It's been seven years since Savanna (Ill.) High won a football game, yet every day starting linebacker Mike McIntyre lies on his bed and plans the victory party.
"First, we'll take the goalposts down," says McIntyre, a junior. "Then we'll drag 'em to Manny's, and he'll give us free pizza and pop until we puke. And we'll party nonstop until Monday—clothing optional. Then we'll get ready to do it again!"
Sixty straight losses for Savanna High, yet after every one the Indians' grinning, happily bald coach, Dave Baisden, finds each smelly, sweaty and muddy kid and hugs him as if he's just returned from a NASA mission to Saturn.
"I've coached at other schools where we won all the time," says Baisden, 40, in his fourth season at Savanna. "Yet I had kids quit every year. I've never had a regular quit on me here. They keep coming to practice every day, and I love them for that."
It was October 1995 the last time Savanna beat anybody—the longest high school football losing streak in America—yet on this Friday night, as the Indians prepare to go up against Aquin, the fourth-ranked team in Illinois's LA division, every one of Savanna's 16 players thinks the Streak is about to end. "Nothing wrong with right now!" Baisden bellows on the sideline.
"This is where it starts!" the players yell. "No prisoners!"
And after Aquin goes 75 yards in the first 73 seconds to score, the Indians holler, "O.K.! Our turn!"
And after Aquin takes a 20-0 lead in the first seven minutes, the cheerleaders still chant, "We'll beat you! Defeat you! Knock you all around!"
And after Aquin takes a 46-14 lead at the half, the Indians are in each other's faces. "That's the way to go!" says freshman linebacker Adam Francke. "Fourteen points! And it's only halftime!"
See, 14 points is more than Savanna has scored all season. In 24 of the 60 losses the Indians have not scored a single point, and in 48 they have not made it to double digits. You don't even want to know how many times they've been the homecoming opponent.