All Bets Are On: Governor Patrick, Menino Make Wagers on Stanley Cup Finals

Patrick is putting volunteer work on the line, while the mayor is offering up access to the city's website.

Spirit of America photo via Shutterstock

Before the Bruins even boarded the plane to head to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Massachusetts officials were starting to make wagers on the series between the two teams. Governor Deval Patrick and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced Tuesday that the governor of the losing team’s state will volunteer at the food bank of the winning governor’s choice.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, these are the terms of the wager:

If the Bruins win, Governor Quinn will volunteer at the Greater Boston Food Bank. If the Blackhawks win, Governor Patrick will volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Quinn took a jab at Patrick, saying he his “skating on thin ice,” but the Massachusetts governor seemed pretty confident in the Bruins taking home another win. “I look forward to seeing the Bruins circle the ice with the Stanley Cup above their heads,” said Patrick. “And I’m delighted to join with Governor Quinn to use the excitement of the playoffs to draw attention to the important issue of food insecurity.”

Staying true to his ritual every time one of Boston’s teams make it to a championship series, Mayor Tom Menino sent a letter to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with a list of items he would ship to the Windy City if—and he seemed pretty sure it would be a big “if”—the Bruins were to lose to the Blackhawks. “You see, here in Boston, we have sports fans with a little something called heart. And so, as one of the country’s winningest mayors (championship titles, municipal elections, etc.), I’d like to offer you the following, though I feel strongly none of these items will be arriving at either of your airports,” Menino wrote in the letter, dated June 11, in response to Emanuel. “I look forward to receiving your package. Please use ground transport as I would like to avoid any weather delays.”

Here is what Boston will give to Chicago if the Bruins don’t win the Cup, according to Menino’s snarky letter to Emanuel:

– The “Best of Boston’s Local Foods,” foods that are grown or produced right here in the Hub, including some of our abundant seafood.

– Access to the City of Boston’s website for one day, to post a promotional video touting Chicago and its great attractions—no profanities, please.

– I’ll see your Steppenwolf with two tickets to the Tony Award-winning Huntington Theatre Company, and raise you two tickets to Theo Epstein’s “Hot Stove, Cool Music” concert in Boston.

– And of course, I’ll match you a tree, to be planted in the schoolyard of your choosing, highlighting our common commitment to education, parks and the environment.

If Boston wins, Chicago’s mayor has promised to send Menino lots of food, including corned beef sandwiches and potato pancakes, along with a picture of Emanuel at the iconic Chicago “Bean,” a “Menino 13” Blackhawks jersey, and a bottle of Sriracha hot sauce—re-gifted from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa after Chicago beat the Kings in the Western Conference Finals. (To be fair, Chicago’s offerings sound more like a consolation prize, rather than a congratulatory package.)

As stated in his letter, this isn’t Menino’s first bet, however, so he knows how to play by the rules. Last January, when the New England Patriots edged toward another Super Bowl appearance, and took on the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship, Menino made a food-centric bet with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. It was the second time the two cities put food on the line, with Menino getting to feast on crab cakes from Maryland after a 2012 AFC Championship win against the team. Unfortunately, Boston lost that battle last January, and Menino was forced to ship the rival city some local seafood and Alex’s Ugly Hot Sauce.

Patrick also put his faith in New England in 2012, and placed a food-based gamble on the team against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo when the Patriots made a Super Bowl appearance. The Patriots lost that game too, sadly, and Patrick had to meet his end of the bargain. Menino also placed a bet on the Super Bowl with New York with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and four lucky New Yorkers got an all-expenses paid visit to Boston for a few days.

Here’s to hoping we have a little more luck with hockey than we have had with football the last few years.