Public officials of cities with teams competing in the Super Bowl or other big-time sporting events often make friendly wagers. The stakes are usually items famously associated with the cities involved. For example, awhile back, when the New York Mets played the Houston Astros in the National League playoffs, the mayor of Houston sent the mayor of New York a pair of cowboy boots when the Mets won; we forget what the mayor of New York had wagered against the (extraordinarily unlikely) event of a Mets loss--perhaps a coronary-inducing amount of delicatessen foods. Or a pigeon.
At any rate, the mayors of New Orleans and Indianapolis are continuing the tradition. Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans has stated that, should the Saints lose the Super Bowl, he will send Indy Mayor Greg Ballard CDs of New Orleans' jazz musicians, along with a selection of Mardi Gras foods (mmmm. . . .the mind slavers at the thought of begniers and King Cakes and muffelettas and gumbo and . . . .we're hungry!!!!); for his part, Mayor Ballard has declared that, if the Colts lose, he will send Mayor Nagin. . . shrimp cocktail.
You know, that world-famous Indianapolis shrimp cocktail. Because nothing says land-locked, Midwestern cowtown like shrimp cocktail!
In fairness, when it comes to cool swag, it would be tough for any city to compete with the Big Easy. New Orleans has food and music and a rich heterogeneous culture comprised of French, African, Native American, and other elements. Indianapolis has. . . well, Indianapolis has the Indianapolis Colts. By way of Baltimore.
We wonder if Mayor Nagin has considered just asking the Saints to throw the game. Otherwise, in the spirit of civic camaraderie, he may have to publicly sample the Indianan seafood. Is a Saints victory really worth that?
(Image from Indystar.com)