A Proper Wager

When state colleges meet in important games it always seems to generate the sort of gubernatorial bravado in which the states chief executives wager something emblematic of their state on the game. The Washington State governor might put up a bushel of vaunted apples against a sack of the famed potatoes from Idaho. The Dairy State, Wisconsin, could bet cheese for some corn from Illinois or Iowa.

But what of the meeting between the universities of Connecticut and Kentucky on Saturday in the NCAA men's basketball semifinal? The governors—respectively Dan Malloy and Steve Beshear—in an uninspired piece of betting have put up for stake ice cream from Connecticut and country ham from Kentucky.

Are they new here?

What sort of a pantywaist gamble is that? Connecticut's not known for ice cream. And country ham for Kentucky? Maybe, but shouldn't Virginia be putting up country ham? If Connecticut bets Kentucky, the stakes have to be cigars versus Bourbon.

At least that's what immediately comes to my admittedly jaded mind. But come on, this is clearly a nanny-state-politically-correct decision. I'm a Connecticut resident and am badly embarrassed by this wager. It's not bad enough that we produce some of the best wrapper tobacco in the world and then basically ban smoking in the state, we have to put ice cream in a wager. What's next, you won't be able to drink Bourbon in Kentucky, but you'll be allowed all the ham you can eat?

Malloy! Beshear! Have some cojones.

And, "Go, Huskies!"

"I am with you on that one. It would be like Michigan Vs Germany and we put up soy beans and they put up wiener schnitzel! I mean come man, we make world class cars. Wimps! By the way last night, after a spectacular Easter repast we sat in our front parlor, and drank Wood ford Reserve Bourbon and smoked an Ashton w a Connecticut shade wrapper. " —April 25, 2011 11:56 AM
"Malloy wagering ice cream ... it figures!" —April 2, 2011 06:10 AM
"As much as I'd tend to agree, much like Connecticut's ban on smoking only 32 out of 120 counties in Kentucky are "wet" counties. That is they have no restrictions on the sale of alcohol. For a state that is renowned for Bourbon many of its residents cannot freely partake. For instance, the county in which I used to live, Todd County, only recently based a vote that permits the sale of alcohol in restaurants that seat 100 diners and still maintain 70% of sales from food. Which translates as one restaurant that can now sell beer and wine in the entire county! As sad as it is, country ham and ice cream have become the new emblems for these two states. I lived in Kentucky for 4 years, they have some mean country ham, great with biscuits. As for Connecticut, it's possible they're trying to compete with the Vermont image of idyllic dairy farm with milk, cheese and (always room for) ice cream. The question I would ask is which has a higher revenue? Bourbon vs. Country Ham? Connecticut Tobacco vs. Dairy?" —April 1, 2011 11:27 AM
"Country ham, eh? While certainly a more refined offering than, say, fried chicken, I have to agree that Bourbon is a much much better choice! And what goes better with Bourbon than a good cigar? I say that the winning team should get both of the offerings. http://bit.ly/Quintess" —March 31, 2011 11:14 AM