South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a Clemson graduate, also supports the South Carolina Gamecocks (except perhaps on the day the two teams meet) and both teams will be representing the state in January post-season bowl games. Haley took the opportunity Friday to wager a friendly bet with the governors of West Virginia and Nebraska that her teams will be victorious in the Orange and Capital One Bowls.
As a graduate of West Virginia University who now calls South Carolina home, this author anticipated the Orange Bowl bet and has been asking friends and family recently what they though West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomlin would offer his southern counterpart. Suggestions included cakes from the famous Greenbrier Resort, handmade items crafted in the state or a bottle of blackberry wine from Daniel Vineyard.
Tomblin, who will be cheering on the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Discover Orange Bowl, left his options open when he put a “basket of goodies representing West Virginia’s unique heritage and talents” on the line.
“The only thing I look forward to more than the excitement of cheering the Mountaineers on to victory at the Discover Orange Bowl will be enjoying the fine South Carolina culinary treats I will receive, courtesy of Gov. Haley,” Tomblin said.
“It’s been an exciting year for the Clemson Tigers and Carolina Gamecocks,” said Haley. “As both teams prepare to represent South Carolina on college football’s biggest stage, we take pride in what they have accomplished and in the values of hard work and determination they have come to embody. We couldn’t be more confident to put Lowcountry shrimp and grits on the line because we know the Tigers and Gamecocks are going to make us proud.”
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, who is cheering on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Capital One Bowl, put Omaha Steaks on the line.
“It will be an exciting bowl game,” Heineman said. “In a defensive struggle, the Blackshirts will prevail. I’m looking forward to sharing shrimp and grits with friends.”
As for this author who cheers loudly for both South Carolina teams during the regular season, on Wednesday she will be putting out the Mountaineer flag, eating pepperoni rolls, and cheering on the Mountaineers when they take the field against the Clemson Tigers. No matter who wins the game, she will still wake up Thursday extremely proud to call both states home—one by birth and one by choice.
The Discover Orange Bowl is scheduled for 8:00 PM EST on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 in Miami, Florida. The Capital One Bowl will be played on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Orlando, Florida at 1:00 PM EST.