Politicians place own sports bets
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is waiting for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to make good on a bet.
The mayors bet that if the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup, Garcetti would sing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” If the Kings won – which they did Friday after a tight four-hour Game 5 that went into double overtime – De Blasio would have to sing a different song on the show -- Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.”
Such bets are a long-standing tradition in American politics. And even though some politicians refuse to make bets – like St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, who, over Twitter, refused to bet with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino during the 2013 World Series because “it isn't fair to other mayors” – many get a kick, and good publicity, out of these friendly wagers.
Governors, senators and members of Congress also get in on the act. If the Rangers had won, California Gov. Jerry Brown would have sent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo a copy of “California: A History,” by Kevin Starr and Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Cakes, Lightly Salted. Instead, Cuomo will be sending a Taste NY Gift Basket, filled with products from New York businesses and a commemorative hockey puck created to celebrate the "hat trick" of three on-time budgets in a row.
Here’s a rundown of some notable bets between politicians.
Bikes and crab vs. skis and chile
2014 Super Bowl: Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks
Who: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
What: Hancock bet a sampling of the city’s green chile and a pair of handmade skis from local Icelantic Skis. Murray wagered salmon, Dungeness crab and a bike from Seattle’s Rodriguez Bicycles.
Who won? Murray.Photo credit: City of Seattle
Craft beer brawl
2013 College Football: Ohio State University vs. University of Michigan
Who: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.)
What: The loser had to give the winner craft beer from his home state. The beers of choice were Ohio’s Great Lakes Christmas Ale and Michigan’s Detroit Beer Company.
Who won? Brown.Photo credit: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images
An international beer battle
2013 Women’s Ice Hockey World Championship: U.S. vs. Canada
Who: U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird
What: If Canada won, Kerry would give Baird a case of Sam Adams. If the U.S. won, Baird would give Kerry cases of Canadian beers: Molsen and Beau’s All Natural.
Who won? Kerry.
2011 Super Bowl: Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Who: Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
What: The mayors agreed to find a fan of the opposing team in their own city — and to shovel their walkway.
Who won? Schmitt. (Ravenstahl shoveled the walkway of the church attended by Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy’s parents in Pittsburgh.)Photo credit: Tom Fox / Dallas Morning News
Ghiradelli vs. Hershey’s
2010 National League Championship Series: San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Who: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Arlen Specter
What: Chocolate. Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, bet Ghirardelli and Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, bet Hershey’s.
Who won? Pelosi.Photo credit: Keith Srakocic / Associated Press
Offering up celebrities
2010 NBA Championship: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics
Who: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino
What: The winner got a celebrity from the loser’s city to film a commercial promoting tourism in the winning city. Villaraigosa put up Jack Nicholson and Menino offered Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
Who won? Villaraigosa.Photo credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times
New York vs. Texas
1998 Playoff Series: New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers
Who: New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Arlington, Texas, Mayor Elzie Odom
What: If the Yankees won, Odom would give Giuliani a 10-gallon hat and a “Texas-sized portion” of Texas barbecue. But if the Rangers won, Giuliani would owe Odom a pair of tickets to a Broadway show of his choice, a pair of tickets to the Met Opera and “a New York-sized portion” of Nathan’s Hot Dogs. The losing mayor would also have to wear the winning team’s cap.
Who won? GiulianiPhoto credit: Kathy Willens / Associated Press
Pigs vs. bees
1983 Super Bowl: Washington Redskins vs. Miami Dolphins
Who: Virginia Gov. Charles Robb and Florida Gov. Bob Graham
What: Robb wagered a live pig named Josephine, supposedly in reference to Washington’s unofficial “Hogs” nickname, and Graham put up 3,000 bees, referring to Miami’s “Killer B’s” defense.
Who won? Robb.Photo credit: Associated Press