The black Lincoln Town Car led the procession into the Georgetown High School parking lot. Across and up on a hill sat the Georgetown Field, to the right the high school. The football field served as a neutral site, located twenty-minutes from the town center in Tannerville and Holland.
Following the mayor, the thirty-plus cars navigated the lot for a block of spots. All the ones near the athletic complex were already occupied by Tannerville Titan fans, so they settled for the spots right inside the entrance, a long ten minute walk.
The back door of the Lincoln pushed open and the mayor of Holland stepped out. Following his lead, the rest of the Jaguar brigade unloaded. Holland had arrived, and with them a silent fog that descended upon the parking lot. Tannerville faces froze pale as they stared across the parking lot. Black faces returned the dismal looks. Hank, bearing his old Titan uniform, broke the intense stare-down. He cranked up the truck stereo; Titan fans broke into song. "We will, we will Rock You!" When the song ended, Hank replayed it, prompting an exchange of more evil stares. The overcast smell of battle, if not wet grass, hung in the air.
As Holland fans passed them by, Hank and rest of the Tannerville party cheered louder. Black Jaguar supporters hung their heads; they remained stone quiet and quickened the pace. Bitter feelings between the towns filled the air, of which there was little room. It was already saturated with moisture, and only time stood before it would give way.
And it did. A racial slur let fly. "Fucking, Niggers!" some Titan fan whispered under their breath. In the eye of the hurricane, each Holland fan scanned the opposition fans for the dirty mouth. The mayor looked at each in turn. Finally, like a magnate, all eyes fell on Hank, who smiled, burped, and held up a red plastic cup. Cheering broke the racial thread.
Jamal Henderson fired back. "We gonna kick your ass!" he shouted. Terrell, his brother, drew down the bottle from his mouth and hollered at Titan fans. And as he did, a contrasting silence stormed the parking lot, when the trail end of his tirade was heard, "… white Goddamn trash!"
Disturbed, Hank heaved an empty beer cup. Words flew back and forth, some racial epithets, others suggestions of where to go. Finally tension broke when from up the hill, atop the scorekeeper's box, a foghorn sounded. A short announcement informed, "Five minutes to game time." Holland fans walked away; Tannerville drained their cups and refilled for the short walk to the gate.
At the ticket booth in front of the gate, it was apparent these two towns clashed. Whites from Tannerville sporting Titan red lined in front of the left ticket window, and blacks from Holland in Jaguar black took the right. Not a word was spoken between them. Talk was hushed and quiet, only amongst their own.
Referees met with the captains of both teams at midfield for the coin toss. Jaguars captain Kobe Henderson called tails. The coin landed tails up. Winning the toss, the Jaguars elected to receive. The Titans chose to defend the western end zone. So the refs lined the Jaguar captains on the east side and the Titans on the west, indicating to fans which team would start off defending what.
Filing into the stands, black and white faces searched for seats. Tannerville claimed the left side, the side nearest the concession stand, and Holland the right. As soon as late-arriving fans paid their tickets and then entered through the gate, it became apparently clear which side they were to sit. Blacks swarmed to the right, whites, obligingly happy to keep maximum distance, the left, as hushed words floated back and forth. Each knew what the other thought; they knew it. For one was black, the other white. And they kept to themselves while they ridded epithets from their systems, which only made them sound exactly as the others were claming them to be.