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Fanatic speaks out

By Doug Tepper
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 5, 1999
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To the editor,

While I probably should have been insulted by Michael Parvin's letter ("Winning the Basketball Lottery," Nov. 3), I truly appreciate and share his enthusiasm for UA basketball. I am "the outrageously painted Arizona guy sitting in the alumni section who makes a fool out of himself" he refers to, sometimes nicknamed "The Red-'n-Blue Guy." I do the best I can to get people off their rear ends to support the team. I only paint my face to draw eye contact to me when I lead a clap or cheer. It is not to get on TV or for an ego trip. It is fun, but hard work. I am an elementary school teacher and for days following each home game, I have a hoarse voice and sore hands from clapping.

But I have seen, repeatedly, how fans can absolutely affect the outcome of a game, so I look forward to continuing my shtick as long as I feel it can help the 'Cats.

Hey, you don't like the stale atmosphere in McKale Center (or at Arizona Stadium on Saturdays)? You change it! It starts with individuals who are not so self-conscious about looking like "a fool" and are willing to wear red, and yell, stomp and clap a little. Don't only cheer in response to good play. Cheer to encourage the players, particularly when they're down. I cringe to think what the arena will sound like if No. 1 Michigan State takes even a five-point lead in the second half. That is the time to be your loudest!

Do all this, and you'll put me out of business. And that truly would be just fine with me. All I ever wanted in the first place was to liven up the crowd and help us win. It helped in Birmingham against Kansas and Providence. It sure helped in Indianapolis against North Carolina and Kentucky. It can help in Tucson. So the alumni wants to sit? Let 'em!

You go nuts, and see if it catches on. I'll join you, instead of the other way around.

Doug Tepper

B.A. Elem. Ed. 1992

M.A. T.T.E. 1996

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