The gift basket bet: Seattle vs. New Orleans



The New Orleans Saints already have a 10-point favor over Wild Card opponents Seattle Seahawks. But then there's this wager: The cities' respective mayors are preparing gift baskets full of their mutual exports — seafood, pastries and music — to send to the winning team. (You may recall a similar bet back in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, when Indianapolis and New Orleans wagered pieces of art from their respective museums.)

Based on the strength of the goods, despite the odds, I'd say we still have Seattle beat. Should the Saints win, Seattle mayor Mike McGinn will send Pacific smoked salmon, Top Pot maple donut bars and Jimi Hendrix albums. And should Seattle win tomorrow, Mitch Landrieu will send seafood gumbo, king cake and albums from Irma Thomas, Fats Domino and the Neville Brothers, as well as the soundtrack to HBO's Treme.

This wager should be equal parts "Congratulations" and "Our stuff is better than your stuff" — nobody in New Orleans will or even should argue the importance of the Seattle guitarist to whom all modern musicians owe a life debt.

But smoked salmon up against an explosive oyster-and-crab-filled holy bowl? Not a chance. And as long as Mitch picks up a cake from somewhere other than a grocery store checkout line, the king cake always trumps donuts. (That is until donut specialists conjure a (likely fatal) king cake-donut hybrid.) Also, coffee has mysteriously been excluded from both cities' care packages.

No matter tomorrow's outcome, we've already won. But thanks in advance, and so long and thanks for all the fish, Seattle.

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