In his ritual bet with his Minneapolis counterpart, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu could have chosen any number of local treats to ante up in anticipation of this weekend's big game. Me, I might have gone with some gut-warming gumbo for a cold Minnesota day, but Landrieu went seasonal and wagered a king cake that the Saints would once more end the Vikings' season.

Mayor Jacob Frey countered with his own native delicacy: Minnesota wild rice.

Don't you kind of feel like New Orleans has won already? Let's hope the whole weekend turns out as lopsided.


With the end of his second term approaching, this is Landrieu's final go-round on mayoral duties like this. Already the mantle is shifting to LaToya Cantrell, who is preparing to make such major decisions as choosing a new police chief and director for the troubled Sewerage & Water Board.

Landrieu is in clean-up, close-out mode, but he's still the mayor, which means he got to host his final Twelfth Night kickoff last weekend, and he gets to enter into ceremonial competitions with fellow city leaders.

Back in 2010, Landrieu won his first term on the same weekend that the Saints won their one and only Super Bowl, and it may be the only time he's ever enjoyed playing second banana. Another long playoff run would be a fitting bookend to his tenure — not to mention a much richer reward than a bowl of rice.

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.