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Super Bowl XXXVII

Only Floridians saw pitch on glories of state's citrus

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 28, 2003

Florida residents might seem the one slice of the population that doesn't need to hear a pitch on the virtues of Florida citrus.

But the state Department of Citrus spent $140,000 to air a commercial that ran only once, and only on Florida television stations, during Sunday night's Super Bowl telecast.

Spokesman Eric Boomhower of the Florida Department of Citrus said the commercial was the start of a $1.1-million, grower-funded campaign called "Why Citrus Matters." It's aimed at making sure Floridians appreciate the role that oranges, grapefruit and their growers play in the state's economy.

"Twenty-five or 30 years ago, citrus was synonymous with Florida," Boomhower said. "Over the years there's been an emphasis on tourism. A lot of the folks who live here are not in touch with the heritage of the state. We decided it's time to re-establish an awareness."

Lawmakers' wagers yield tasty treats

Florida's senators say the Bucs' Super Bowl victory will mean they get some "almond joy."

Sens. Bill Nelson and Bob Graham will soon be receiving 25 pounds of almonds from Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., because of a friendly wager on the game. Graham and Nelson had offered a bushel of Florida oranges if the Oakland Raiders had won.

Rep. Jim Davis is also due for a culinary windfall.

The Tampa Democrat won his wager with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland. He'll be receiving some Peet's free-trade coffee, a tray of gingerbread cookies from T.J.'s Gingerbread House and a gallon of Dreyer's ice cream.

Davis, whose district includes Raymond James Stadium, is introducing a congressional resolution to congratulate the Bucs. It praises coach Jon Gruden for leading the team "to the pinnacle of success," it mentions defensive players Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch, and says the Bucs "are the best football team in the world."

-- Times staff writer Bill Adair contributed to this report.

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