There are few things that go together better than betting and football.
The thrill of winning and the agony of defeat are always amplified if you've got some skin in the game. When your team wins, it's awesome but when they also beat the spread, it's a thing of beauty.
That isn't to imply that the only things one can wager on a football game are dollars and cents. The best bets usually have something more important at stake--pride.
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Think back to that time you bet your multi-millionaire brother a dollar that you could turn Eddie Murphy into a successful commodities trader. Was it even really about the money? No, no it wasn't.
Watching your favorite team suffer a heartbreaking loss is bad enough, but when it's compounded with having to do something humiliating as a result, that's one game you're going watch in its entirety--no matter how hard you want to change the channel and watch the Puppy Bowl instead.
For example, it's a long-standing tradition that the mayors of various cities make a friendly wager when their teams play each other. It promotes civic friendship and the lighthearted nature of the bets prevent the cities' chief executives from putting major landmarks on the line--although it would have been awesome if New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu had to relocate the French Quarter to the Outer Sunset after the 49ers beat the Saints last weekend.
For Sunday's NFC title game between the Giants and 49ers, if San Francisco wins, New York Mayor Michel Bloomberg will temporarily rename Manhattan's 49th Street "49ers Street" and express mail SF Mayor Ed Lee one dozen, genuine New York City bagels direct from Bagel Oasis in Queens. If the Giants win, Lee will drape one of the famous Powell Street Cable Cars in Giants flags for a day and send Bloomberg a loaf of sourdough bread.
Apparently Lee also wanted a 49ers victory to entail Bloomberg renaming New York City to Jed York City after 49ers President Jed York. But alas, the deal fell though.
Similarly, each city's respective iconic craft breweries are also getting into the act. Depending on who wins, either Anchor Brewing Company or Brooklyn Brewery will have to pour the other's beer in their taproom for a full week.
While these bets are well and good, we think two of America's finest cities can do better. Here are some other NY vs. SF bets we'd like to see: