So last week, Holland asked Mackenzi: “Show me the routine.” It took three 20-minute sessions for her to teach him the “fight song” cheer the team does when the Falcons score a touchdown. And he nailed it.
At the football game Friday night, he was ready.
Each time the Falcons scored, he’d stand up from his seat and cheer his heart out in sync with his daughter’s team (though he said the kicks were tough to execute).
Another parent in the stands, Scott Willard, said he saw Holland’s moves and thought “this guy is legit,” so he recorded him on his phone. Though Willard rarely posts on social media, he immediately uploaded it to Facebook.
“By far CHEER DAD OF THE YEAR!!!!!! This dude rocks!!!! GO YORK FALCONS!!!!,” wrote Willard, who at the time did not know Holland.
The Falcons won the game 35-28 and the video took off. It has since been viewed about 3.5 million times.
So how does a 15-year-old girl feel about her dad’s viral cheer routine?
“I smiled the entire time,” Mackenzi said. “I was like, ‘You go, Dad.’ ”
Her friends now call him a celebrity.
“Honestly it’s so surreal to me, I don’t know how to explain it,” Mackenzi said.
She said he learned the routine quickly and executed it flawlessly. Father and daughter both said they dance around the house whenever they get the chance.
“I like to dance. Me and Mackenzi go back and forth who is a better dancer,” said Holland, 39, who is in the Air Force. “I grew up in Hawaii and danced hula and in clubs when I was younger.”
When Willard — whose son attends York High School and who is an alumnus himself — posted the video to Facebook, he added the tags #countyneededthis and #tabbstrong, which is a reference to a fatal accident Oct. 26 in which three students from the neighboring Tabb High School were killed in a car accident.
Willard and Holland, who met after the video went viral, went to dinner with their families Tuesday night at a neighborhood Mexican restaurant. They spoke about the tragedy of the car accident, and that many people told them the video gave them a flash of levity in a dark time.
“People are saying thanks for bringing smiles to their faces in a time of need,” said Willard, 46. “If it’s something that gives them a moment of joy, it’s doing its job.”