November 17, 2018
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Mayors of two Bangors place friendly bet on Super Bowl

Rick Osentoski | AP
Rick Osentoski | AP
An official ball for the NFL Super Bowl LII football game from the Wilson Sporting Goods Co. in Ada, Ohio, is displayed Monday, Jan. 22, 2018.

Bangor mayor Ben Sprague knew there was a Bangor, Pennsylvania. So when the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles punched their tickets to Super Bowl LII, he looked up the location of the other Bangor with the hope it was close enough to Philadelphia that it might be conducive for placing a friendly wager on the game with its mayor.

Sprague discovered that Bangor, Pennsylvania, was only 87.3 miles north of Philadelphia, so he called its mayor, Brooke Kerzner, and left a message on her phone to see if she would be interested.

“She got back to me right away and was into it. She was excited about it and it just kind of came together,” Sprague said. “She’s competitive. She’s energetic. We both definitely want to win this bet.

“She is very proud of her Bangor as I am of our Bangor,” he added.

The Super Bowl will be played at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Sunday, Feb. 4.

As part of the wager, Sprague is offering a box of Maine whoopie pies from Governor’s Restaurant in Bangor, a blueberry pie from Dysart’s Restaurant, a case of Moxie, which was designated the official soft drink of Maine in 2005, a collection of books to be donated to the Bangor (Pennsylvania) Public Library written by world-renowned author and Bangor resident Stephen King and some other Bangor souvenirs such as refrigerator magnets and coffee mugs.

Kerzner bet a growler of beer from Bangor Trust Brew Works, an assortment of chocolates from Chocolates on Broadway, a pound of fresh-roasted coffee from Baby Harry’s Coffee Roaster, a goodie basket from Grace on Broadway and two slate quoit boards to be given to the Maine Veterans Home. A quoit board is used in a game very similar to horseshoes.

“Even if the Patriots win, I’ll send her something in the spirit of friendship,” said Sprague, who is a lifelong Patriots fan. “It gives me a chance to show off our Bangor.”

Sprague drafted a news release in which he wrote, “The people of Bangor, Maine are confident that Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriots will do their jobs in bringing home a sixth title to New England. There may be two Bangors and two teams in this year’s Super Bowl but I think the ones from New England will be celebrating Super Bowl night.”

Kerzner answered by writing, “We are not the least bit concerned with the New England Patriots winning Super Bowl 52. Nick Foles can soar like an Eagle even when he is surrounded by a bunch of turkeys from New England. I have a feeling Tom Brady is all out of fourth quarter comebacks.”

Bangor, Pennsylvania, is a small borough of 5,300 people and is one of the top producers of slate, a metamorphic rock composed of clay or volcanic ash that is used in roofing shingles due to its durability and its waterproof nature.

It also boasts having some of the first working women in the country during the Industrial Revolution. They worked in the blouse mills.

Bangor, Pennsylvania, is located 8 miles west of the New Jersey border and is tucked between the Lehigh Valley and the Pocono Mountains.

The two Bangors are 511.3 miles apart.

Sprague said there are similarities between the two Bangors, including the fact each has a Bangor Public Library.

The Bangor mayor, who said he has invited his Pennsylvania counterpart to visit at any time, is hoping it turns about to be a good Super Bowl although he readily admits, “I would be happy to see a Patriots rout.”

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