Berkeley’s mayor is betting on the Cal Bears

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates is betting his sartorial pride on a Cal Bears win over Fresno State in their 2011 season opener Saturday.

If the Fresno State Bulldogs should prevail, Bates — who played on the Cal football team that went to the Rose Bowl in 1959 — has promised to wear a red-and-white Fresno State jersey at City Hall for an entire day. A Bears’ victory will see Fresno Mayor — and Fresno State graduate — Andrea Swearengin wearing blue and gold for a day.

That’s the bet laid down between Bates and Swearengin, who will face each other for the game-opening coin toss. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, which explains another mayoral bet on the game’s outcome. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, a 1978 graduate of Berkeley Law, has made a culinary wager with Swearengin. If Cal wins, Swearengin will send a sampling of her city’s finest flavors to Berkeley — olive oil, nuts, fruits and vegetables. But if Fresno wins, a shipment of Dungeness crab, Anchor Steam beer, Ghirardelli chocolate and Philz coffee will be heading to Fresno.

The Bears will play the rest of their home season in San Francisco’s baseball park while Memorial Stadium is renovated.

Bates expressed confidence in his alma mater, saying, “I can’t wait to see Mayor Swearengin dressed in blue and gold. Go Bears!”

Countered Swearengin, “I’m sure Mayor Bates will look great in Bulldog red and white. Go Bulldogs!”