Political wagering is a longstanding tradition in championship series, as two elected officials ante up clichéd items that represent their respective cities or states. Which is usually great news for whoever plays Boston, because who doesn’t like lobster? Less so for opponents of New Jersey, because who likes landfills?
With the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York and Governor Jerry Brown of California announced their wager before Wednesday’s Game 1 and it’s amazingly … lame. From the Great State of New York, Andrew Cuomo wagers:
A hockey puck that he had imprinted last year to mark the “hat trick” of three on-time state budgets.
Yes, seriously, this is a thing that he wagered.
It’s possible he ran out of “CUOMO 2010” bumper stickers.
Spiedie marinade, which is used to create the spiedie sandwich, which is a thing eaten in upstate New York.
We know what you’re thinking: Pastrami on rye would be the quintessential New York sandwich. Ah, but you forget: This bet is atrocious.
This is what happens when you marry Sandra Lee instead of the Barefoot Contessa.
“Chicken wing sauce from Buffalo.”
You, know, Buffalo.
Home of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.
A team THAT’S NOT [EXPLETIVE] PLAYING IN THE STANLEY CUP FINAL BUT OH WAIT THEIR RIVALS FROM MANHATTAN ARE.
I mean, he’s only the governor, why would he be hip to such nuance …
Finally, “a bottle of wine from the Finger Lakes,” which we’re sure Jerry Brown will use to wash his glass with after consuming something from Napa or Sonoma.
The Cuomo “Taste of New York” basket also includes Gianelli Hot Italian Sausage; Sammy and Annie Food's Chicken Riggie Pasta Sauce Starter; Parker's Pure New York Maple Syrup; America's First Kettle Chip, Saratoga Chips, Saratoga County; Apples from Fishkill Farms; Red velvet cupcakes from Make My Cake; and oysters harvested off of Long Island's shore.
Lest you believe Cuomo wagered the lamest stuff in this bet, we give you the Jerry Brown side of the wager:
“California: A History” by Kevin Starr. A book, in a hockey bet. 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.
“Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Cakes, Lightly Salted.”
Do you even have to pay postage on rice cakes?
If nothing else, we applaud Jerry Brown for choosing an item that’s the antithesis of many California stereotypes: Tasteless and of little substance. Oh, wait …
Said Cuomo in a press release:
“While 2014 is already a banner year for New York State hockey teams with Union College and Clarkson University as national college champions, the true icing on the cake would be a triumphant return of the Stanley Cup to the Empire State. Both the Rangers and the Kings have put forward spectacular championship runs and hockey enthusiasts from the East Coast to the West Coast can surely look forward to a hard fought series.
“However, given the tough, New York-resilient spirit with which the Rangers have advanced through the playoffs so far, I am wagering big on the Broadway Blueshirts with a Taste NY Basket of some of New York's finest products. Together with one of New York’s biggest Rangers fans, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, we look forward to receiving the proceeds of Governor Brown’s wager.”
Jerry Brown did not provide a canned quote for the release, which is about as much effort as to be expected from someone who wagers rice cakes and a book in a sports bet.