Sports fans have undoubtedly made a few playful bets over the Super Bowl already – and they’ve maybe even put a little bit of money on it.
Even the mayors of the participating teams have played the game of chance over the years, like in 2013 when San Francisco's Mayor Edwin M Lee ended up having to crack crabs for the AmeriCorp charity in Baltimore.
This year, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is offering up salmon, Dungeness crab, and a local Rodriquez Bicycles, while Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is wagering Denver’s favourite green chilli and handmade skis by local Icelantic Skis.
And this year, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and the Denver Art Museum (DAM) have decided to have a playful bet of their own. This bet isn't over crabs or local goods, but rather it is over famous works of art. Based on the outcome of Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, the museums will be betting temporary loans of their major works of art. The stakes are high as each museum has renowned artworks from their region that also represent their prized football teams.
SAM is famous for their collection of Northwest Coast Native American art. The museum’s CEO, Kimberly Rorschahch, is putting up a rare and royal Native American Nuxalk mask that was created around 1880 by the Nuxalk Nation in what is now Bella Coopa, British Colombia. The mask with its elongated bird beak, yet sensitive human eyes, shows the connection between man and animal. With its open mouth and blue, black and red embellishments, this mask is truly representative of Seattle's treasured Seahawks.
Meanwhile, DAM director Christopher Heinrich is wagering a famed bronze icon of the west – the Bronco Buster. This beautiful bronze statue was created by Fredric Remington and is a prized jewel in the museum's western American art collection. This bucking bronze horse has symbolized the spirit and tenacity of the Wild West since its creation in 1895. The Bronco Buster is also reminiscent of the bucking bronco that represents Denver's beloved football team.
So if the Seattle Seahawks find themselves on the losing end, SAM will ship their Nuxalk mask to Denver with all expenses and shipping paid. The opposite will occur if the Broncos fail to perform against the Seahawks. The art work will be hosted in the winning city for three months before it will be shipped back home – yet again paid for by the losing team.