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DALLAS - Mavericks fans began showing up on the parade route early Thursday morning, some before dawn.

That's a long wait for many, made better for those lucky enough to be near a man one might call the Cheerleading Cop.

The key to any successful parade is a police force capable of commanding respect. Another key is an officer who is capable of keeping the crowds in check.

However, there is another characteristic that comes in handy for a restless crowd, the ability to lead the crowd in cheers, more specifically the wave. Matthew Merta was able to do that not just once, but several times along Houston Street.

He kept anxious fans entertained with more than the wave.

He got both sides of the street to compete as to which side could chant Mavs the loudest. It was an exercise that had parade goers forgetting about the heat and having fun while waiting for the main event.

He did get booed at one point, but only after holding up a Miami Heat jersey. Lucky for Merta, he would quickly be rescued by boys in blue much better at taking the Heat, the Dallas Mavericks.

Email: bshipp@wfaa.com

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