Detroit mayor Dave Bing backed his Detroit Tigers in an interview with San Francisco mayor Ed Lee. Bing went as far as betting a day of service in San Francisco with youth and youth programs, if his home team Tigers lose the World Series. Lee put up the same bet, offering to spend a day helping in Detroit, if the San Francisco Giants lose the World Series.
Both mustached men were teased by an ESPN anchor to offer up their mustaches in a bet for the baseball championship. Neither mayor took the bait, although the bald headed Bing did offer to get a haircut if the Tigers lose. Along with a day helping with the youth, the losing mayor will tour businesses in the winning city. Lee would travel to Detroit to visit a Chevy Volt factory if the Giants lose the series. Bing would take the trip to San Francisco to tour headquarters of technology companies like Zynga and Twitter, if the Tigers lose.
In the interview, Bing began to trash talk and let the former athlete inside come out. Bing said of Lee, “He’s going to have to have to leave his heart in San Francisco, because if he brings it here, we’re going to step on it.” Bing has probably talked more trash than Lee in his lifetime. Before he was mayor of the city of Detroit, Bing played in the NBA from 1966-1978. Bing was the number two pick by the Detroit Pistons in the 1966 NBA Draft, after a stellar career at Syracuse University.
Two mayors betting on a sports championship is nothing new. Last season, the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers became the subject of some business controversy. St. Louis mayor Francis Slay bet beer from a local microbrewer Schlafly, while Arlington mayor Robert Cluck offered up some Texas steaks. AB-Inbev, parent company of Budweiser, was mad that their beer was not involved in the bet, since Budweiser is headquartered in St. Louis.
Back in 2008, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings played in the Stanley Cup Finals. Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl wanted Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to offer up the rights to “Hockeytown” in the annual bet. Kilpatrick refused to offer up this trademarked name, which refers to Detroit’s love for hockey.
Bing was elected as Detroit’s mayor in 2009, to serve out the rest of Kilpatrick’s term. Bing was also re-elected later in 2009. Along with his political career, Bing has had a successful business with Bing Steel.