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What is it like to live a day in the life of a superfan? How long does it take to paint jaguar spots on one's face? Spray Paint a beard with your team's logo? Dedicate weekends to traveling for away games so you can root on your team? Here are five of our favorite game day rituals.
#1 GORILLA LUKE
"I go to every single game, home and away. My preferred way to watch is from the stands. When I'm at home, I'm first row, in the back of the end zone. I watch with a group called the Deep Ends. We are all hardcore fans who always dress up. For away games, I usually try to get tickets in one of the first couple of rows back in the end zone. I'm an end-zone-guy. I like to watch the game from there.
"As to physical preparations to be Gorilla Luke at all the games, well, it's 110° out there in the suit. The night before a game I have to drink these electrolytes for kids and water, tons of water. I drink that all night into the next morning. I'm in the gorilla suit at 7:30 a.m. and I don't get out of it until 5:30 or 6 p.m. that night. I've been doing it since 2010. I've had three heat strokes that were so severe that the medics had to come give me an IV out on the field, because I was close to passing out. I used to wear a one-piece gorilla suit. And then I modified my outfit. I've had no heat stroke incidents at all since 2013."
#2 THE HATCHET
"My game day ritual is quite simple. I spend the mornings of game days getting the outside area set up with the 8 foot inflatable Eagles players, get the Eagles folding chairs set up on the deck, hook up the TVs on the deck, and make the popcorn. When all that is done, I get geared up into my shoulder pads and attire for the day's game. When kickoff comes around, "The Hatchet" is all jacked up and ready to get the crowd lathered up! I prefer to watch the games with my lovely wife Dawn, our two kids, and three of our six grandkids. I'm working on getting three of our granddaughters into the Eagles. Of course we also always have about 100 of our good friends for the games as well. I should say 100 of our good friends that are Eagles fans, because you can't get in the Locker Room unless you are an Eagles fan!"
"I'm at the stadium no later than 5 a.m. for a noon game. I never sleep the night before, as I'm out with fellow Chiefs fans all day and night on Saturday. Then on game day, I visit thousands of tailgates and get everyone pumped up for that day's game. Nothing beats watching games live. I have not missed a game at Arrowhead since '92 and have been to 89 away games, to all but two opposing teams' stadiums."
#4 PINTO RON
"For the last twenty-two years, I have attended every game live: home, and road. So I guess you can say that is my preferred way to watch the game. I am big on tailgating. In Buffalo I run the "Red Pinto Tailgate", a popular, but unusual tailgate which features cooking using various implements on or near my 1980 wagon. Some of the things we cook include: chicken wings in an army helmet, stir fry in a hubcap, hot dogs/burgers on a rake, bacon on a saw, pancakes/omelets on a shovel, ribs on a toolbox, pizza in a filing cabinet, pulled pork in an oil pan, soup in a watering can, and jerk chicken in a mailbox.
"One popular ritual we have is the "ketchup opening ceremony", performed ninety minutes before kick-off. I emerge from a crowd with a burger asking for ketchup, and get completely buried in ketchup and mustard. Fortunately, I have a quick cleanup routine, and am completely cleaned off in ten minutes."
#5 BONE LADY
"My game day ritual has changed over the years. I took a hiatus for a couple of years. When I returned four years ago, I started doing live remotes on a Browns pregame show on our local CBS station where I have freelanced for the past twelve years. This year I won't be doing that, but will be hosting watch parties and doing Browns Backer appearances. I also have a secret project in the works."
Hall of Fandom images by Peter Sutherland, Shaniqwa Jarvis, Stephanie Mei-Ling and Ben Colen.
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