Workers paint a World Series logo on the grass at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
When sports clubs from two cities compete, elected officials and other notables begin placing wagers on which team, and city will be victorious. The World Series is no different and this year's contest between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals has a lot of wagers being bandied about between mayors, governors, city councils and even zoos.
Gov. Rick Perry vs. Gov. Jay Nixon
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has bet his Missouri counterpart barbecue and Dr Pepper that the Texas Rangers will beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. If the Rangers lose, Perry will send Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon choice selections from the Salt Lick in Driftwood, Texas, along with Dr Pepper. The soft drink's parent company is based in suburban Dallas. Nixon has put up St. Louis-style toasted ravioli, gourmet prosciutto salami, frozen custard, and Budweiser beer from St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch. In a statement Wednesday, Perry said Nixon was about to discover "you simply can't mess with Texas." Nixon countered that he was looking forward to seeing the Cardinals wrap up their 11th World Series title.
Arlington Mayor vs. St. Louis Mayor
The mayors of Arlington and St. Louis are of course right in the middle of this as well. Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck lost his bet last year when the Giants beat the Rangers 4-1 in the World Series. This year, Cluck hopes to fare better against St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay. Cluck bet some items from Spring Creek Barbecue, Marquez Bakery (Yum) and Olenjack's Grille. He'll even toss in some Nolan Ryan steaks. “It’s always fun to make a friendly wager,” said Mayor Cluck. “It’s a way to show support for our team. We believe the Texas Rangers winning streak will continue to a World Series victory and this year, in addition to some great Texas barbecue, we’re raising the ante with Nolan Ryan steaks.” When the Rangers win, Cluck will receive Pi Pizza, Pappy's barbecue, Park Avenue gooey butter cake, Crown Candy Kitchen chocolate, Schlafly beer and a CD of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The symphony has been, I am told, considered a bit of good luck for the Cards after playing a couple of postseason performances.
Dallas Zoo vs. St. Louis Zoo
Arlington doesn't have a zoo, so Dallas stepped up and made a wager with St. Louis' zoo. If the Rangers win it all, the CEO of the St. Louis Zoo will shovel 1,000-pounds of animal dung while wearing a Rangers jersey. If the Cardinals win, the executive director of the Dallas Zoo will do the same but in a Cards jersey. Phew. This may be the costliest one of the bunch.
Fort Worth Diocese vs. St. Louis Diocese
Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Fort Worth is betting Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis that the Rangers will come out on top against the Cards. If not, Vann will send barbecue and a, not in a, Stetson hat to Carlson. If the Cardinals win, the Archbishop will send down from St. Louis Schlafly beer, Fitz's root beer, toasted ravioli and a Cardinals baseball cap. The losing side will also make a $10 donation for every run scored in the series. There has to be a joke about cardinals and bishops in here somewhere, right?
Six Flags vs. Six Flags
Finally, Six Flags Over Texas is making a wager with sister park Six Flags Saint Louis. Park presidents Steve Martindale of Arlington and Dave Roemer of St. Louis are pitting the New Texas Giant against the American Thunder in St. Louis. If the Rangers win, the American Thunder taken apart piece by piece and hauled to Texas by hundreds of Budweiser Clydesdales. If the Cardinals win, the New Texas Giant will be packed up, driven to the Mississippi River and pushed upstream toward Missouri. Kidding, but man, would that be a bet or what? OK, seriously now. If the Rangers win, the American Thunder would be renamed the American Ranger for a day, if the Cards win, the New Texas Giant would be renamed the Giant Cardinal for a day. The park presidents will then, of course, don the opposing team's cap and jersey and take a few promotional photographs. Somewhere in here, Six Flags wins.
Rep. Joe Barton vs. Rep. William Clay
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who offices in Arlington, and William Lacy Clay (D-MO) are making a wager. If the Cards win, Barton will send a case of Lone Star beer and BBQ brisket from Spring Creek. If the Rangers win, Clay will send a deep dish pie from Pi Pizza and a case of Budweiser. “St. Louis may have a better baseball pedigree that includes such characters as Dizzy Dean and the Gashouse Gang, but if Rep. Clay thinks his Cardinals are going to beat the Rangers he must be Dizzy,” said Barton. Good one Congressman.
Dallas Mayor vs. St. Louis Mayor
There's no baseball game being played in Dallas, but that didn't stop Mayor Mike Rawlings from getting in on the action. Slay, taking all comers, agreed with Rawlings that the losing side would designate a $1,000 Paul Harris Fellowship to honor a citizen for outstanding community service in partnership with the local Rotary Club. OK, that's pretty cool.
City Council vs. City Council
So, on Wednesday night, we all know the Cardinals won Game 1. That didn't scare the Arlington City Council. Thursday afternoon, long before the Rangers won Game 2, the Arlington City Council offered the St. Louis City Council not only the 0-1 handicap, but Irish nachos from J. Gilligans, El Gabacho's chicken and beef fajitas with all the trimmings, Ventana Grille's triple-chocolate cake, Prince Lebanese's baklava and Twisted Root's Pumpkin Spce Root Beer. The 28-member St. Louis council offered up more Budweiser beer, Imo's pizza, chocolates from Merbs Candies and frozen custard from Ted Drewes.