'Bet-Gate' continues! Miami Mayor Regalado goes on the record

May 20, 2011

It's hard to watch an important Chicago sporting event when you know there is nothing on the line. That's what Chicagoans are faced with this basketball season as Mayor Emanuel chose not to engage Miami Mayor Regalado in an intra-city bet.

You see, Emanuel didn't actually start his term until he was inaugurated on Monday. And Daley ended his term with a big, live ceremony at City Hall on the previous Friday. And the Chicago Bulls/Miami Heat series started on Sunday.  Hmmm.

I reached out to the Emanuel press office to talk about this controversy but didn't hear back. However, Miami Mayor Regalado did respond to my questions about this alarming, developing and very (faux) serious issue.

Regalado said he hasn't been contacted by Emanuel - and he's actually happy because he doesn't really like the wagering tradition anyway. "This betting thing is overdone," he said. "It was cute for, like, five minutes."

In what I could only conclude was a direct attack on Chicago and everything this city stands for, Regalado also said, "How could we continue to be a hip city if we did things like that?".  Dem's fightin' words, my new friend.

And they're especially tough words to swallow if you are an old school mayor who just retired, who seemed to make a bet with every city every time a game was even marginally important.

Could it be that we are seeing a new trend in politics? Shying away from the old "Let's jump-start commerce" press conference that displays various home grown items on an office table next to the mayor's podium? I mean, who'll know that Carson's is still cooking ribs and Vitner's still makes potato chips if not for a good ol' media designed "bet conference"?

Here's the interview with Mayor Regalado. Big thanks to him for taking the time to talk to me about this issue, which seems to be getting more and more attention locally (from me).

The best part of the interview? I asked him if he thought he would get the star treatment TNT has been giving super-fan Emanuel. He told me no. Why?  Because he can't get tickets to the game. Maybe LeBron can sneak him in with his entourage.