By Debra A. Parker
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Norman’s mayor doesn’t make a habit of wagering on the Sooners, but she did accept Morgantown Mayor Jim Manilla’s bet on this weekend’s game.
The Sooners travel to Morgantown this weekend to take on the Mountaineers of Big 12 newcomer West Virginia University. Game coverage will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“Mayor Manilla has had a wager with the mayors of other Big 12 cities,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. “So I accepted. I thought it would be a good way to welcome West Virginia to the conference.”
Exactly what’s on the line, aside from braggin’ rights?
The loser has to wear the winning team’s shirt at the next city council meeting, which will be Nov. 27 for both cities.
The city of Morgantown issued a news release with Manilla’s challenge: “I, Jim Manilla, mayor of the city of Morgantown, do hereby challenge you, Cindy Rosenthal, mayor of the city of Norman, Okla., to the Big XII Mayor’s Challenge: to act as municipal authority conducive to the pride and spirit of your home team, willing to wear the Old Gold and Blue in the event that West Virginia University reigns victorious and provide Crimson and Cream just in case Oklahoma wins, achieving municipal friendship in fun, frivolity and the spirit of good sportsmanship.”
According to the release, Manilla said he was hoping to spread fun throughout the football season by issuing a similar challenge to other home game opponents.
“I thought it would be fun if we could get our new friends in our fellow Big 12 cities involved in a challenge of sorts,” Manilla said. “All in the spirit of fun and good sportsmanship.”
Rosenthal said she already has her Mountaineer shirt in hand — a gift from a Morgantown merchant — and has sent a Norman merchant’s Sooner gift to Manilla.
“They sent me a shirt with a big ol’ Mountaineer on it,” Rosenthal said during a telephone interview from New Orleans where she is attending the Mayors Institute on City Design.
“This is only the second time I’ve done something like this,” Rosenthal said. “The first time, the mayor of Miami and I made a bet. I won and we exchanged food items.”
Rosenthal said she received an assortment of Cuban pastries, “which were wonderful.”
“This time, there are no goodies involved,” she said. “There will be nothing fattening.
“I’m counting on the Sooners to win,” Rosenthal said. “I don’t really want to make a fashion statement at the next council meeting.”
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