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January 12, 2007

Gov. Blagojevich accepts friendly wager with Washington State Gov. Christine Gregoire
Winner depends on outcome of NFL Playoff Game

Springfield and DuQuoin treats part of wager

CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today accepted a friendly bet with Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, as the Chicago Bears and the Seattle Seahawks prepare to go head-to-head Sunday at Chicago’s Soldier Field in the National Football League (NFL) Divisional Playoffs.

If the 13-3 Chicago Bears prevail, Gov. Gregoire will provide apples and smoked salmon fresh from Washington.

If the 9-7 Seattle Seahawks win the game, Gov. Blagojevich will send to Olympia, Washington 17th Street BBQ, a DuQuoin State Fair favorite, and Cozy Dogs, an Illinois tradition from Route 66.

“The Bears have stepped up their game in every way this season. Bears fans have been with the team through some tough years, but this year we feel the team is ready to take their talent, hard-nosed game and determination all the way to the Super Bowl,” said Gov. Blagojevich. “That challenge starts here with the playoff game against the Seahawks, and I look forward to enjoying Washington smoked salmon and apples when the Bears shut them down!”

“The Seahawks have found a way to win despite difficulties with injuries this season and, once again, we see them in the playoffs. They play the game with intensity, talent and heart, and they have hit their stride over the last two games, making them a dangerous team for any opponent,” said Gov. Gregoire. “The 12th man never gives up on their team – and they know how to get to Chicago. I can’t wait to serve Illinois barbeque and hot dogs for the NFC Championship game! Go Hawks!”

Sandwiches from 17th Street BBQ are one of Gov. Blagojevich’s preferred treats during the DuQuoin State Fair. “The Legend” in the world of barbecue, Mike Mills, opened the Southern Illinois small tavern in 1985 with an award winning menu. 17th Street BBQ has been a feature in Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, Food Arts, Fortune, National Restaurant News, Midwest Living, National Barbecue News, Barbecue America, Saveur, Vogue, Men’s Journal, The New York Times, CBS This Morning, Food Network and the Travel Channel.

Cozy Dogs were the original road food along Route 66, with a famous stand in Springfield called the Cozy Dog Drive-In. The original Cozy Dog was invented by Ed Waldmire while he was in the Air Force stationed in Amarillo. Although once named “crusty curs,” Waldmire agreed to change the name at his wife’s insistence. For over 50 years the Waldmire family has been serving their unique hot dog on a stick and French fries along Route 66, which takes travelers through the heartland from Chicago to Santa Monica, California.

The Bears have already beaten the Seahawks once this season and boast a 13-3 record for the regular season. The Bears have the best record in the NFC and are known for their strong and relentless defense. Seven Bears players have been selected to play in the NFL Pro Bowl, more players than any other team in the NFC.


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