There is a long history of playful bets between cities squaring off in championship games. Often, it takes the form of mayoral bets of signature food dishes or something regionally identifiable of the sort. This year Seattle Art Museum and Denver Art Museum have decided to get in on the action in anticipation of the Seahawks and the Broncos facing off in Super Bowl XLVIII.
The museums have decided to wager loans of pieces in their respective collections that represent their hometown teams. SAM puts Forehead Mask—a Nuxalk First Nation wooden mask that resembles the Seahawks logo—on the line, while DAM counters with Frederic Remington's bronze sculpture The Bronco Buster. Either way, one museum will boast a trophy of their vanquished rival to serve as a reminder of victory for months to come.
UPDATED Jan 30. The bet has been revised. After Naxalk First Nation objected to their art being used in the wager, SAM has replaced Forehead Mask with Tsuji Kakō's Sound of Waves, a six pannel painted Japanese screen depicting a seashonre.