the fall of 2020. Asha graduated in 2021 from Yale University, where she majored in political science and served as managing editor of the Yale Daily News.
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