It’s a tradition that happens every year: Governors of states with teams playing in a championship series make a token bet on the game.
Usually, their wagers are nothing special: The winner receives a symbolic foodstuff from the loser, who in turn has to wear the winner’s jersey.
The practice is fun and simple but apparently too nuanced for the governors of New York and California.
Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy brings news of a bizarrely lame bet that has been struck between New York governor Andrew Cuomo and California governor Jerry Brown.
With the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings primed for a Stanley Cup Final showdown, the governors have wagered a grab bag of lame and dubious materials.
First off, Governor Cuomo is offering a hockey puck. But wait! It’s not just any puck; it’s a special puck signifying his administration’s achievement of three consecutive on-time budgets.
You’ve got to celebrate the little things in modern politics, such as doing your job three times in a row.
The puck is just the beginning of Governor Cuomo’s “Taste Of New York” basket, which sounds more like the end result of a desperate raid on a LaGuardia gift shop than a cogent attempt at spreading New York’s finest wares.
Cuomo’s bet basket includes Spiedie marinade, “chicken wing sauce from Buffalo,” “a bottle of wine from the Finger Lakes,” Sammy and Annie Food’s Chicken Riggie Pasta Sauce Starter, Parker’s Pure New York maple syrup, America’s First Kettle Chip and red velvet cupcakes from Make My Cake, among other foodstuffs.
The best thing in the whole caboodle may be “oysters harvested off of Long Island’s shore,” which will be purple by the time they reach California.
Governor Cuomo’s basket isn’t the only offender here, as Governor Brown managed to include the book California: A History in his wager.
Wyshynski writes that this is not acceptable.
“A book, in a hockey bet,” Wyshinski writes. “There’s no chance Jerry Brown isn’t that house on Halloween that gives out carrot sticks and coloring books about the dangers of paganism.”
I can’t speak to Brown’s Halloween treat selection, but I can tell you that second up to bat in his basket of betting goodies is a sleeve of Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Cakes, Lightly Salted.
Mmmm…Styrofoam pancakes with a smack of salt.
And that, my friends, is the worst governor wager in sports. Governor Cuomo says he’s looking forward to collecting his bounty of books and rice cakes after the Rangers take the series.
“I am wagering big on the Broadway Blueshirts with a Taste NY Basket of some of New York’s finest products,” Governor Cuomo said in a press release. “We look forward to receiving the proceeds of Governor Brown’s wager.”
Ah, yes, the rich bounty of California, with all its many pages and rice-y goodness.
I’m projecting the New York Rangers to win the Cup, mostly due to the awfulness of Governor Brown’s bet but also to see Governor Cuomo’s strained smile as he holds aloft a sleeve of rice cakes.
Rice cakes of victory—the sweetest ambrosia.