Gay papers make Bowl wager
by Matthew S. Bajko
Friendly rivals for decades over whose paper is the oldest, now their good-natured grudge match will play out during Super Bowl XLVII when the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens face off.
The Bay Area Reporter and the Washington Blade are wagering on whose hometown football team will be victorious this Sunday, February 3. While based in Washington, D.C. the Blade covers Maryland news weekly and is distributed in Baltimore.
Should the San Francisco 49ers win, as the Fresno Chaffee Zoo's orangutan Siabu has predicted, then the Blade will make a $1,000 donation to a local San Francisco LGBT charity of the B.A.R.'s choosing. The Blade will also treat the staff of the B.A.R. to a crab cake lunch made from Maryland Blue crabs.
If the Baltimore Ravens win, then Blade staffers will enjoy their own crab cake lunch made from Dungeness crabs and the B.A.R. will make a $1,000 donation to the local DC/Baltimore LGBT charity of the Blade 's choosing.
B.A.R. Publisher Thomas E. Horn is looking forward to enjoying a bit of the famous East Coast crustacean.
"I expect to win," said Horn, noting that the 49ers "are strong offensively and defensively."
Blade editor Kevin Naff was just as resolute in seeing the Ravens fly away with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, seven pounds of sterling silver sculpted by Tiffany, when all is said and done Sunday inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The game also features the first time brothers have coached the game: Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the 49ers, will face off against his older brother John, the Ravens coach.
"When Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, the Patriots won the Super Bowl. When New York legalized marriage in 2011, the Giants won the Super Bowl. In 2012, Maryland passed marriage equality, so it's our turn," said Naff, who lives in Baltimore with his partner. "Go Ravens!"
The bet is similar to ones Horn made in 2010 when the San Francisco Giants won their first baseball World Series. Both Philadelphia Gay News Publisher Mark Segal and Dallas Voice Publisher Robert Moore agreed to send $1,000 donations to San Francisco charities after the Phillies lost to the Giants in the National League Championship Series and when the Texas Rangers lost in the World Series.
The GLBT Historical Society and the Gay Straight Alliance Network, both based in San Francisco, received donations that year, while photos of Moore and Segal wearing Giants shirts ran in the B.A.R.
Last year when the Giants won the World Series against the Detroit Tigers, the B.A.R. did not make any wager with Michigan LGBT paper Between the Lines . This year's Super Bowl bet does not include having the losing publisher pose in the winning team's jersey.
The Blade and B.A.R. rivalry dates back to the early 1970s. For decades the Blade was able to lay claim as the nation's oldest LGBT newspaper, having published its first edition in 1969. The B.A.R. launched in 1971.
When the Blade briefly went out of business in late 2009, the B.A.R. took on the title of the country's oldest continuously publishing LGBT newspaper.
Because both of the papers started out as monthlies, PGN 's Segal claims to be the oldest LGBT weekly publication, as it began in 1976. The distinction was often a topic of debate between the three paper's founding publishers.
Asked about the papers' feud over which is the oldest, Horn said of the Blade, "We are glad they are back and wish them the best." Though he added, "It doesn't take away the fact they were down awhile so that let's us claim bragging rights about being oldest."
Fighting words, for sure, that won't be settled no matter which team wins Sunday.
"I suspect that will go on and on and on in a good-natured way," Blade publisher and Ravens fan Lynne Brown said. "I am just looking forward to helping raise money for a Baltimore charity."
She and her girlfriend have been watching the Ravens all season and believe the team "looks tough, looks ready, and they really want it."
However the game turns out, added Brown, "Somebody is going to be eating some really good crab."