KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Cincinnati Bengals at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC Championship game for the second year in a row.
Oddsmakers shifted and the Chiefs are now 1-point favorites, but those aren’t the only bets happening ahead of Sunday.
Leaders from both Kansas City and Cincinnati are betting some of the best food the two cities have to offer on the game.
Missouri’s U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II and Kansas’ U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids made a friendly wager with Ohio’s U.S. Rep. Greg Landsman
“Kansas City has the best team, the best fans, and the best BBQ—something Rep. Landsman is about to learn,” Davids said. “I appreciate his confidence but it takes more than confidence to win a Super Bowl. We would know!”
If the Chiefs win the game, Landsman will provide Skyline chili. If the Bengals win, Cleaver and Davids will send Landsman Kansas City barbecue.
“Even with a sprained ankle, I’m so confident Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will win against Joe Burrow and the Bengals that I’m willing to bet some of Kansas City’s world-class barbecue on the matchup. When the Chiefs inevitably march on to the Super Bowl, I look forward to enjoying the victory with some of Cincinnati’s famous Skyline chili,” Cleaver said.
Landsman said Cleaver and Davids will also wear orange and black around the halls of the U.S. Capitol if the Bengals win Sunday’s game.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas is also wagering Kansas City barbecue on the game with his counterpart in Cincinnati.
This year’s bet involves food from Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque and apparel from Charlie Hustle. And although spirits are high, the rivalry with Cincinnati has certainly gotten more heated.
Larry Ashley has been working at Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque for the past 16 years. He has no doubt about the meat’s value in a friendly — likely uneven — bet.
“Yeah it is because we got the No. 1 barbeque, you know. Our meat is nice, fluffy, tender. Yes, I don’t know what they have up there. I ain’t never tried it. So once we win, we’ll be trying it then,” Ashley said.
But the latest smack-talk out of Cincy is leaving Lucas with a bad taste in his mouth.
“You all might have seen this clip — their mayor saying something about ‘Burrowhead’ stadium,” Lucas said.
“I will be going on Saturday morning,” Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said in the clip Lucas referenced. “I’ll be arriving in Kansas City. So I’ll be at the game at ‘Burrowhead stadium.’ See what I did there? No? No? I love that.”
It has Chiefs fans slightly annoyed, too.
“That’s very disrespectful. They do not own this. It’s about due. Here we come. We going to have an injured quarterback, but he can throw upside-down. He can throw injured. We coming. We coming right now,” Kansas City Chiefs fan Brian Nickerson said.
“You can’t come into a spot, win once, and act like you own the place,” Lucas said.
“His time’s coming now. He’s role ends Sunday. Yeah, he’s done. He’s going on home to Cincinnati. And we going on over to ‘The Bowl,'” Ashley said.
But the city is already winning in some ways — with Lucas anticipating $15 million in revenue by avoiding the neutral-game site.
He’s also hopeful about Mahomes, noting his pairing with the high-performance defense and an offense with more targets that in the recent past.
“I think you saw particularly on that 98-yard drive with Chad Henne — us getting back to the running game. I think that’s going to be a strong part of how we win on Sunday,” Lucas said.
“I wanted the Bills in Atlanta to be honest because the Bengals have had our number,” Nickerson said. “But we come here strong. Kansas City don’t turn down. We fitting to win. Let’s get it. Yeah. Black and orange, y’all can go back to the cold. We out here. Let’s go!”
What does Kansas City get from Cincy with a win? The mayor’s office said they’re unsure. Again, they want that ‘W’ more than Cincinnati food.