Say what you will about his political style, but Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling’s hairstyle is something that can be appreciated by friend and foe alike.

But on Feb. 16, it’s all coming off. Strimling promised to shave his head if the New England Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl. And, the well-coiffed mayor said Monday, a bet is a bet.

“I’ve never shaved my head, so it will be interesting to see what’s there,” Strimling said.

Strimling made the bet with the mayor of Portland, Pennsylvania, a small town of about 500 people, after hearing about a bet between mayors of Bangor and Bangor, Pennsylvania.

Portland, Pennsylvania, Mayor Lance Prator wagered a slate clock, cheesesteaks and Yuengling beer, while Strimling offered up some local craft beer, locally distilled spirits and lobsters landed on the Portland waterfront.

Strimling said Prator also offered to shave his head if the Patriots won, so he reciprocated the gesture.


“I got pulled right into the emotion of the moment and I said: ‘I’m in. The Patriots can’t lose,’ ” he said.

Well, they did lose, by a score of 41-33.

Strimling, who is a fan of the New York Giants, found himself in the strange position of joining Patriots Nation in praying that quarterback Tom Brady had some last-minute heroics left. But it just wasn’t meant to be.

“I am not a Patriots fan, but I was hoping Brady would do what he always does,” he joked. “The one time I needed him to do it, and he didn’t do it.”

Strimling said Prator will be making a special trip to Maine to close the bet.

The head-shaving will take place at Presumpscot Elementary School, said Strimling, because students there have previously reached out to Prator to learn more about Portland, Pennsylvania.

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: randybillings

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