Whichever team loses Sunday's Super Bowl, that city's mayor will be left in a particularly crabby mood.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore and Mayor Edwin M. Lee of San Francisco announced a friendly bet on TODAY Friday that involves a day of service and some cracked crab for the loser. The winning team’s mayor will host the losing city’s mayor to do a day of work with AmeriCorps to promote volunteer service. The losing team’s mayor will then taste defeat in the form of a signature delicacy: getting their hands dirty cracking either Dungeness crab in San Francisco or Atlantic blue crab in Baltimore while wearing the opposing team’s jersey.
"I can't wait to host (Lee) when we win for a day of service with our AmeriCorps volunteers,'' Rawlings-Blake told Natalie Morales during an excited gathering of fans in Baltimore on Friday. "May the best woman win.''
"We're going to get Mayor Rawlings-Blake,'' Lee told Al Roker in front of a raucous group of 49ers fans in San Francisco. "I love working with her, we're part of a national mayor's conference, she's a great leader, and she'll be here at Fisherman's Wharf eating crab.''
A Super Bowl loss for either mayor will be unprecedented in their city’s history; the 49ers are 5-0 all time in the NFL’s big game, and the Ravens captured their only Super Bowl in their only appearance in team history in 2000.
"The Baltimore Ravens reached the Super Bowl this year with a combination of devastating defense and flawless offence," Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. "Their victory on Sunday will further cement Baltimore's legacy as a great football city, and serve as the perfect capstone to the Hall of Fame career of Ray Lewis."
"The Niners don't always go to the Super Bowl, but when they do, they win," Lee said in a statement. "Behind the leadership of Coach Jim Harbaugh, the Red and Gold are going to finish the job against the Ravens, bringing home the city's sixth Lombardi Trophy!"
Rawlings-Blake has ordered all of Baltimore’s city government buildings to be bathed in purple light leading up to the game, and the city has been celebrating “Purple Friday’’ all season by wearing the team’s colors. Not to be outdone, Lee has had a 49ers flag hanging off the balcony at City Hall since the playoffs began and has ordered several landmarks to be lit in red and gold for the big game.