A high-profile game sure brings out the politicians. Super Bowl winners often get face time with presidents (or voice time with them), for example. Sometimes politicians even want to be seen with athletes who've just disgraced themselves in front of the entire planet: In 2006, after Zinedine Zidane notoriously headbutted Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final, French politicians eager to be seen with a French Arab hero rushed to Zidane's side.
Still, it doesn't always benefit the politician to be at the ballgame, of course. Especially when the team is the Philadelphia Flyers. Just ask Sarah Palin.
The stakes are a little lower down here on Tobacco Road, to put it very mildly: According to a press release issued today from the Chapel Hill mayor’s office, Kevin Foy and his counterpart in Durham, Mayor Bill Bell, will stimulate one or the other's municipal economy after the outcome of Wednesday night's battle royale in Cameron Indoor Stadium between the sixth-ranked Blue Devils of Duke and the third-ranked Tar Heels of UNC.
If Duke loses, Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy will receive tickets to a show at the Durham Performing Arts Center, the newly opened largest performing arts theater in the Carolinas. If UNC loses, Durham Mayor Bill Bell is invited to a night on Franklin Street and Asian cuisine at the Lantern Restaurant, which the News and Observer ranked as the 2008 #1 restaurant in the Triangle.
If every loser won such sweet deals, we should all be losers, right? Ahh, not really. Far more difficult than accepting defeat is the second part of the wager - if UNC wins, Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy will supply Durham Mayor Bill Bell with a Carolina blue sweatshirt which he will wear at the next Durham City Council meeting. If Duke wins, Durham Mayor Bill Bell will supply Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy with a Duke blue sweatshirt which he will wear at the next Chapel Hill Town Council Meeting.
Mayor Bell wasn't reached for comment.
Perhaps Mayors Bell and Foy, and you, dear reader, will consider join our crack Triangle Offense contributors Wednesday night as they live-blog the game, which starts at 9 p.m.