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Off Main Street / The offbeat side of the news

Winging down to Pa.

President Obama, on his trip to Buffalo last year, chose to stop by Duff's Famous Wings. Our new governor, however, seems to prefer the Anchor Bar.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo bet his Pennsylvania counterpart over the outcome of last Sunday's conference championship battle between the "New York" Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

When the Jets -- who play home games in New Jersey -- lost, Cuomo sent Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett a basket that included Nathan's hot dogs, New York maple syrup and 50 Anchor Bar medium wings.

The package arrived at Corbett's press office on Thursday and was sent to the governor's residence that night, said spokeswoman Kirsten Page. Corbett plans to eat the food over the weekend, she said. "I hope he eats them soon," said the Anchor Bar's Ivano Toscani, who shipped wings to then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush after the Dallas Stars beat the Sabres in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals.

So who's going to pay for the food, including the $75 wings? A Cuomo rep assures us taxpayer funds won't be used, so campaign funds are a likely source.

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A Coke and a smile

NBC News led the Big Three network ratings Tuesday during President Obama's State of the Union address, but it was without 21-year old Will Brown, a die-hard Bills fan whose family hails from Batavia.

Brown, whose father attended Canisius High School with Tim Russert, saw the president's 2009 address up close, as an intern at NBC's "Meet the Press."

His most important task on the big stage? Getting dinner for Brian Williams from a nearby Johnny Rockets. The only problem was he forgot the anchor's beloved pre-show can of Coke.

"It was horrifying," Brown remembered. "I would say once I realized I left it [at the restaurant], it was like, 'Oh my God, what did I do?' "

Could NBC's 6 percent ratings boost for this year's broadcast be tied to the fact Brown wasn't there to forget Williams' pop? "Definitely," Brown said. "I think the Coke this year probably gave him the extra juice he needed."

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Law in the family

Anyone who works at Buffalo's federal court knows that, since the 1970s, Anthony M. Bruce has been a bulldog prosecutor whose job is putting criminals behind bars. The feisty prosecutor is not always a favorite of defense attorneys.

But daughter Elizabeth Bruce is working for the defense in one of the region's most notorious criminal trials in years.

Elizabeth Bruce, who recently passed the state bar exam and will be sworn in as an attorney in March, has been part of the defense team assisting Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan. Hassan, who admits beheading his wife but claims he did it because he was an abused spouse, now represents himself.

The elder Bruce is proud and not in the least bothered by his daughter's work for the defense. "She leads her own life," Anthony Bruce said. "Give her a couple of years and she'll be a tremendous advocate, no matter what side she's working on."

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From Buffalo to TV

As we pointed out last week, expatriate Buffalonians are taking over the world one government post at a time. Now they're popping up in the lofty realm of parody TV shows, too.

Jack Kukoda, a Buffalo native and Canisius High School graduate, is head writer for the "Onion SportsDome."

He told the MediaPost TVBlog his support for the long-woeful Bills prepared him well. "Being a Bills fan is not for the faint of heart," Kukoda said.

"SportsDome" began airing this month on the Comedy Central network. It's a product of the Onion's humorists and lampoons ESPN's "SportsCenter."

In one segment, "SportsDome" reported on a "scandal" in sports: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was caught faking his own kidnapping to gin up ratings for his league.

In a hostage video, the kidnappers claimed to be NFL players.

They later were revealed to be Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, former Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder and Dallas Stars winger Brenden Morrow.

Written by Stephen T. Watson with contributions from Charlie Specht and Dan Herbeck.

e-mail: offmain@buffnews.com

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