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Eric Swalwell and Ted Cruz make bizarre Twitter bet ahead of 49ers-Cowboys playoff game

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) | Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

It’s not uncommon for politicians to place friendly wagers on high-profile sporting events.

Barack Obama and then-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper bet cases of beer on U.S.-Canada hockey games during the 2014 Winter Olympics. When the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers met in the 2021 MLB Playoffs, London Breed placed a bet with then-Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. After the Dodgers won, Garcetti’s successor, Karen Bass, received a piece of suspension wire from the Golden Gate Bridge. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sen. Alex Padilla placed a bet on the same series, with Newsom ultimately donating to the LA Regional Food Bank and dragging the field with the Dodger Stadium grounds crew.

The exchange between California Rep. Eric Swalwell and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz ahead of Sunday’s NFL Playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys wasn’t as friendly.

On Monday night, following the Cowboys’ 31-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Swalwell proposed to Cruz that the loser of this Sunday’s game would have to give up tweeting for the rest of January.

Cruz responded on Tuesday afternoon, suggesting that a Chinese dinner would be a more appropriate wager, alluding to Swalwell’s ties with suspected Chinese spy Christine Fang.

Cruz’s retort drew applause from multiple right-leaning media outlets, including Fox News.

It’s far from the first time Swalwell’s tweets have drummed up a storm. In May 2022, he tweeted that his 4-year-old challenged him to take action after the Buffalo supermarket shooting.

It’s also not the first time Cruz and Bay Area sports have collided on the site. Last June, local soccer team Oakland Roots snapped at Cruz for using a GIF of one of their players, saying, “Oakland don’t like you.”