HAVRE — If Mariani Mania hadn't hit Havre before now, it sure did on Sunday when Tennessee Titans rookie return man Marc Mariani made a trip home to sign autographs and raise money for local charities.
Steve Mariani says his son thought an initial plan to have him autograph photos and other memorabilia from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. was a lot longer than was needed.
Mariani was wrong. People showed up hours in advance and the mall stayed open well past its 5 p.m. closing time as Mariani signed autographs and talked with fans until after midnight, raising about $9,000 to be shared among St. Jude school, the Havre Public Schools Foundation and the local Boys & Girls Club.
David Murray, who coached football at Havre Middle School, says Mariani's story of walking on at the University of Montana, being drafted by the Titans and earning a spot in the Pro Bowl inspires kids.