Philly ready to collect on Super Bowl bets

Several Philadelphia institutions wagered on the big game with counterparts in Boston. It's time to collect.

Banners at the Philadelphia Museum of Art read GO EAGLES, on Wednesday. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Banners at the Philadelphia Museum of Art read GO EAGLES, on Wednesday. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Now that the game has been won, it’s time to collect on the bet.

Several Philadelphia institutions made wagers with their Boston counterparts that the Eagles would prevail over the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Most of the stakes were relatively low-key; the loser would be required to wear the winner’s football jersey or send a package of the city’s signature foods.

The owners of Woody’s bar in Center City made a bet with Club Café, a gay bar in Boston, involving a donation of $500 to an LGBTQ charity in the winner’s city. The day after the Super Bowl, both bars decided to make matching contributions to the other’s city.

The Museum of the American Revolution had a wager with the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston with the understanding that the loser would have to deliver a public lecture about why the winning city is the true “cradle of liberty.”

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A couple weeks ago, museum president and CEO Michael Quinn telephoned Catherine Allgor — a woman he has known and respected for 15 years — to congratulate her on her new position as president and CEO of the historical society, a major research archive. While professionally they both hoe a similar historic row, they quickly realized they were on opposite sides of the football fence.

Quinn is now looking forward to a visit by Allgor to hear her swallow her Boston pride.

“She will have to come to Philadelphia and extol the significant place of Philadelphia in creating America’s constitutional democracy,” he said. “She will not only have to eat crow, but cheesesteak.”

Another Super Bowl bet was made between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the loser to loan out a significant historic painting to the winner. Art museum curator Kathleen Foster said she will soon receive a portrait of Mrs. James Warren, painted by John Singleton Copley in 1763.

“Mercy Otis — later Mrs. James Warren — was a firebrand of the American Revolution. I would say an early feminist figure,” said Foster. “She’s a writer of broadsides and political parodies. She wrote a three-volume history of the American Revolution. She was one of the best-educated women of her age. She’s just a pistol.”

The loan arrangement is still being hammered out. Foster hopes to have the painting in March, when she will hang it prominently in the Art Museum’s American gallery for about three months.

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