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Bill Nelson’s Private Hell

Friendly bets regarding the outcome of the Stanley Cup Final  are flying around up here on Capitol Hill. But no matter who emerges victorious, Sen. Bill Nelson is destined to remain the odd man out.  

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Florida Democrat has gone all-in behind the Tampa Bay Lighting in the best-of-seven series that will decide the next National Hockey League champ.  

Sen. Richard J. Durbin is backing the Chicago Blackhawks, and he’s put up regional goodies as collateral.


The Illinois Democrat has wagered unspecified amounts of Goose Island Beer Co.’s 312 Urban Wheat Ale , along with munchies from Garrett Popcorn Shops on the cup staying in Chi-town. “Coach Joel Quenneville’s team has the talent, experience, and heart to bring the Stanley Cup home again to Chicago and the best fans in all of hockey,” the Senate minority whip said in a statement.  

Should his team falter, Nelson pledged to produce authentic Cuban sandwiches plucked from an undisclosed location in Tampa. One Nelson aide expressed an affinity for the pork-filled delicacies served at la Tropicana Café in Ybor City — “hot and pressed,” our source specified — but declined to identify the potential source of any gustatory payoff.  

The thing is, win or lose, the septuagenarian lawmaker won’t be having any of it.  

“His diet doesn’t allow Cuban sandwiches — or 312 Beer and popcorn for that matter. So, the Lightning will just have to win,” Team Nelson said of the boss’s strict dining regiment.  

No beer, popcorn or Cuban sammies? Heard on the Hill wouldn’t last a week on that nightmare program.  

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