The mayor of Cleveland's superstitions have prevented Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf from making a traditional mayors' bet on the upcoming NBA Finals, so instead Schaaf is participating in a fundraising bet between each city's food bank, according to the mayor's office.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson declined Schaaf's offer to make a bet of local specialties for the series between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Schaaf's office. Schaaf has already made -- and won -- bets with the mayors of New Orleans and Houston during this year's NBA playoffs.
The best-of-seven series kicks off at Oakland's Oracle Arena on Thursday.
So instead of betting on the series, Schaaf on Wednesday publicized another bet between food banks in Alameda County and Cleveland. The food banks are hoping to capitalize on the attention paid the two cities for a fundraising effort.
The Alameda County Food Bank and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank are seeking to raise as many donations as they can before the end of the series. The executive director of the losing food bank will put on the rival city's apparel for a congratulatory video on Facebook.
The two food banks are each hoping to raise at least $5,000 by the end of the Finals.
"All season long MVP caliber players like Stephen Curry and LeBron James have risen to the occasion when their teams needed them most," Schaaf said in a statement. "I am confident Bay Area residents, businesses and our passionate Warriors fans are going to come through in a big way for the one in five vulnerable Alameda County residents who rely on the food bank for their meals each day."
Donations to the Alameda County Food Bank can be made at www.accfb.org/FoodBankFinals.
Other Ohio politicians have proven less superstitious about the Cavs' chances in the playoffs.
U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, has bet an assortment of local items on the Finals with her counterpart in Cleveland, Rep. Marcia Fudge, according to Lee's office.
If the Warriors win, Lee will receive an assortment of chocolates, peanuts and pastries made in Cleveland. If the Warriors lose, she will send an Oaklandish tote bag full of Clif bars, Ghiradelli chocolates, Peet's coffee and an autographed photo of Curry.
"The Cleveland Cavaliers are a good team but the Warriors will win this, hands down," Lee said. "With the strong support of the East Bay and leadership of MVP Stephen Curry, I am confident of a Warriors win!"
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, meanwhile, has made a boozier bet with Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. She's putting two bottles of California wine -- a chardonnay and a cabernet sauvignon -- against Great Lakes beers from Ohio, according to Feinstein's office.
"As senator, I bet on the World Series with my colleagues, and my Giants have been victorious three times in the last five years," Feinstein, a former mayor of San Francisco, said in a statement. "Now, I'm looking forward to yet another streak as the Golden State Warriors play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals."
Phone calls to the Cleveland mayor's office were not immediately returned.