This football season has turned Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi into a riverboat gambler.
Nenshi has bets going with mayors from two different cities this weekend.
The University of Calgary Dinos face Quebec City’s Laval Rouge et Or in Saturday’s Vanier Cup, followed by Sunday’s Grey Cup game between the Stampeders and the Ottawa Redblacks.
“I’m excited because as you know Calgary teams are playing in two national championships this weekend,” Nenshi told reporters Tuesday at city hall while decked out in a Stampeders jersey.
Nenshi’s Grey Cup bet with Ottawa mayor Jim Watson has a culinary component. If the Stampeders win, Nenshi will get a gift of Ottawa’s famous beaver tails. A Redblacks victory will earn Watson salted caramel doughnuts from a Calgary company.
“Apparently he would like to be saltier and sweeter,” Nenshi said of his national capital counterpart.
Watson countered on Twitter with “Hey ?nenshi, that donut may be called Nenshi’s Salted Caramel, but it has my name all over it!”
The losing team’s mayor wears the winning team’s jersey and reads a poem, chosen or written by the winning team’s mayor, at a next council meeting.
The loser mayor must also make a financial donation to the winning city’s food bank equivalent to 10 times the game’s score differential.
Nenshi’s Vanier Cup wager with Quebec City mayor Regis Labeaume is similar, but with a French-English language twist.
“It’ll be a little more fun because it’s not only reading the poem. The poem is in the other language,” Nenshi said.
Calgary’s mayor couldn’t resist a poke at Energy East pipeline politics in proposing maple syrup and bitumen be included in their bet.
“Unfortunately I’ve been told that there is no pipeline and he doesn’t want to transport it by rail,” Nenshi quipped.