Friday May 13th, 2016

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning kick off the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night, and in a time-honored tradition, the mayors of each city have placed a friendly wager on the series.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal has the details, and quite frankly, they’re pretty lame.

The mayor (or mayors, because St. Petersburg’s mayor is joining Tampa’s) of the winning team will receive $1,000 to be donated to the Veterans charity of their choice, as well as a case of beer from their favorite brewery.

Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, y’all can do better than this.

Okay, charity certainly sounds great. I’m not going to complain there. Let’s just make sure the money isn’t coming from some inappropriate tax-enhanced slush fund. As for the beer, where’s the fun, hokey regionalism?

Tampa does have a solid craft brew scene thanks to Cigar City, but they have better things to offer, and the same goes for Pittsburgh.

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What should the actual bet be? If the Lightning win, Tampa’s mayor should receive a year’s supply of those delicious Primanti Bros. sandwiches. And if the Penguins win, Pittsburgh’s mayor should receive a year’s worth of Cuban sandwiches. Or lightning in a bottle. (Seriously, Tampa is the lightning capital of the United States, they have to do something with all that lightning.)

If hockey teams’ mayors can’t even get their largely ceremonial wagers right, it’s no wonder this country is losing interest in hockey.

– Rohan Nadkarni

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