WASHINGTON – If the Baltimore Ravens beat the New York Giants in Sunday’s Super Bowl, New York Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer will have to eat a little crow on the Capitol steps.
Or, to be more accurate, they will have to recite all 106 lines of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.”
But if the Giants win, start spreadin’ the news, baby. It will be Maryland Sens. Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski on the steps singing “New York, New York,” as part of their bet with Schumer and Clinton.
Sarbanes has done some singing in church, said a spokesman for the Baltimore Democrat. But the senator hasn’t taken any voice lessons, nor has he rushed out to buy the “New York, New York” sheet music nor picked up a CD copy of one of Frank Sinatra’s signature tunes.
Sarbanes doesn’t think he needs to brush up on the lyrics. “We’re confident,” spokesman Jesse Jacobs said.
The senators’ wager is one of the more imaginative of the obligatory Super Bowl XXXV bets between elected officials in Maryland and the New York region.
Rep. Ben Cardin, D-Baltimore, is betting his town’s microbrews against cannoli, kielbasa, kimchi and other ethnic New Jersey delicacies offered by Rep. Steven Rothman, D-N.J. Cardin’s district includes the Ravens’ stadium and Rothman’s district has Giants Stadium.
Cardin is so confident of victory that he is already planning a party that will include the barbecue beef he won from Rep. John Tanner, D-Tenn., when the Ravens beat the Titans in the playoffs.
Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening is putting up a bushel of crabs against New York Gov. George Pataki’s bushel of Long Island little neck clams. Rep. Robert Ehrlich Jr., R-Timonium, is betting a couple dozen steamed crabs against six New York-style pizzas from Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y.
John Ernst, co-owner of Ross’ Seafood and Chips Cafe in Dundalk, will cover Ehrlich’s bet. Ehrlich played high school football against Ernst, who has supplied the congressman with crabs when he entertains his Capitol Hill colleagues.
Ernst said New York will get its crabs — prepared with 33 ingredients under a 30-year-old recipe — but as an offer of condolences, not the spoils of victory.
“I don’t want to be cocky,” Ernst said. “But I like our chances.”
But, just as Ehrlich stands to win “New York-style” pizzas, Fossella can only count on getting “Maryland-style” crabs next week. Blue crabs are scarce in Maryland in January, when they are more likely to come from warmer Louisiana waters, Ernst said.
— CNS reporter Elizabeth Cogan contributed to this report.