Friday, July 15, 2011

President Obama Settles NBA Bet, Sends Chicago Hot Dogs To Univision Miami Journalist

Noticias 23 reporter hails President as "a man of his word," explains "famoso perros calientes de Chicago;" payoff arrives straight from Windy City...
On May 12th, President Obama was wrapping up an interview at the White House with reporter Mario Andrés Moreno of Univision Miami’s Channel 23 when the conversation turned to the upcoming NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The President's beloved Chicago Bulls were facing Miami's Heat, and the two made a foodie wager, pitting traditional Chicago Hot Dogs against Cuban Fritas on the outcome. The Heat triumphed, and almost two months later, the President made good on his bet, sending Moreno a personal note inside a box loaded with all the ingredients needed to make the Windy City favorite. During the evening broadcast on July 7, Moreno had his famoso perro caliente de Chicago at the news desk, and told the story. A screen shot behind the anchors featured a picture of the President, a hot dog, and the phrase “Palabra Cumplida” - “Kept His Word.” (Top: Moreno and his co-anchors; inset, Moreno holds up his Presidential note)

"El Presidente Barack Obama cumplió con la apuesta que hizo con Noticias 23, enviando los perros calientes de Chicago," Moreno said (the President honored his wager to Channel 23, sending Chicago hot dogs...), and explained that 2011 is a year in which everyone is wondering if the President will keep promises he made in his election campaign.

The fixings included what many Chicago Dog gourmands consider the best brands: All beef hot dogs by Vienna; poppy seed buns by S. Rosen's Mary Ann; Plochman's yellow mustard; Vienna Chicago Style relish, which is bright green; Vienna sport peppers; celery salt; and onions, tomatoes, and pickle spears. The Presidential payoff arrived in Miami in a big insulated white cardboard box, sent directly from Chicago. (Above: Los ingredientes principales)

Moreno and his fellow journalists cooked the dogs in the newsroom's microwave, then had a belated Heat victory party, courtesy of the President. One producer ruined his Chicago Dog with the addition of ketchup, and the rest of the team chastised him: "NO lleva ese condimento!"

The bet became a hometown food faceoff because during their interview, Moreno reminded President Obama that he'd enjoyed Fritas during a visit to Miami in October of 2010. (Above: Moreno vamps with his famoso perro caliente de Chicago)

"I've had those and they're very good…so you've got a bet," President Obama said.

The White House was sanguine about the Bulls' loss.

"The President is looking forward to a delivery of Cuban Fritas to the White House next season!" the White House said in a post on the official blog.

The Dallas Mavericks were ultimately the NBA champs, and the President called coach Rick Carlisle and invited the team to visit the White House. The playoffs featured First Lady Michelle Obama and hoops superstars in basketball-themed PSAs for the Let's Move! campaign.

Related: President Obama likes sports bets with food: In the summer of 2010, he made a beer bet with UK Prime Minister David Cameron over the outcome of the 2010 World Cup match-up between the USA and England. The game ended in a draw, and the two leaders swapped bottles of beer.

*Photos by Daniel Lastra/Univision; video from Univision