If you watched a single Ohio State game this year, chances are you caught the sideline cameras drifting repeatedly - some might say, too often - to the self-appointed "Superfans" seen here. A constant presence, these "devoted" characters have taken their fandom a step farther, and assumed full-on media personas that, for better or for worse, define the fanbase in the eyes of many casual viewers.
It's not a phenomenon unique to Ohio State, though many wish it were. Every football program of note, to some degree, has their share of mad, made-up megalomaniacs like them. What you might surprise many, though, is that the 'trend' isn't a trend at all - in fact, as long as there has been college football, there have been superfans. Come, walk with me through a brief sampling of their history.
SOUTHERN METHODIST MUSTANGS (1980s) - C.P. Oilweller
No one knew what he did for a job; all they knew was that if you needed someone to drive you to Juarez at 4 in the morning, you just had to whistle.
Like so many people around the SMU program at the time, he disappeared under circumstances unknown.
MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (1990s) - Jonathan "The Nude Republic" Chait
Before he was a national political columnist, he was expressing himself freely at the Big House, and don't you dare censor him with pants, thought police.
USC TROJANS (1960s) - Sally SongBot
A product of the era's fascination with futuristic technologies, Sally was the nation's first fully robotic fan. Sadly, she wound up in the swimming pool after a party at Robert Blake's house, and was never the same.
PRINCETON TIGERS (1870s) - Phineas Potter, "The Princeton Pauper"
He was a sick orphan child adopted by the team as a mascot, which is totally a thing that would have happened back then. Tell me I'm wrong.
TCU HORNED FROGS (1980s) - Mark David Chapman
The one time someone from Fort Worth got a shot at the Big Four in December, and look how it turned out.
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (1860s) - Zebulon Cornelius Updyke
Legend has it this Civil War-era Alabama officer saved a gypsy mystic's child from drowning, and in return was granted his choice of one thing for the state to be good at, forever.
Two years later, he ran over the same child with his carriage, and the gypsy founded Auburn in retaliation.
THE GROVE (Genesis) - Ol' Hiss
Devoted recruiting nut. Doesn't give a damn for your bylaws.
ANYONE WHO HAS ATTENDED A SINGLE PURDUE GAME IN THE LAST DECADE
It's a level of devotion none of these people have, and even more twisted.