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City-Parish President Joey Durel and his counterpart in Greenville, N.C., Mayor Allen Thomas, are getting in the spirit of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl with some “friendly” side wagers, as politicians are wont to do under such circumstances. Each is an alumnus of his respective university represented in the Dec. 22 game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

According to a press release from Lafayette Consolidated Government, “the ‘winning’ mayor will be treated to home cooking from the ‘losing’ mayor following the game.’ The contestants have not disclosed what those home-cooked meals will be; Durel’s will presumably be of the Cajun variety. The pair is also wager trees native to their respective regions: If the East Carolina Pirates win, Durel will send Thomas a bald cypress. (Joey Durel is balding, after all.) If the Ragin’ Cajuns prevail, we’ll get a crepe myrtle, and goodness knows we don’t have enough of those in Lafayette.

“I thought this would be a fun way to add to the festivities and build some camaraderie between our communities,” says Thomas, who is echoed by his Lafayette peer: “Our two cities don’t know a lot about each other,” adds Durel, “but the football game will give us an opportunity to share our culture and joie de vivre with another thriving community in the Southeast.”

The Cajuns are making their second consecutive appearance in the New Orleans Bowl. This will be East Carolina’s first, but its sixth bowl appearance in the last seven seasons.

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