"U.S. Reps issue Illini/Cardinal Challenge"

Taking a brief hiatus from the mundane diversions of public policy, U.S. congressmen representing the Fighting Illini and the Louisville Cardinal turned their attention to another weighty matter today - NCAA basketball.

The congressmen - U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Ill. and Anne Northrup, R-Ky. - have agreed to a wager - a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken if the Illini win and a bushel of sweetcorn if the Cardinal wins. Rep. Northrup said she is looking forward to Illini corn.

"We have Rick Pitino and a great group of basketball players to lead U. of L. to victory," Rep. Northrup said. "Our office is confident we'll soon be enjoying some corn from Illinois, courtesy of my esteemed colleague Mr. Johnson."

On the other hand, Johnson said he fully expects to bring home the chicken as well as the bacon. "I'm glad I don't have to face Rep. Northrup in a political contest because she'd be a formidable opponent, and I know firsthand she's an outstanding legislator who has accomplished much for her district and the University of Louisville. As much respect as I have for her, in the basketball arena, she loses."

"Louisville has had their fun in the Final Fours of the past, but this is 2005, it is the Illini's turn and the Illini's destiny. I'll bet our kernels against her colonel any day."