This Packers-Redskins Wager Is a Weird One

By Mike Pomranz |

© Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Politicians placing bets on their hometown sports teams is about as old hat as using the phrase “old hat.” So there’s nothing inherently newsworthy about the recent revelation that Rushern L. Baker III, executive of Prince George’s County, home to the Washington Redskins’ FedEx field, placed a friendly bet with Troy Streckenbach, executive of Brown County in Wisconsin, where the Green Bay Packers play.

What is a bit odd, though, are the stakes of that bet. When the two teams face off Sunday in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game, they won’t just be battling over football. If the Packers win, their county will also earn some of that famous Maryland… coffee. Should the Redskins win, everyone back in Prince George’s County can be proud that they also won some of that world-renowned Wisconsin… root beer. Wait? What?

On further inspection, the bet makes a little more sense. Brown County is home to Titletown Brewing Company that makes Sno-Cap root beer. And the well-known Eight O’Clock coffee brand has its production plant in Prince George’s County. That said, neither product seems particularly iconic for the state it’s coming from.

Uh, Maryland, how about offering up some seafood. And seriously, Wisconsin? You make great beer, but I’m talking about the alcohol-containing kind. As one Facebook user wrote: “Root Beer? Please! You know the Redskins are going to win why did you not go for the cheese????????”

Exactly. While you have to support your home county, you also have to make sure you’re wagering something worth winning. You might as well have the Chiefs and the Texans betting famous Texas sashimi against delicious Kansas City wine.

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