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Football Breeds Bipartisanship, Betting

Bipartisanship is in the air, at least when it comes to the National Football League. It’s not uncommon to see fans of college and professional sports in Congress wager their states’ wares and fares over the outcome of contests, but this week has produced some nice examples of bipartisan bonhomie over the gridiron.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is a fierce partisan warrior, but she and Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., have a cross-the-aisle bet on the outcome of Sunday’s Carolina Panthers-San Francisco 49ers divisional playoff game in Charlotte, N.C.

What’s on the line?

If Pelosi’s ‘Niners notch a win, Hudson will fork over Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits, Lance crackers and the Tarheel State’s delicious beverage, Cheerwine. If the Panthers prevail , Pelosi will supply Hudson with San Francisco sourdough bread from Boudin Bakery and chocolate from Ghirardelli and TCHO.

“If Leader Pelosi is so desperate to taste some delicious southern food and Cheerwine that she would enter into a bet she is sure to lose, you have to wonder what they’re feeding those folks out on the West Coast,” Hudson good-naturedly ribbed his colleague in a release.

“San Francisco’s legendary chocolate and sourdough aren’t going anywhere: the 49ers are going to flatten the Panthers,” Pelosi said in the same release. “I look forward to starting next week with a hearty meal of chicken, crackers, Cheerwine, and victory.”

The mention of Bojangles makes us think of a dark episode in HOH history, when we dared to make fun of it as a betting sum and were castigated by the office of Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Bojangles aficionados everywhere. It was a time we referred to simply as “Bojangles’ Gate,” and the HOH squad was permanently affected by it.

Meanwhile, Budget Committee bipartisan bosom buddies Paul D. Ryan and Patty Murray sent out a missive showing how close they’re getting.

(Courtesy of Sen. Patty Murray)
(Courtesy of Sen. Patty Murray)


Murray, chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, presented House Budget Chairman Ryan with an autographed Russell Wilson jersey from Murray’s home-state Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks play the New Orleans Saints in the Emerald City on Saturday. Perhaps because the Wisconsin Republican’s Green Bay Packers lost last week to the 49ers, Murray is giving Ryan another team to root for.

Murray has also been in the news this week for the bet she and her Senate colleague Maria Cantwell made with Sen. Mary L. Landrieu over the outcome of the Saints-‘Hawks contest. Oysters and beer are on the line!

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