Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin and Newnan Mayor Keith Brady have agreed on a friendly wager on the game: the losing mayor has to buy dinner for the winning mayor.
“As (with) most things in the South, food is involved,” Brady said.
According to Tumlin, the challenge was initiated through a conversation between Newnan Athletic Director Hap Hines and Marietta High’s Athletic Director Paul Hall.
If Marietta wins, Brady will treat Tumlin to Sprayberry’s Barbecue in Newnan, which Hines said has been a staple in the area for years.
“You walk in, and everybody knows everybody,” he said.
If Newnan wins, Tumlin will buy Brady dinner at either the Big Chicken or the Marietta Diner.
“There’s nothing better than to put a wager over food. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a very big fan of fine dining,” Hines said.
The wager will be made official with a handshake between the mayors at midfield during the pregame ceremonies at 7 p.m., Tumlin said. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30.
Hines and Hall have known each other for years, Hines said, and they thought the wager would be a good way to promote the game.
“He coached me in high school at Marietta (High School), and I coached at Marietta for three years before I came to Newnan,” Hines said. “You know, we just thought it was a neat little thing because these are both … tight-knit communities and have a lot of great traditions and a lot of great academic excellence and wonderful citizens.”
The Blue Devils are 0-2 this season; the Cougars are 2-0.
Tumlin said he and Brady are friends and serve on several statewide boards together, such as the Georgia Municipal Association.
Still, the friendship between the mayors isn’t stopping them from some light taunting before the game.
Tumlin said he is “looking forward already to the ‘Lewis Grizzard special’ at Sprayberry’s, so let’s go Big Blue!”
“(Newnan) looks forward to hosting the fine citizens of Marietta, and I look forward to lunch in their fair city,” Brady said.