Sherman Mayor David Plyler spent Monday’s meeting of the City Council in a black Denison Yellow Jackets jersey to settle the wager he made with Denison Mayor Jared Johnson on last month’s Sherman-Denison Battle of the Ax football game. Since the Yellow Jackets won that game 49-24, Plyler had to wear the jersey for the duration of Monday’s meeting.
“I want to encourage the Sherman coaching staff to be a little more aggressive next year,” Plyler said after apologizing to those in attendance for his attire. “Although the referees were a little bit biased in that bogus charging call was a little infuriating.”
Sherman’s loss in the 119th Battle of the Ax on Nov. 10 was the second straight for Plyler as mayor of Sherman as Denison also won last year’s game by the score of 35-30. The most recent Denison victory was the fifth straight of Johnson’s administration, though a Yellow Jackets loss in 2012 gives the Denison mayor a 5-1 overall record during his tenure.
“I was very pleased with the outcome,” Johnson said last month via email of Denison’s win in the annual game. “Our team played great and represented our school and community very well. Five wins in a row is quite the accomplishment. I can’t wait for number six.”
Plyler said the jersey he had to wear this year was a different one than the one he wore last year, but he was glad he had a chance to get it washed before having to wear it.
Despite the competitive bet between the two mayors, Johnson said earlier that it ultimately is for fun between the two communities.
”Mayor Plyler and I work well together on numerous important issues that face our region,” Johnson said. “This one game a year is an exciting rivalry that both communities take a lot of pride in. We each love our community and enjoy supporting the festivities.”
The mayor’s wager grew out of a dinner Sherman and Denison city staff and council members shared last year during the Texas Municipal League Conference and the history of the mayors’ wager shared by former Sherman Mayor Bill Magers and former Denison Mayor Robert Brady.
Magers and Brady had a long-standing wager tied to the game in which the losing mayor had to pose for a photo wearing the winning team’s jersey with the photo then displayed at the winning mayor’s choice of venue. Now County Judge Magers still displays his autographed picture of Brady in a Sherman No. 50 jersey in his office. When he signed the photo, Brady also wrote, “To my ‘Good Friend Bill’ as the picture indicates this was torture!”
Herald Democrat reporter Michael Hutchins contributed to this article.