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The best Super Bowl wagers: Philly orchestra recruits Steve Martin, oldest high schools, Rocky statue

From the Rocky statue to lots of beer, the Super Bowl means high stakes for Philly businesses and officials.

Mayor Kenney (right) and Bill Carpenter, mayor of Brockton, Mass., have made a Super Bowl bet involving each city’s Rocky statue.
Mayor Kenney (right) and Bill Carpenter, mayor of Brockton, Mass., have made a Super Bowl bet involving each city’s Rocky statue.Read more@MayorBillCarp on Twitter

There's a lot at stake for New Englanders and Philadelphians come Super Bowl LII — we're talking beer, donuts and even the Rocky statue.

Aside from the wager you might be making with your cousin from Amherst, a number of businesses and politicians are going public with some wild bets on who will win the Super Bowl: the Philadelphia Eagles, or New England Patriots.

Here's a running list to make sure those New Englanders put their money where their mouths are come Feb. 4:

Musical challenge

The Philadelphia Orchestra is enlisting Steve Martin's help in its Super Bowl bet against the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

In a video announcing the wager Thursday, Philly music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin said the orchestra head in the losing city must wear the winner's jersey to an upcoming rehearsal.

Banjo-wielding actor and musician Steve Martin helped the group relay the message while playing a bit of the "Fly Eagles Fly" song. (The orchestra also recorded a version of the fight song after the Eagles clinched a playoff berth in December.)

"I'm not wearing a jersey, I'm just here," Martin, who recently dazzled audiences as a guest at a recent Academy of Music Anniversary Concert and Ball, said in the video.

Council conflict

Council presidents in Philly and Boston are putting some of their respective regions' favorite eats on the line ahead of Sunday's match-up.

If the Eagles lose, Philadelphia Council President Darrell Clarke will send Boston Council President Andrea Campbell a few cheesesteaks from Jim's Steaks, a butter cake from Flying Monkey Bakery, goodies from Mueller Chocolate Co., brews from Old City Coffee, hand pies from Beiler's Bakery and more.

If the Patriots lose, Campbell will hand over some cannolis and other treats from Boston's Mike's Pastry.

"Once again, the oddsmakers are betting against the Philadelphia Eagles," Clarke said in a statement. "But as the Minnesota Vikings learned: If you disrespect us, you'd best expect us."

Priceless paintings

The heads of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Arts in Boston are putting some pretty priceless works on the line.

If the Eagles bring Philadelphia its first Vince Lombardi Trophy, the Boston institution will loan its 18th-century painting Mrs. James Warren (Mercy Otis) by John Singleton Copley to Philadelphia. If the Eagles lose, the PMA is prepared to loan out its 19th-century painting titled Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky by Benjamin West.

"These choice works selected for the wager are exceptional paintings within the collections at their respective museums, both evocative of the historical significance of their home cities," the PMA said in a news release.

Godly wager

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Archdiocese of Boston are going head-to-head for a good cause.

If the Eagles win, Boston's Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley will donate $100 to Saint John's Hospice, a Catholic social services shelter based in Center City. If the Patriots bring home a victory, Archbishop Charles Chaput will donate $100 to Catholic Charities Boston, a social services organization in Boston. A cheesesteak and lobster are at stake, too.

"Each year the Super Bowl is viewed by millions of people throughout the world," the two said in a joint statement. "In the spirit of friendly competition, we have issued our wager because we have confidence in our teams and, more importantly, based on our admiration for the commitment of the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots to assist their local communities and respond to the needs of the less fortunate."


Six zoos between Philadelphia and Boston are betting actual kids.

The three zoos in each region — all six are a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums — have wagered that the CEOs cheering on the defeated team will have to dress in the winning team's garb, clean an animal exhibit and donate $1,000 to a charity of his or her choosing.

In addition, if the Eagles win, Zoo New England in Boston will have to name its next-to-be-born goat "Foles," after Nick Foles, while the Philadelphia Zoo will have to name its next goat "Brady," after Tom Brady, if the Patriots are victorious.

"We are excited for the Eagles to face off against the Patriots this coming Sunday at Super Bowl LII. This team is the definition of hard work, determination and perseverance, all attributes needed to bring Philadelphia its first Super Bowl win. We look forward to cheering them to victory," Vikram H. Dewan, the Philadelphia Zoo's president and CEO, said in a statement.

The Elmwood Park Zoo in Montgomery County, the Lehigh Valley Zoo as well as Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo and Providence's Roger Williams Park Zoo are also participating in the competition.

Benjamin Franklin takes on John Adams

If the Eagles lose on Sunday, it's back to Boston for Benjamin Franklin. Well, kind of.

The American Philosophical Society will loan Boston's American Academy of Arts and Sciences John Adams' copy of The Defense of Constitutions if the Patriots win. If the team loses, the AAAS will send the APS the manuscript pages of Franklin's electrical discoveries.

If the Patriots win, the Old City-based American Philosophical Society will loan its John Adams copy of The Defense of Constitutions to Boston's American Academy of Arts and Sciences. If the Eagles are victorious, the Boston institution will send the philosophical society manuscript pages of Franklin's electrical discoveries.

"While the APS has most of Franklin's writings, this is one piece we do not have – but would love to have," the society said in an email.

Art contest

If the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, it'd be music to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts' ears.

The organization challenged The Boch Center in Boston to a "trash-talk fueled" bet ahead of Sunday's game.

"Art and football typically don't cross paths but the City of Brotherly Love is different than most cities. So… we are challenging New England's largest cultural venue with a friendly wager," Kimmel Center President and CEO Anne Ewers said in a news release. "Our staff is uniting to prove that Philly is better than Beantown. We have the best city and the best fans and our staff is eager to support the Eagles!"

The performing arts center in the losing city will have to buy the winners either cheesesteaks or lobster rolls, post a public photo of its staff wearing the other team's colors and show off the winning mascot on its signage.

Taking a walk down Broad Street this week? Look up — the center is now displaying a "Go Eagles" banner.

Making history

In a one-day only event Monday, the 13-star flag hanging at the Betsy Ross House at Third and Arch Streets was replaced with one showing off the hometown team. Ross led a crowd in singing the Eagles chant, too.

That's not all — the historical attraction announced a wager against Boston's Old North Church. If the Eagles win, the church must raise the 13-star flag, while the Betsy Ross House will display two lanterns if the Patriots are victorious.

"She may be a patriot, but she's an Eagles fan at heart," event organizers said in a news release.

Fans in Eagles gear will get $1 off admission into the Betsy Ross House up until Sunday's game, as well as 20 percent off of an item in its gift shop.

Mayor Kenney and the Rocky statue

Mayor Kenney and Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter are going head-to-head with each city's respective "Rocky" statues. If the Eagles lose, Kenney has promised Carpenter that the monument at the foot of the Philadelphia Museum of Art will don a Patriots jersey. If the Eagles win, Brockton's mayor said its statue of Brockton-born boxer Rocky Marciano will wear an Eagles jersey.

A keg of beer from Philly's Yards Brewing Co. and some Rocky Marciano Wine are also on the line.

In a video Carpenter posted on social media, Kenney said he's not sure how long the jersey will stay on if the unthinkable happens. He noted that city officials might have to "Crisco the Rocky statue," just like they did the light poles down Broad Street last week.

Donut wars

Dottie's Donuts, a popular vegan donut shop in West Philly, came out with a "grease poled" flavor, and made it known that the location would not be selling its Boston creams in the near future. As a replacement, Dottie's is offering a "Creamed Boston donut," with a vanilla glaze, pistachios and a matcha cream filling.

Kanes Donuts in Boston put a challenge out to Dottie's: If the Eagles win, they'll send the West Philly shop a dozen Boston creams. If the Patriots win, Dottie's will have to send a dozen of its own.

Dottie's accepted the challenge — in a message appropriately dubbed with the "Rocky" theme.

‘Dilly, Dilly’ — ‘Philly, Philly’?

Back in August, Bud Light told Philadelphia that the beer would be on them if the Eagles took home its first Super Bowl win.

Well, looks like the company has not backed out on its promise.

"Congrats to the Eagles on earning a trip to Super Bowl LII," Anheuser-Busch said in a statement to "We are still planning an epic celebration, but true friends of the crown never assume victory, so in the interest of not jinxing the team, we will keep our plans under wraps until the outcome of the Super Bowl is determined."

But Bud Light admitted on Twitter that the company didn't think the team would make it this far.

Battle of the brews

Yards and Boston's Harpoon Brewery are also going head-to-head.

The two breweries are challenging each other to have the losing city pour the other's beer in its taproom. The staff will also have to wear the other team's gear.

"To our friends at Harpoon: Get ready to wear some Green, a very dynamic and blue-collar kind of color – and it looks great on everyone, from casual fans to pretty-boy quarterbacks," Tom Kehoe, Yards' founder and brewmaster and a longtime Eagles season ticketholder, said in a statement. "The last time we moved our brewery, the Phillies won the World Series, and we handed out free Philly Pale Ale to fans celebrating in the streets. Now, after once again opening a new facility [at 500 Spring Garden St.], we are hoping some of that Yards good luck will rub off on our high-flying NFC champs. Let's go Birds!"

Bangor vs. Bangor

The mayors of Bangor, Maine, and Bangor, Pa., are counting on the upcoming Super Bowl to find which Bangor is best.

Mayor Ben Sprague, of Maine, reached out to Mayor Brooke Kerzner, in Pennsylvania's Northampton County, to see if she'd be interested in a friendly wager, which was accepted, according to the Bangor Daily News. A simple enough bet — the loser must send over a bunch of goodies to the respective winner.

On the line? From Maine, there are whoopie pies, a blueberry pie, a collection of Maine-born Stephen King books to be donated to the library in Pennsylvania's Bangor, and more. From the Keystone State, there's beer, coffee, chocolates and quoit boards, a popular game in the tiny borough about 30 miles north of Allentown.

"We are not the least bit concerned with the New England Patriots winning Super Bowl 52," Kerzner told the publication. "Nick Foles can soar like an Eagle even when he is surrounded by a bunch of turkeys from New England. I have a feeling Tom Brady is all out of fourth quarter comebacks."

The country’s oldest two public high schools put dessert on the line

Philadelphia's Central High, founded in 1836, is the second-oldest high school in the United States. The only secondary school that's older? Boston Latin, opened in 1635.

Michael Horwits, a Central social studies teacher and tennis coach, had already set up a match with Boston Latin's tennis team this spring. So when his beloved Eagles made the Super Bowl, Horwits reached out to his counterpart in Massachusetts to make things interesting.

If the Eagles win the Super Bowl, Boston Latin will send Boston cream pies to Central, and the school's headmaster will wear an Eagles jersey. And if the Patriots take the title, Tastykakes will head north. Timothy McKenna, Central's president, as the school's principal is known, would be forced to don a Patriots jersey.

Horwits can already taste the Boston cream pie.

"There's something special with this team — they're really a family, and that comes along once in a generation," Horwits said.

Tristan Jennings, Central's junior class president, was amped up about the bet, leading his classmates in several rounds of the Eagles fight song to get in the spirit. His first football memory was from 2005, when the Eagles lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

He, too, predicted victory, and his first taste of Boston cream pie.

"It's going to be a blowout," said Jennings.