Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller still has a bad taste in his mouth from four years ago — the last time he publicly made a friendly wager with a big Atlanta Falcons game on the line.
On that occasion, Jan. 20, 2013, the Falcons let a 14-point first-half lead evaporate in losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. On top of the heartbreaking loss, Miller then had to eat crow from Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor.
“When San Francisco unfortunately beat us, we did ship out a year’s supply of gum to the Mayor of Santa Clara, and I, unfortunately, had to wear a San Francisco jersey at our council meeting,” Miller told The Times this week.
Now, Miller wants to get rid of that bad taste.
The mayor said he recently took the initiative of calling the chairman of the Foxborough, Mass., governing board to make a wager on Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup between the Falcons and New England Patriots.
Foxborough and Flowery Branch are overshadowed by their neighboring bustling big cities — Boston and Atlanta, respectively. Yet, the Patriots play their home games in Foxborough, while Flowery Branch is home to the Falcons’ team headquarters and training camp.
Miller said his counterpart from Foxborough, David Feldman, was only too eager to take on the wager. Miller is putting up a case of Big Red courtesy of the Wrigley’s plant in Flowery Branch, coffee from Common Grounds, cookies from Calliope Sweets and treats from Liberty Candy Company.
Reached by email Tuesday, Feldman said Miller will be eating well with New England lobsters, clam chowder and spring rolls, if the Falcons come out on top. Feldman said he’d also throw in cupcakes and coffee, and pajamas so Miller can sleep well after his feast.
“But I think based on the outcome, Mayor Miller will be wearing the Tom Brady jersey I sent him as the bet loser,” Feldman countered. “At least when he is wearing Tom Brady’s jersey at the City Council meeting he will know what it is like to feel like a champion.”
Miller said he’s got a jersey from Falcons defender Ricardo Allen, a Flowery Branch resident, for Feldman to wear at his next public meeting in Foxborough.
“The original bet was that the loser would send (gifts) to the winner, but out of true Southern hospitality, I just wanted to go ahead and get him some sweets so it would help with that bitter taste of defeat when the Falcons are beating them on Sunday,” Miller said.
The two municipal rivals said it’s all in good fun and a great way for participating businesses in Flowery Branch and Foxborough to get in on the good-natured rivalry.
“I won’t say bless his heart until after the game,” Miller said.