A hundred students, parents, and supporters gathered in the Tannerville High student parking lot. Parking in two distinct rows, their cars expanded no less than fifteen spots for, perhaps, a total of 30. The tailgate party was underway, and the chants started, "Too-though, too-though, too-though Titans" They repeated over and over with undying support. "Titans! Titans! Let's go, Titans!"
By a quarter after noon with little over an hour before game time, the crowd of both young and old grew rowdy. "Titans! Titans! Let's go, Titans!" Even customers in the bagel shop down the street got into it, humming their team song between sips of coffee. The big game was the topic of conversation; they, too, would be there.
Hank, the biggest Titan fan, in more ways than one, arrived in his red pickup honking the horn. A Tannerville alumni (Linebacker, No. 86), Hank pulled his beat up Chevy between the rows of cars. Music blaring from its stereo, the truck stopped right in the middle, as if Santa Claus was arriving in his sleigh with toys. "We Will Rock You," by Queen thumped with too much base from the speakers. Everyone sang along, "We will, we will, Rock You!" Seconds later Hank hopped out, passed around red plastic cups, and unhitched the tailgate. He jumped into the flatbed and tapped a keg, pausing for a moment to clear the line of the spigot with his mouth. Suds dribbled down his chin. He licked his lips and smiled. The tailgate was underway!
Across town Jaguar fans met in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Mostly students and parents, the crowd was devoted, yet small. That is, until the town mayor pulled up leading a parade of seven more cars all stuffed with anxious fans. For the mayor, it may have been a political median to spread his name, but for the townsfolk of Holland it was a chance to watch football, their lifeblood, and their team, who were in the big game.
Away from the crowd, the Henderson brothers, Jamal and Terrell, also known as the JD brothers, sipped copper-colored liquid from brown paper bags. Holland graduates three years ago, they were quiet and rather shy – until provoked. The rest of the supporters sipped steaming coffee compliments of the Wally's Donuts across the street. After a few more high school seniors arrived, excitement spread like poison ivy and everyone began cheering. Even the JD brothers, chilling on the hood of Terrell's slick, dated Camaro, hooted along.
The mayor shook everyone's hand, while personally promising each and every resident in attendance a guaranteed victory. "We will prevail," he preached sermon-like. "God will see to it. Jaguars will win!"