New York mayor bets a cheesecake on a Giants victory
But New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who built an information services empire before his election, is so confident that the Giants will beat the Packers this weekend that he's putting a cheesecake where his mouth is. Or something like that.
Bloomberg and Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt have announced a "friendly wager" on Sunday's game in Green Bay. If the Giants win, Schmitt will ship local cheese curds and Titletown's Sno-Cap root beer. If the Packers win, Bloomberg will send Junior's cheesecake and -- in honor of the touchdown dance stylings of Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz -- salsa from the Brooklyn Salsa Co.
"The Giants are playing best when it matters most, and I know they're going to keep it up on Sunday," Bloomberg said in a statement. "I have a feeling that Victor Cruz will be dancing in the end zone and the Giants will be putting the Packers' Super Bowl dreams to rest just like they did four years ago. And our salsa and cheesecake will be staying right here in Brooklyn."
Schmitt was quoted by Bloomberg's press office as responding, “The Lambeau Leap will always trump a touchdown salsa dance! We have the best team in the NFL and I look forward to another win.”
The Packers, winners of the 2011 Super Bowl, have the best regular-season record in the NFL: 15-1, with their lone loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. But the Giants, 9-7 in the regular season, played them tough in early December, losing by a field goal, 38-35.
Bloomberg announced Thursday that he'd be wearing Giants blue on Friday and encouraged all New Yorkers to do the same for "Big Blue Friday."
But the mayor wasn't always so monochromatic.
When the Giants were playing the Jets in late December, he wore a blue and green tie to a press conference and uttered these neutral -- if not simplistic -- words when asked about the contest between New York's two football teams: “One of the teams will win and the other one will not, and then we’ll see whether, in the crazy NFL East, one of the teams -– or whichever divisions they’re in -– they can still compete.”
Bloomberg, a Massachusetts native, followed basketball and the Celtics. If he was also a Boston Red Sox fan, he was clever enough not to talk about it in New York. If he had, getting elected to three mayoral terms would have been a daunting challenge, even for a billionaire.
--- Geraldine Baum
Photo: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons during their NFC wild card playoff game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.. Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images