I made a new year’s resolution not to be mean and snarky. It lasted 11 days.
A press release went out this morning telling us that Tampa Bay’s mayor, Jane Castor, and Dallas’ mayor, Eric Johnson, have made themselves a wager on Monday’s contest between the Buccaneers and the Cowboys. I support betting. Betting makes sports (and pretty much everything else) more fun. But this mayoral bet is all wrong.
They are calling it a Tiff’s Treats Throwdown, and the winning mayor gets at least 6,000 cookies. The actual number is unclear to me, because Johnson’s press release says the bet is for “500 dozen boxes.” According to its website, Tiff’s Treats can pack up to three dozen cookies per box. So if the bet is for 500 dozen cookies, that would be 6,000 cookies, but if it’s for 6,000 fully packed boxes, that would 216,000 cookies.
Anyway, Tiff’s has locations both in Dallas and in Tampa, and the company is donating the cookies. Johnson says that when he wins, he will “distribute the boxes to the city’s first responders and to Dallas youth.” Dallas has about 178,437 kids under the age of 5, so I really hope the bet is for 216,000 cookies. Left explained by the press release is how Johnson plans to distribute all those cookies, especially if he wins only 6,000 cookies and they have to be broken into pieces to satisfy all the youths. Not to mention the first responders.
OK, let’s leave aside for the moment the mathematical and logistical concerns presented by this wager. Let’s focus on the nature of the foodstuff itself.
Mayoral wagers, when done properly, involve items indigenous to their communities. For example, if you are the mayor of Cleveland, you’d wager a, um—well, I don’t know what you’d wager. But if you were the mayor of Green Bay, you’d bet fried cheese curds. Chicago? Some deep dish pizza, a hotdog, or a bribe for a municipal construction project.
What you don’t do is wager something that both cities have in equal measure. You don’t bet Quarter Pounders or Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos Supremes. Or Tiff’s Treats. Which, by the way, started in Austin. Austin!
You know what else you don’t do? You don’t wager donated crap. That’s not a bet. No one is risking anything. That’s like Mayor Eric Johnson calling up Mayor Jane Castor and saying, “Tell you what. If the Bucs win, I’ll give you a smile.” Who cares?! For a bet to work, the loser has to hurt a little. The loser has to feel like a loser!
Lunchables are all made in Garland. Did you know that? Let’s put 60 dozen lightyears of Lunchables on the line. Or 70 kilowatt-hours of tamales from La Popular. Councilman Jess Moreno can get us a deal there. Whatever it is, do something Dallas (or North Texas).
Tampa Bay? The first thing I think of when I think of Tampa Bay is Cigar City Brewing. Mayor Castor should put a keg of Jai Alai on the line. Fact: most first responders in Dallas would prefer a frosty IPA over a warm cookie. Screw the youths. They shouldn’t have been part of this equation in the first place.
“But, Tim! In 2023 we all face too much economic uncertainty to go buying a truckload of Lunchables or enough beer to get every Dallas cop a good buzz.” Fine, fine. Then do the other mayoral bet thing: embarrass yourself. If the Bucs win, Johnson has to wear a pirate hat for an entire City Council meeting. If the Cowboys win, Castor has to wear chaps.
Let’s go, Cowboys.
Tim is the editor of D Magazine, where he has worked since 2001. He won a National Magazine Award in…