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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

Football-fueled Feud Creates Rivalry Among Key Republican Leaders

September 8, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC:  The Capitol was rocked with controversy yesterday afternoon as a faux fist fight broke out between two long-time Republican political allies, Majority Whip Steve Scalise and Vice-Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, Gus Bilirakis. The source of the conflict—a good old fashioned football rivalry. Bilirakis, who has a long-standing reputation for being a mild-mannered and no-nonsense Member of the United States Congress shocked colleagues by challenging Scalise to a duel over whose hometown football team would be victorious during this Sunday’s season opener.  Scalise, who hails from Louisiana, is confident that his New Orleans Saints, who are feeling secure after a strong performance in last year’s post season, will come marching in and topple the Tampa Bay Bucs. Bilirakis, who was raised in Tampa Bay, has faith that the Bucs’ defense led by Gerald McCoy will be able to contain the talented Brees, which will give the solid offense featuring the seasoned and steady hands of Mike Evans and the speed and agility of Peyton Barber  room to secure a victory. 

With both men believing that civility is something too often lacking in the halls of the Capitol, they agreed to a friendly wager instead of a physical altercation.  If the Tampa Bay Bucs win, Scalise will provide homemade Gumbo to the Tampa Bay Congressman.  And, if the Saints should find a way edge out Tampa Bay, Bilirakis will owe Scalise a Tarpon Springs sponge and delicious Cuban sandwich from Havana Dreamers’ café in Trinity.  

The Saints may be the favorites this weekend, but I am a loyal believer.  I know from personal experience that the less flashy, behind the scenes work-horse is constantly under-estimated.  I think this is a case where the underdog comes out on top.  With Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, and with the weapons on both sides of the ball looking healthy, my belief is that the Tampa Bay Bucs will surprise the naysayers.  I can’t wait to taste some of my friend, Steve’s, spicy Gumbo when I return to D.C.,” said Congressman Bilirakis.