NBA Miami-OKC Bet: Corrupt Crabs on the Line

OK, so the Oklahoma City Thunder whacked the Miami Heat last night. But does that mean Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez will have to pay up with frozen stone crabs?

On Monday, Gimenez and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett bet on their cities' competing teams: If the Heat wins the series, Gimenez will be shipped premium Oklahoma steaks, and if the Thunder triumphs, Cornett will feast on stone crab claws from South Beach's Joe's Stone Crab.

One problem: Stone crab season ended May 16. Leave it to Miami to turn an innocent bet over luxury food items into something sneaky and crooked.

According to the mayor's office, "Joe's has a vendor who can legally supply stone crabs if the Heat lose." Hmm. Can you say congelado? Or maybe Miami's corruption reaches even its seafood farmers.

Crabs aren't killed when they're harvested, so there shouldn't be any concerns about Mayor Gimenez or Joe's Stone Crab hoarding old stone crab corpses anywhere. Once caught, stone crabs get their claws removed and are then thrown back into the ocean. So imagine more of a horde of crustaceous ligaments.

Anyway, it's commonly said that a season exists for stone crabs so that they have time to grow back their missing claws, but it actually takes about 18 months for claws to regrow, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. After the season, the availability of usable stone crabs in the area is slimmer, not to mention their harvesting is illegal in Florida until October 15 rolls around.

Whatever the case, if the Heat doesn't come through this year, Oklahoma might be receiving something equally as bitter as our tears in return.

Addition: In trying to discover where the prize stone crabs are coming from, we've tried calling Joe's Stone Crabs four times with no response yet. But stay tuned, we will keep at it.

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