Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn makes good on a Super Bowl bet as he wears a Green Bay Packer jersey while stocking shelves at the Shalom Center in Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Kenosha News, Sean Krajacic)
Updated: November 16, 2011 1:21AM
The usual local delicacies weren’t at stake in the NFC championship game bet between the governors of Illinois and Wisconsin.
But Pat Quinn still had to choke on a metaphorical Wisconsin brat Tuesday morning, when he fulfilled the terms of his wager with Scott Walker by wearing a Green Bay Packers jersey while volunteering at a Kenosha food bank.
“I’ve been a Bears fan all my life, and this is not easy,” a grimacing Quinn said as he donned the hated green and gold shirt at the Shalom Center Food Pantry. “I’ve never worn a Packers jersey and I hope I never have to wear one again.”
Quinn lost his bet with the Republican cheesehead when the Packers beat the Bears 21-14 at Soldier Field in January.
He tried to soften the blow by picking the number 75 jersey of Packers tackle Bryan Bulaga, who Quinn said “had the good sense to be born in Illinois,” and by wearing a signed number 40 Bears jersey underneath.
“Gale Sayers is closer to my heart,” Quinn joked as he peeled back the Packers jersey to reveal Sayers’ autograph, momentarily provoking a panic among onlookers afraid that he might continue to strip.
Under the terms of the bet, Walker would have been forced to wear a Bears jersey while volunteering at the Greater Chicago Food Depository on the Southwest Side if the Bears had won. Walker’s clashes with government worker unions made it difficult for Quinn to honor the bet sooner, Quinn acknowledged.
Asked to name an American he would less rather lose a bet to, Quinn failed to name a more disagreeable opponent but said he was glad to draw attention to the important work of food pantries rather than make a traditional food-based bet.
Walker later issued a press release rubbing salt in the wound.
“I look forward to having him back when the Green Bay Packers repeat as Super Bowl champions,” Walker’s statement said.