by Barry Smith
Super Bowl 50 has become a, pardon the pun, political football as the big game approaches.
When Sunday night’s game between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos is played, more than the Vince Lombardi Trophy will be on the line. The ramifications being played out next week in the U.S. Senate chamber.
North Carolina’s U.S. senators – Richard Burr and Thom Tillis – have a wager with Colorado’s U.S. senators – Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner. The terms of the bet are:
— The losing freshman senator must give specific shout outs to the Super Bowl champion’s head coach, quarterback, fan base, and detail the greatness of the Super Bowl champion’s home state.
— The losing senators must wear a tie of the team color of the Super Bowl champion during the speech.
— The winning freshman senator must be presiding over the Senate as the losing freshman Senator delivers his speech.
— For an added dose of humility, the written remarks must be reviewed and approved in advance by the winning senators.
Senators from the two states are doing their share of trash talking. Said Tillis and Burr:
“This Sunday night, Panthers fans across the Carolinas and the rest of the nation will be rejoicing after the team wins its first Super Bowl… We look forward to seeing our freshman colleague from Colorado take to the Senate floor as he acknowledges the passing of the mantle from Peyton Manning to Cam Newton as the NFL’s newest legend, praises the unwavering devotion of the Panthers fan base, and recognizes that the Panthers are truly one of the greatest teams in NFL history. We can only hope that Sen. Gardner will conclude his speech by gifting Panthers fans with his best rendition of Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline.’”
Not to be outdone, Colorado’s Gardner and Bennet said:
“When Sens. Tillis and Burr proposed this friendly Super Bowl wager, we didn’t have to think twice about accepting their challenge… We have 100 percent confidence in the Broncos and Peyton Manning. The legendary John Elway and Head Coach Gary Kubiak put together a championship caliber team, and we know their hard work and year-long preparation will pay off on Sunday. We are certain the best defense in the league will bring the Panthers offense to a halt, and the Broncos will return to Colorado with the Lombardi Trophy. On behalf of the state of Colorado and Broncos fans everywhere, we look forward to hearing the junior senator from North Carolina, Sen. Tillis, deliver a humbling speech on the Senate floor where he will congratulate the Denver Broncos on their hard fought victory, Peyton Manning’s second Super Bowl title, and the entire Broncos organization on their third Super Bowl victory.”