Politicians make good natured bets between each other on athletics all the time. Usually, they involve gift baskets full of items native to one location or another and a friendly press conference congratulating the victor.
If only it had been that easy for Layton, Utah, Mayor Steve Curtis, who lost a bet by percentage points and spent an entire high school football game cheering with the cheerleaders for his town's opponent as a result.
"I lost a bet, it's as simple as that," Curtis told the Deseret News, which reported on his bet with Syracuse, Utah, Mayor Jamie Nagle. "After three months of fierce training and competition, losing to Jamie by such a narrow margin stings. Well, OK, that sounds like tough talk, but it was all in fun and every city could use a little friendly competition, right?"
The penalty was a key part of the bet between the mayors of the two Utah towns. Hoping to motivate each other to lose weight and get fit, the two challenged each other to post a lower body mass index (BMI) than the other after three months of committed diet and training. When the two stepped on the scales leading up to Layton and Syracuse's annual rivalry game, Nagle had a BMI that was 0.2 percent lower than Curtis.
As a result, days later, Curtis was on the Syracuse sideline, wearing face paint promoting his Layton allegiance with a Syracuse football jersey (he was number 62 for the night) while actively waving the opposing school's dark blue pompoms. Curtis took all the official stances of the cheerleaders when waiting between cheers.
He would have worn a cheerleader's uniform … if one existed that would fit him.
Fittingly, Curtis got plenty of exercise for himself during the game, too. According to the Deseret News, the Layton mayor took part in the Syracuse cheerleader tradition of doing a full pushup for each Titan point scored after every scoring play. By the end of the game, Curtis had done more than 120 pushups on top of a dedicated effort cheering on a team he had to hope would lose.
Instead, Syracuse prevailed, walking away with a 34-7 victory against Layton to spoil the town's homecoming. Given the result, Curtis might get a call from the Syracuse football coach sometime soon, too.
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