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Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig bet New Hampshire maple syrup against the mayor of Hammond, La.'s hot sauce that the University of New Hampshire would beat the Southeastern Louisiana University Lions. The mayor recently paid up. (Courtesy)

UNH alum collects spicy reward

Syrup vs. the sauce.

What started as a polite dinner invitation led to a friendly wager between strangers over a college football playoff game involving the University of New Hampshire Wildcats and the Southeastern Louisiana University Lions a few weeks back.

Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig, a UNH alum, and Hammond, La., Mayor Mayson Foster, an SLU alum, backed up their collegiate pride with a friendly wager: New Hampshire maple syrup vs. Louisiana hot sauce.
Foster, who attended the game in his hometown, could almost taste the Granite State syrup on his pancakes.

"It was a great game, but we thought we had you guys for a while and you came back," Foster said in a phone interview from his Hammond office Friday.
Thanks to a late touchdown clinching UNH's 20-17 win, Selig instead received a package containing not one but seven jars of hot sauce from Foster,.

"I didn't know how much of a hot sauce person he was," Foster said. "Some of the flavors that are on there are really hot. There's a little bit for everyone."
So the morning after Christmas, Selig and some family members got in their licks, trying three flavors on eggs, including the red-hot habanero.

"It had great flavor, but left our mouths burning for about 15 minutes," said Selig, who prefers the sweet and spicy.
Selig plans to send Foster a pint of maple syrup, made by students at Madbury's Moharimet Elementary School, which his two daughters attend.

Foster, who spent $36 to buy and ship the sauce, is no stranger to New Hampshire.
"My wife and I used to be regular leaf-peepers," he said. "We'd go to Maine, then we would drive through New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, the New England area. We just love it in October."

In July, Foster attended a housing conference in Portsmouth and drove through the back roads of New Hampshire and Vermont.
He doesn't think he will make it for leaf-peeping season next fall, election time and all, but hopes to meet up with Selig some day, perhaps at a playoff game hosted by the Wildcats in Durham, a 1,600-mile drive from Hammond, which is north of New Orleans.
"I told Todd, hopefully next year, if we play there next year, I will definitely be there at the game," Foster said.

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