The mayors of Pittsburgh and Denver continued the long-standing tradition of boosting hometown pride by making a friendly wager on the Broncos-Steelers playoff game last Saturday.
And in a sign of good sportsmanship, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl paid his debt Tuesday.
He “Tebowed.” He donned a white jersey with Tim Tebow’s No. 15 stamped on it in black and orange, knelt down on one knee and formed the now-famous prayer-like pose.
The pose settled the friendly wager with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. If the Steelers had won Saturday’s playoff game, Hancock would have had to wear a “terrible towel.”
Now he’s trying to turn the loss his city felt when the Steelers were knocked out of the playoffs into a win for the children in the community. Ravenstahl is auctioning off the jersey he wore while Tebowing. The jersey is listed on Ebay and the proceeds will go to charity.
The jersey is already selling for more than $600 with more than 50 bids. The auction closes next week on the jersey, which is autographed by Ravenstahl.
The proceeds are slated to be given to The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program, which was co-founded by Ravenstahl.
“By fulfilling our end of the bet, we’ve given Bronco fans enough to gloat about - it’s time to put the spotlight back on Pittsburgh,” Ravenstahl said. “We’re not just the City of Champions, we’re America’s ‘Most Livable’ city because of the opportunities we offer young people and families, namely The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship.”
The scholarships gives up to $40,000 to area public school graduates to help pay for college. Roughly 3,000 students have received awards since the program started in 2007.
“The Promise changes the course of young peoples' lives by giving them the hope that a better future is in their reach as the entire Pittsburgh community rallies behind their educational pursuits," Ravenstahl said.
The good-natured bet was the latest in a long line of friendly wagers by public officials on hometown sports teams. The bets act as another way to generate public support of the home teams and spark community involvement.
Scott Eckstein, longtime Broncos fan, season ticket holder and Mayor of Bloomfield, N.M., said the bet achieved everything it should have for both cities.
"As a Broncos fan, I really got a kick out of watching the Pittsburgh mayor Tebow, however, if Denver had lost that game I wouldn’t have found it that funny," Eckstein told The Christian Post.
Despite donning a Denver Broncos jersey and Tebowing, Ravenstahl remained one of Pittsburgh’s biggest cheerleaders.
"After Pittsburgh's six Super Bowl rings and recent Stanley Cup and 'Most Livable' city titles, sharing the spotlight with Denver for a little while was the right thing to do," Ravenstahl said. "I hope that Denver fans give a little love back to Pittsburgh by supporting this charity."