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Big Apple mayor ducks betting against Sabres But aide's slap shot cites Bills' Norwood

The mayor of the Big Apple is being a big baby.

Not only is New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg too chicken to wager on the upcoming series between the New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres, as reported in Tuesday's Buffalo News, but his press office has sent out a snarky salvo as to why the billionaire mayor just can't be bothered to put his money -- or even a lousy hot dog -- up for a bet.

"Mayor Bloomberg has only the highest praise for what Mayor [Byron W.] Brown is doing in Buffalo," the statement by spokesman Stu Loeser started.

Then came that famous New York attitude.

"Norwood -- I mean 'nor would' -- we ever mention other memorable postseason games that Buffalo lost to a New York team," it read, referring, of course, to Scott Norwood's heartbreaking last-second field goal attempt that could have won the Super Bowl for the Buffalo Bills against the New York Giants.

"But we simply can't go making friendly food wagers every time one of our pro teams enters the postseason," the statement said. "After all, there are only 18,000 restaurants in New York City."

Would that include the Taco Bell in Greenwich Village with those cute little rats, Stu?

Taking the Bloomberg camp's ribbing in stride, Brown called New York's mayor a "good guy."

But Brown stood strong for his boys on ice.

"While Mayor Bloomberg might be one of the best mayors in America, I am confident the Buffalo Sabres are the best hockey team in the NHL," Brown said.

Brown spokesman Peter Cutler called for a clarification to Loeser's statement.

"He made reference to Super Bowl XXV in a not-so-subtle way," Cutler said. "While he's correct that the Buffalo Bills lost that game in the final seconds, their team is called the New York Giants -- who played then and to this day their football games in the State of New Jersey."

News Staff Reporter Brian Meyer contributed to this report.

e-mail: mbecker@buffnews.com

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