“You don’t wanna go to warrrrr ... with the Shockers.”
In a performance that failed – miserably – to evoke memories of music’s great trios, Wichita City Council members James Clendenin, Jeff Longwell and Pete Meitzner serenaded Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer with the Wichita State basketball hymn as a conference call wound up Thursday morning at City Hall.
Before the musical assault on Kentucky, there was much smack talk between Fischer and Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, and many steaks, a case of the mayor’s barbecue sauce and a collection of Kentucky bourbon were bet as the mayors exchanged good-natured barbs leading up to Saturday’s Final Four clash between the Shockers and Cardinals.
If the smack was scored on points like a boxing match, Brewer was the aggressor and clear winner. Fischer came out gracefully, while the Wichita mayor made it clear: He expects a shipment of bourbon to give to a local nonprofit for fundraising.
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“I’m kinda worried about this game this weekend,” Fischer offered.
“I’m not gonna say I’m worried about it,” Brewer shot back. “I’m feeling pretty confident.”
“We’re going to do the best we can,” Fischer said. “You guys have pretty strong defensive pressure and hit the boards hard, so we’re going to play as hard as we can.”
Brewer sounded a warning for the Louisville mayor.
“Wichita State – we’re playing angry and our team has been mad ever since the thing started,” the mayor said.
“What ya so mad about?” Fischer asked to loud laughter from the media in Brewer’s office. “What y’all so angry about?”
“We’re determined,” Brewer said, “determined that we’re gonna walk away with the Final Four. You’re gonna have to give everything to get that done.”
“There’s a little smack comin’ down here,” Fischer said, laughing.
But later, after council members indicated they were anticipating a feast with Brewer’s steaks and Fischer’s bourbon, the Louisville mayor bounced off the ropes.
“That’s a good fantasy to have,” he said, chuckling.
As the call wound up, Clendenin, Longwell and Meitzner started – and killed – their musical careers.
“I hope they’re better council people than they are singers,” Fischer said.