If you read my "A" post, you know that The Aluminum Company developed the Small Town. It was a planned community; before that it was all farm land. The Small Town at one time was known as North "Twin City" (obviously not it's real name!). The Aluminum Company had developed the town, which had sidewalks, sewer, roads that were paved, and decent water supplies. The Twin City saw what we had, and tried to slide in some legislation that would annex North Twin City, thus enjoying the taxes received from a lumber company as well as the aluminum company. A few of the "founding fathers" got together and applied for the North Twin City to become the Small Town. The Twin City officials were blindsided, and were appalled that the aluminum company actually gave the Small Town its name instead of keeping North Twin City. It was about that same time that the Twin City decided its schools were too crowded, and notified the Small Town that the students in one of our neighborhoods would no longer be able to attend Twin City Schools.
And so begins the rivalry. Twin City High has always been much larger that Small Town High. (From now on, Twin City High will be "TC" and Small Town will be "ST"...I'm getting tired of typing both of those out!) There is a mere 4 miles between the schools. Both schools excel in academics and sports.
The football rivalry began in 1923. The overall record is something like 58-23-3 in TC's favor. During ST's 7 year state championship run, we only had 2 undefeated seasons. Which means we only beat TC twice in 7 years.
Flashback to when I was in high school, and even before. The hatred was heightened during rivalry week. You have 2 towns that are so close that you can't tell where one begins and one ends. You have bad feelings, although most of the young people don't know why they don't like the other side, they just know they do. You have young kids who sneak over to the other side to do things like paint their bridge, and egg-fights ensue. The punishment if you got caught: You spent the game at the police station.
You have lookouts at the Thursday night band practice...just in case. You defend your duck pond with eggs to avoid having to deal with the humiliation of a rebel flag (TC's mascot) proudly waving in the middle of it. And, you paint the bridge. At least twice a night, because someone wasn't doing their job and allowed TC students to paint things that aren't nice about ST.
While I was never in an egg fight, I did paint the bridge my Sophomore Year after band practice. I wasn't suppose to be there, but I had to. I chose to open a spray can with my car key, and broke my key. I ended up telling my dad that it just broke, and I thought he bought my explanation. Because, of course his princess wouldn't do anything she wasn't suppose to be doing!
Throughout the years, the "meanness" of the rivalry has been watered down. I attribute it to both towns growing, and people who don't understand what it means moving in. About 13 years ago, though, some ST students went to a pet store, bought some mice, painted the first letter of the school on their backs, and released them in TC's high school. They got caught, and were required to clean the stadium after the game. They had plenty of help, and were hailed as heroes in the Small Town.
Part of the reason the game has lost some of its "meanness" is that it's now played very early in the season. ST's mantra during most seasons is "if we played them later in the year, we would've beat them". Likewise, I heard one of the TC's football player's mom say the same thing when we beat them. My response: Now you know how we feel!
The game has grown into a phenomenon. While ST's population is around 8,000, the attendance at the game exceeds 10,000. A few years ago, the game was televised locally, but in 2012, ESPN picked up the game. ST held tough, but just didn't have the manpower to compete in the last quarter.
People will start lining up at the gate the morning of the game. 2 years ago, the game was held on a Saturday. The gates opened up at 2:00, and there were people waiting at 11:00. It's just gotten way out of hand. As much as I enjoy football, I really hate going to that game. It's hot, humid, and people are packed in the stands like sardines. And it smells like it. Ladies bring their babies to sit out in that hot sun hours before the game even starts. And then the babies start getting cranky. And if you need to go to the concession stand? Forgetaboutit. The ST has started having drink only stations situated around the stadium, which I think has helped when we host the game. I have no idea what TC does. The last time I went over there for the game was when MS was a junior. And I swore it would be my last. This year, people were passing out because it was played on an August Sunday afternoon...on turf, which is TC's new surface. I'm sure the money that the athletic departments got for the game is nice, but come on!
And speaking of money...ST's band boosters are responsible for the concessions at our home games. So, this game is HUGE. It's where we get the bulk of our money for the rest of the year. In the past, whoever hosted the game got all of the ticket money. A few years ago, our athletic director (who is a TC alum) and their athletic director decided to split the money so that neither school would have an "off" year. And, this past year was the first kick-off classic that both schools are sharing ownership of. Last year ST hosted it since the rival game was held at TC.
Once, when I was at the high school for something, the secretary & I started talking about the rivalry. She's not from here. She said she couldn't believe how much "dislike" there is between the schools. I told her that to this day, I don't wear red & black (TC's colors) unless it's a mistake or I have to for some event. And, I have a feeling that TC's alumni and students don't wear maroon & white/gray unless they're required to!