This weekend's NFL AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts means two like-named cities that would normally have no reason to quarrel will become rivals for a day. Montpelier, Vermont, and Montpelier, Indiana, have mayors rooting for opposing teams.
"Especially given the success the Patriots have had the last several years, they have a lot of support in Montpelier," said Mayor John Hollar of Montpelier, Vermont, the state capital and home to just over 8,000 people. "Montpelier, Vermont that is."
Hollar had to specify which Montpelier is backing the Pats, because 900 miles to the west, there's Montpelier, Indiana. It sits about 90 miles northeast of Indianapolis.
"Of course, the Colts, absolutely," said Mayor Kathy Bantz of Montpelier, Indiana, naming the team she'll be rooting for on Sunday.
Bantz told New England Cable News her rural community of 1,800, with its downtown murals and motto of "A winning city," is definitely Colts country. Still, displaying that famous Midwestern politeness, Bantz said she really enjoyed a vacation once to New England.
"We did make it to Montpelier, Vermont," Bantz recalled.
But when asked why that trip didn't make her a Patriots fan, Bantz was emphatic.
"I've lived in Indiana now for 65 years, and I'm truly an Indiana fan," she said.
"I do hope to meet my fellow Montpelier—Indiana—mayor at some point," Mayor Hollar said. "But at least for this weekend, we're going to be rooting for different teams."
"It's all in good fun," Bantz said, later referring to something her father would say. "’I already know who is going to win-- the team with the most points!’"