D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay turned what is usually a fun playoff tradition in which local or state politicians wager goods, meals or souvenirs associated with their respective jurisdictions into a big fat snoozer.
The only thing amazing about the bet announced Tuesday between the two mayors, whose cities' baseball team face off in Nationals Park Wednesday for Game 3 of the National League Division Series, is that it is perhaps the most boring bet in baseball. From the press release:
"The Mayors have agreed that, if the Nationals win the series, a special version of the D.C. flag emblazoned with the District's 'Taxation Without Representation' motto will fly over City Hall in downtown St. Louis for a day. Conversely, if the Cardinals take the series, St. Louis' 'three rivers' flag will fly over the District's John A. Wilson Building."
OK, let's first ignore the fact that this bet was made two games into the division series between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals rather than before the series started.
But seriously??? No Ben's Chili Bowl on the line? No cherry blossom starter kit? No Jumbo Slice eating challenge? Where's the creativity? Or at least the appetite?
We implore Gray to take a look at recent bets made by his compatriots in Maryland and Virginia. (Note the use of food and state pride.)
O'Malley v. Daniels
January 2010, Colts-Ravens AFC Championship game: Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. If the Colts win, O'Malley has to send Daniels Maryland's traditional crab cakes and Smith Island pie. If the Ravens, win Daniels sends O'Malley an old fashioned sugar pie from Wick's in Winchester, plus St. Elmo's signature shrimp cocktail. Daniels later upped the ante, making the loser fly the winner's team flag from the governor's car for a week. (You paying attention to that one Gray and Slay?)
McDonnell v. Daniels
April 2011, Virginia Commonwealth University-Butler NCAA men's Final Four: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Daniels (again.) If Butler wins, McDonnell sends Daniels a Virginia handcured country ham from Surry, Va. If VCU wins, Daniels forks over duck products from Maple Leaf Farms in Milford, Ind.
McDonnell v. Perry
April 2011, Notre Dame-Texas A&M NCAA women's national championship game: McDonnell and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. If the Aggies win, McDonnell sends Perry a case of Virginia's Barboursville Vineyards finest red and white wines. If McDonnell's alma mater Notre Dame, wins Perry sends a case of Becker Vineyards' Viognier wine, made in Texas Hill Country.