(Gov. Josh Shapiro, Twitter)
With the kickoff for Super Bowl LVII between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs now just a couple of days away, an inevitable rite of the season is now upon us.
Namely, the annual Super Bowl bet between the governors of the rival states.
And this year is no exception.
On Thursday, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro announced his Super Bowl bets with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.
In a statement, Shapiro said that he and Parson will trade Eagles’ and Chiefs’ team flags ahead of the game, with the loser required to hang the winning team’s flag in their office next week.
“Looking forward to exchanging flags with @GovParsonMO in Arizona this weekend,” Shapiro tweeted on Thursday, adding that he was “especially looking forward to seeing the @Eagles flag hanging in the Missouri Capitol when the Birds win on Sunday. #FlyEaglesFly.”
In a statement, Shapiro said he’d be attending the game with First Lady Lori Shapiro in Glendale, Ariz. on Sunday.
In a tweet of his own, Parson hit back with a little friendly smack talk.
In his bet with Kelly, Shapiro wagered a variety of local snacks, including soft pretzels from Philly Style Hand Twisted Soft Pretzel Bakery in Levittown, Cheesesteaks from Tony Luke’s in Philadelphia, and Eagles Mini Donuts from Collegeville Italian Bakery in Montgomery County.
From Kansas, Kelly wagered Creekstone Farms Black Angus Beef and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, Shapiro’s office said in a statement.
Kelly also proved game day ready, tweeting, “You’re on, @GovernorShapiro! My bet is on the @Chiefs. I’m already clearing out my fridge so I have plenty of space for all the Philadelphia treats you’re about to send my way.”
So is there a link between the extravagance of the bet and the chances of victory? That’s for you to judge.
During last year’s match-up between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine offered up an assortment of Cincinnati delicacies that included locally made brats, potato chips, and chocolates.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom staked Napa Valley wine along with California-made cheeses and nuts, WHIO-TV reported at the time.
The Rams ended up beating the Bengals by nail-biting 23-20 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.
So caveat praefectus, as the Ancient Romans might say.
But that’s not the only Pennsylvania-related action happening in Arizona this championship weekend.
Several Pennsylvania lawmakers will be discussing their advocacy on mental health issues related to K-12 students during an event at the Golden Health Expo at Arizona State University.
The panel discussion in Phoenix on Saturday at 2 p.m. includes state Sens. Chris Gebhard, R-Lebanon; Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, and Jimmy Dillon, D-Philadelphia, alongside Luzerne County Republican Reps. Aaron Kaufer, R-Luzerne and Mike Cabell, and Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie.
Advocates and experts from across the country also will participate in the event. The lawmakers are expected to highlight their work with the Pennsylvania Health Department’s contract with Kooth US, a web-based delivery system for mental health care, according to a spokesperson.
The contract allows public schools throughout the state to provide counseling and other services to their students at no cost to the school districts, students, or their families, according to a statement released ahead of the event.
“The model that we are using now in Pennsylvania has the potential to break down the barrier of access to mental health, and we’re grateful for the advocacy of these legislators in funding this program for students,” Kooth US General Manager Kevin Winters said. “We’re anxious to expand the model to other states, and honored to present it to such an important audience in Arizona.”
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