The loser has to keep Don Cherry in his city for one year! Or wrestle a bear! Or swim with an orca!
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has asked his constituents for help as he plans a friendly wager on the Stanley Cup final between his city's Canucks and the Boston Bruins. Mr. Robertson took to Twitter and called on Canucks fans to help him decide what to bet against Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
It didn't take long for the ideas to start pouring in. "Loser wears a bear or green suit for a day!" said one post, referring to the Green Men who cheer on the Canucks and taunt their opponents. Another twitterer said the loser should sing the national anthem of the winning country and post the video on YouTube.
Added one politically astute observer in a dig at Mr. Robertson's fondness for bikes: "If Boston wins, you get rid of bike lanes. If Canucks win, you get rid of bike lanes."
Mr. Robertson met with reporters Sunday in Stanley Park, just a few steps from Lord Stanley's statue. The statue has been draped with a sign that reads: "The cup belongs here."
Sporting a blue Canucks jersey, devoid of the playoff beard that's provided little luck in past seasons, Mr. Robertson appeared amused by some of the tweets he'd received and touched by others.
"One that I really like, that I'm going to campaign for with the mayor of Boston, is that the loser buys season tickets for a couple of inner-city kids in the winning city," he said.
This isn't the first time the mayor has bet on the Canucks in these playoffs. A large ham was sent to him by the city of Nashville after the Canucks knocked off the Predators in the second round. The Vancouver mayor said the ham is keeping cool and won't be eaten until the Canucks claim hockey's holy grail.
Mr. Robertson, who took office in 2008 and is up for re-election this fall, also announced the city will be installing a couple of outdoor television screens so fans can come together and cheer on their team. The location of the sites will be announced Monday or Tuesday, as city officials are still completing details. Game 1 will be played Wednesday.
In previous playoff games this year, thousands of fans have already been flocking to a large screen outside CBC headquarters in downtown Vancouver. The new screens will definitely be open for home games, and possibly for road contests as well. The latter will depend on demand, since Rogers Arena will already be open for road games.
Granville Street, which fans have been spilling onto, will be closed to vehicle traffic for a couple of blocks along the main entertainment strip.
The downtown crowds have, naturally, grown larger as the Canuck playoff run has grown longer. After the team eliminated the San Jose Sharks and advanced to the cup final, 20,000 fans celebrated downtown. But the Vancouver Police Department said only six arrests were made, and the force expressed faith fans won't repeat the 1994 Stanley Cup riot that left more than 200 people injured and $1-million in damage.
The mayor echoed the VPD's sentiments.
"I think the VPD have really got the security thing under great stewardship right now. From the Olympics, they learned a great deal about how to be positive and how to welcome people and make sure it's a respectful energy on the street. I'm confident the VPD have that managed. The people of Vancouver, I think, have matured a lot since 1994. Although there's a lot of tension and expectation here, I think everyone wants to make this a positive experience."
Vancouver last celebrated a Stanley Cup win in 1915, when the Vancouver Millionaires emerged victorious. The Canucks franchise hasn't won a cup since the team entered the National Hockey League in 1970.
The mayor called the Canucks "Canada's team" and, to no one's surprise, predicted fans will have a lot to cheer about when this season is said and done.
"I think the Canucks are on a roll and all of us can feel it in our guts. I don't have any doubts that we're going to be celebrating big-time in these next couple of weeks. I don't underestimate the Bruins, I think they're going to give us some challenges. But I see the Canucks coming through this."