As an estimated 2 million Blackhawks fans crowded into downtown Chicago yesterday with many sporting red Blackhawks jerseys in celebration of the team’s third Stanley Cup championship in six years, one Hawks jersey was on display in an unlikely venue–Tampa’s City Hall.
Tampa Councilman Mike Suarez (right) paid up for a bet he made with me just before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup. Of course, I bet the Hawks would win the Stanley Cup and Mike put his money on his home team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. We agreed the loser would send the winner a favorite food from his city and contribute to a charity of the winner’s choice.
To make the wager a little more interesting, however, we decided to raise the stakes. We agreed that the loser would wear the winning team’s jersey to his next city council meeting.
As reported in the Tampa Tribune, Mike made good on his agreement at yesterday’s Tampa City Council meeting and donned the bright red Blackhawks jersey that I sent to him the day after the Hawks won the championship. “I apologize for this garish awful thing,” Mike is reported to have said. “The tags are still on it because it will be returned after this deal.”
The real winner of our wager, however, is Family Matters, the Rogers Park non-profit which works with at risk families in the North of Howard community. As part of our bet, Mike agreed to send a donation to this incredibly worthy agency.
I salute Councilman Mike Suarez for his grace and good humor (better him than me) and look forward to a rematch next year!