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Ohio, Oregon Senators wager on championship game

Karen Kasler
Ohio Public Radio

There could be four U.S. Senators doing some  odd gyrations on the steps of the Capitol by Tuesday morning. 

All because of a football game Monday night - the national championship game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Ducks.

There's interest on Capitol Hill in the Monday night game.  Ohio Senator Rob Portman says he'll be watching the game.

Portman, a Republican, and the Democratic senator from Ohio, Sherrod Brown, have a wager with their colleagues from Oregon.

“We’re going to be wearing our scarlet and grey and meeting at a local establishment, to celebrate the victory of the Buckeyes over the Oregon Ducks,” Portman said during a conference call with reporters on Thursday.

“I entered into a wager today, with my colleagues from Oregon.  So now I’ve got to be sure we do have a good night on Monday night,” he said.

If Ohio State wins, Oregon's two Senators - Democrats Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden - must join Portman and Brown in spelling out O-H-I-O on the Capitol steps.  If Oregon wins, Portman and Brown must "Throw the O", a hand gesture used by Oregon players and fans.

Brown said that as a "a proud alum of The Ohio State University, I look forward to watching the Buckeyes bring home the first ever college football playoff championship.”

“The waterfowl of Eugene will put up a strong and respectable effort but will ultimately migrate back to Oregon empty handed,'' Brown said. "I accept senators Wyden and Merkley’s wager and look forward to helping them spell out the name of our great state after the game. Go Bucks!”

“We make this wager in full confidence that Oregon will win Monday night with its high-octane offense led by Heisman winner Marcus Mariota and its swarming, ball-hawking defense,” Wyden and Merkley said in a statement. “And we of course look forward to showing our friends from Ohio how to make the universal symbol for Ducks’ dominance.”

The game is scheduled for Monday night, at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas.

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.