The campus of Mizzou was buzzing on Saturday morning as the school set a record as the largest ever to attend a taping of ESPN’s Gameday which started 11 hours before the Mizzou-Oklahoma game.
Thanks to Matt Hunter, our eyes on the ground, we were able to document several fan categories that gave us a sample of how you can take a sporting event from “entertaining” to “circus-like”…
The Amateur Face Painter
For these guys, it’s all about the appearance of the super-fan attitude. He firmly believes that his peers aren’t judging him by how professional the black and yellow face paint looks, just respecting that he took the time to slap on some school color in between taking large sips of the Jager and Fanta Orange soda concotion he loaded into the QT thermos at 3:30am. It’s called “school spirit”, bro. And he’s talking about the drink, not the face paint.
The Professional Face Painter
Let’s just say that, when it comes to body paint, he’d rather let a professional do the job. Taking ten minutes to hop into the airbrush tent was worth the $10 tip he left them because, should he happen to make an appearance on ESPN’s crowd cameras, the nation knows that he’s for real.
The Back-up Mascot
Should Truman the Tiger suffer from exhaustion and need a break, school officials are going to be scanning the crowd looking for a suitable replacement. In other words, they need someone in a full body Tiger costume. Consider him the #1 candidate.
The Third String Mascot
If both the guys in Tiger costumes can’t handle the pressure, then it’s time to look to the bullpen and call in the guy wearing a completely random gorilla suit. Better than nothing.
The Body Hair Groomer
Sure, everyone can do body paint. And everyone can wear their gold shirt over the top and believe that they have ample Mizzou pride being demonstrated to the nation. But it takes a special kind of fan to stand out in a crowd of 18,000 at the Gameday taping. And by “special kind of fan” we mean “one with chest hair so thick that he’s able to shave it into a tiger paw.”
While this gave us a glimpse into the characters that made Mizzou’s appearance on Gameday truly special, this was only the equivalent of dipping a toe into a massive sea of fandom that occupied Columbia, Missouri this Saturday.
Let’s just say that Fowler, Herbstreit, Corso and Erin Andrews were either impressed or terrified.