We don't usually think of sports bets in the same sentence as art, but here's one based on the game tonight (Monday) between the 49ers and the Steelers. Andrew Farago, curator of San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum, has issued a challenge to Joe Wos, director of Pittsburgh's ToonSeum: The losing team's fan must show up at the winner's museum to lead a workshop on cartooning -- clad in the opposing team's jersey.
Farago elucidates his perceived advantage on the Cartoon Art Museum site:
San Francisco invented the sports cartoon in the early 1900s, and Rube Goldberg got his start as the sports cartoonist for the San Francisco Bulletin, which gives our cartoon-sports connection the edge. ... Pittsburgh's one of my favorite cities, though, and they've got us beat when it comes to the 'adding french fries to every possible menu item' department.
In his city's defense, Wos replies that "The Steelers have many comic characters and cartoon fans, from characters in Pearls Before Swine, to a solider named Steeler in G.I. Joe."
He also notes that legendary Steelers running back Franco Harris cut the ribbon at the ToonSeum's grand opening. He also points out that current Steelers offensive tackle Max Starks has attended a number of events at the ToonSeum.
Of course, there's more at stake for the 49ers this evening: A win will place the team in the number two spot in the NFL playoff seeding. If that happens, the smiles will not need to be penciled in anywhere.
The 49ers play the Steelers on ESPN's Monday Night Football tonight (Monday, Dec. 19) at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time.