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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

49ers-Seahawks: Longshoremen Make Waterfront Bet

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge If things go poorly for the 49ers come Sunday, this pro-Seattle flag may end up fluttering over the Bay Area
  • If things go poorly for the 49ers come Sunday, this pro-Seattle flag may end up fluttering over the Bay Area

Playoff football goes with humiliating bets almost as well as it goes with overindulgence in nachos and beer. In fact, the more nachos and beer you consume, the more likely you are to place a humiliating bet. 

Some bets are so ingeniously humiliating, however, they germinate on their own -- sans nachos, sans beer. Members of the San Francisco and Seattle branches of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have devised a wager that the losers will rue for the rest of their days. 

If not longer. 

The respective ILWU workers are currently flying oversize flags supporting their cities' football teams from waterfront cranes. Seattle's "12th man" banner is just a short fish-toss from the Seahawks' downtown stadium. The Niners flag is currently fluttering over the Port of Oakland 

click to enlarge Yeah I made that bet. And I'm glad what I done. You hear me? I'm glad what I done!
  • Yeah I made that bet. And I'm glad what I done. You hear me? I'm glad what I done!
(That the pro-Niners faction is forced to raise its colors over Oakland tells you all you need to know about the Port of San Francisco's demise as an active cargo loading and unloading zone).

Here's where the hardcore humiliation comes in: 

If the Seahawks or Niners go on to win the Super Bowl, then either San Francisco Oakland or Seattle will be subjected to one week of peering up at the flag representing the team that vanquished the home squad. 

"It's just a friendly little wager," chuckles Cameron Williams, the president of ILWU Local 19 at the Port of Seattle. 

Williams said the bet was inspired by online woofing between San Francisco and Seattle workers: "Facebook is a funny thing these days."

It most certainly is. It'll be less funny, however, for the potential loser. And it may be a bit confusing for Oakland residents wondering what the hell they have to do with it all. 

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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