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Bets are down for EWU game

Newark Mayor Vance A. Funk III couldn’t resist what he calls “a gentlemen’s wager.”

Nor could he resist being a booster for his city and the University of Delaware based there.

Since the Blue Hens made the Division I-AA national football championship game against Eastern Washington University, Funk has traded e-mails with Tom Trulove, mayor of Cheney, Wash., EWU’s home.

In the mayors’ modest bet, Funk put up a print of artwork created for Newark’s 250th anniversary to Trulove’s selection of locally made wines. The losing city is to fly the winner’s flag over city hall for a day, as its mayor wears clothes emblazoned with the winner’s name. The loser must send photos as proof of compliance.

Funk, feeling a UD win, gave staff a note, “Need to get our flag ready!”

His prediction was shared by a state power.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell issued a joint statement Thursday saying he and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire have “a friendly wager” on the game.

Markell decided what to bet based on Delawareans’ suggestions on the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

He bet Dogfish Head Beach Beer, the brewer’s root beer available only in Delaware, lima beans and chicken from Sussex County, which he noted is the nation’s top poultry-producing county. Gregoire bet Walla Walla wine, plus steak and potatoes from Washington, which Markell noted, tops the nation for per-acre yield of potatoes.

“I know this will be a tough game, but I am confident the Eagles will bring home the championship,” Gregoire said in a joint statement. “My husband, Mike, and I are both looking forward to grilling some Delaware chicken on the barbeque and washing it down with Dogfish Head root beer.”

Markell acknowledged EWU, saying, “Despite that strange red turf, the Eastern Washington Eagles are a great team - they’re fast and they’re focused.

“But,” he added, “we expect they’ll hit that wall of Blue Hens hard. Our players have the hearts of champions, so I am looking forward to enjoying some Washington steak and potatoes.”

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