WHYY bets big against sister station KCUR ahead of Super Bowl LVII

Journalists from Philadelphia and Kansas City talk athletes, fandom, and food before Super Bowl weekend. Which NPR station will claim victory?

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WHYY’s Mary Cummings-Jordan talks with sports commentator Ray Didinger about Super Bowl LVII at WHYY studios in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

WHYY’s Mary Cummings-Jordan talks with sports commentator Ray Didinger about Super Bowl LVII at WHYY studios in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Philadelphia’s NPR station tossed a hefty wager at KCUR in Kansas City, and Super Bowl LVII will determine who reigns supreme.

WHYY midday host Mary Cummings-Jordan and legendary sports broadcaster Ray Didinger placed a bet with Kansas City’s NPR station ahead of Sunday’s big game: Send us that famous KC barbeque when the Eagles beat the Chiefs.

WHYY’s Mary Cummings-Jordan and sports commentator Ray Didinger at WHYY studios in Philadelphia to talk Super Bowl LVII. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The pair welcomed KCUR journalists Steve Kraske and Greg Echlin to a Super Bowl LVII roundtable, forecasting high expectations for Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who led the Eagles from 1999 to 2012, a sibling rivalry brewing between the Kelce brothers, dueling fandoms — perhaps a bit tamer in Kansas City — and both teams’ star quarterbacks.

“[Patrick] Mahomes in my view is the best player in the National Football League,” said Didinger, author of “The Eagles Encyclopedia.” Perhaps a fair opinion of the injured Kansas City QB, but one that will get you in trouble at any local sports bar.

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Eagles center Jason Kelce, whose 2018 “no one likes us, we don’t care” parade chant and recent charitable Christmas album cemented his Philly icon status, will stare down his younger brother, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

“The personality runs on both sides of the family,” said KCUR’s Greg Echlin. “[Travis] has some causes in Kansas City that he doesn’t want to be known for … he’s very humble and relatable to the regular person.”

Philly sports superfans range from notoriously rowdy to objectively unhinged, and most proudly own up to it. If the game ends in an Eagles victory, fans are likely to immediately transform Broad Street into a sea of green — and preparations for the pre-celebration celebration are already underway. After its 2018 Super Bowl win, Philadelphia spent over $2 million on the victory parade and cleanup, more than double Kansas City’s budget this year.

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“I don’t think the city needs to grease the light poles,” Echlin said, “but after the Chiefs’ win in 2020, we saw about a half-million people turn out.”

WHYY has agreed to send Philly cheesesteaks to KCUR if the Chiefs pull out a victory this Sunday, but does not plan to mail sandwiches across the country anytime soon.

As for KCUR’s BBQ delivery, WHYY sent a friendly reminder: “Don’t forget the extra sauce.”

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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