Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is so confident the Utah Jazz will defeat the Houston Rockets in the first round of the NBA playoffs that he has challenged Houston's mayor to a friendly wager.
Becker predicts a repeat of last season's playoffs, when the Jazz beat the Rockets in the first round. If he's right, he'll receive pecan pies made by Good Company Barbecue from Houston Mayor Bill White one pie for every Jazz victory in the best-of-seven series.
"It's good Texas food," Mayor White said.
If the Rockets win the series, Becker will send White a pair of Ski Salt Lake Super Passes, which would entitle the Houston mayor to two all-day passes at any of Salt Lake City's four ski resorts (Alta, Brighton, Snowbird or Solitude), as well as round-trip travel on city buses, ski buses and light rail during his Salt Lake City visit.
Becker has also offered to ski with White during his visit.
"Salt Lakers skied on Memorial Day last year and enjoyed watching the Jazz play past that weekend, well after the Rockets ended their season," Becker said. "I think the Jazz are going to take this series again. I'm looking forward to enjoying those pecan pies from Mayor White when they do."
White countered with a prediction of Rockets revenge.
"We're coming back at you again this year," he said.
Becker said he expects an exciting series from the Jazz and Rockets, who meet at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Houston for Game 1. The game will be televised on ESPN. After two games in Houston, the series shifts to Salt Lake City for games on April 24 and April 26.
"We feel like Utah has proven itself," he said. "It's time for Houston to step to the plate."