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Herd fans take tailgating to new levels

Sep. 08, 2012 @ 11:36 PM

HUNTINGTON -- The Thundering Herd took out some aggression on Western Carolina on Saturday, sending the Catamounts back home with a 52-24 loss.

But even before the first snap, some Thundering Herd fans were showing Catamount fans how to tailgate by taking the pastime to a whole new level.

Jeremy Adams, a local real estate developer and long-time Marshall fan, bought a towable tailgate trailer in the spring. And, with the help of friends, he decked it out in all things Herd, including a full wrap, decals and stickers. He even spraypainted the satellite dish in the new kelly green, then put a Marshall decal in the middle of it.

His inspiration, possibly to the dismay of Marshall fans, came from attending a few West Virginia University games when he and his wife lived in Morgantown.

"They went all out," he said of Mountaineer fans. "People up there take mini-vacations from Thursday to Saturday."

Adams, who also operates Thunder Sudz car wash along 5th Avenue, said the 6-feet-by-12-feet trailer has a bathroom, an interior cooler that holds three kegs, beer taps, a widescreen television, microwave, mini-fridge and surround sound. And it all runs on a generator. He said it created quite a buzz before the 7 p.m. game against Western Carolina.

But Adams said he knows not every fan can do what he did to spruce up tailgating. Food and drinks alone can cost a couple hundred dollars, he said. His advice is for people to get the new kelly green Marshall shirts to create uniformity at sporting events.

Adams' project did inspire another Marshall fan. Lynn Butler and her son-in-law, Matt Parsons, got her husband's 1997 Toyota 4Runner wrapped in Marshall green as a surprise this summer.

"It has 218,000 miles, and it needed a paint job, so that's what they told me," said Dr. Jim Butler, a Huntington dentist. "But when it took 10 days, I started wondering."

Before the wrap, Butler said his vehicle had the flags and magnets, something any fan can purchase and display. But, it's really just about supporting your team.

"Been a fan forever and proud of it," he said.

And that was the overwhelming sentiment of those tailgating Saturday. Win or lose, they will be in those parking lots before each home game this season.

"No matter what they do, we follow them," said Stacey Plummer, who is among a number of families that have tailgated together for years beside the Cam Henderson Center.

They especially like their spot because the Marching Thunder warm up on the new turf field behind them, getting them fired up for the game.

"I've got high hopes," Anita Urban said. "They do the very best they can."

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