“Don’t plan your wedding on a Saturday in the fall and expect me to show up,” says Tanner Faris. Why not? He’ll be at the football game. While campus is waking up and shaking off Friday night, Faris will be lined up outside Autzen – six hours before kickoff.
Even though he’s only in his second year here at the UO, Faris has made a name for himself as an Oregon superfan and Pit Crew figurehead. A Duck from birth, it didn’t take long for Faris to find the spotlight and for it to find him. By the winter of his freshman year, ESPN cameras were honing in on Faris and his trademark steel “O” in the front of the crowd.
Faris doesn’t only just show up at his convenience.
“I guess I do plan my falls more than a couple of years in advance,” he said. He keeps Saturdays and Thursdays open throughout the fall, and makes sure to avoid conflicts during the winter so that he can plan his day around basketball, both men’s and women’s.
Preparation is one thing, and then there’s game day. “I just get as ridiculous as possible,” he said.
“He’s crazy – let’s just put it that way,” said Katherine DuPont, Faris’ friend and fellow Duck fanatic.
Sean Larson, like many of Faris’s friends, met the fanatic in line for a basketball game. “If I had to describe Tanner, I’d say passion is a good place to start,” he said.
Faris’ screams and chants fill Autzen Stadium, Matthew Night Arena, PK Park and Hayward Field regardless of the score. “No matter what team, no matter what day, you can count on him to be there to cheer on the Ducks,” Larson said. He’ll be the first one in and the last one out of the stadium, proudly singing “Mighty Oregon” and cheering for his team with crazed passion. When Faris finally heads home, long after the casual fans, he starts looking towards his next event.
“You can always count on him to be there, supporting every sport the school has, from men’s basketball to acrobatics and tumbling,” Larson said. “It doesn’t matter what the sport is — he is loyal to this school and that loyalty shows on game day.”
Faris attends his classes and pursues a degree like everyone else, but he always keeps his Ducks close. “I wear (Duck gear) every single day of the week … I was actually just looking over my closet and I realized I don’t own anything that’s red or blue,” he said.
While Faris is an extreme example of involvement, and not everyone can commit to Oregon athletics the way he does, his passion can certainly be shared by everyone.
Put yourself out there. Show up at football games with your face painted and a clever sign condemning a sub par Pac-12 opponent, but make a point to cheer on our nationally ranked volleyball, softball and baseball programs, too. Challenge yourself to bury your blues and reds, definitely throw out your oranges and blacks, and don’t be afraid to show your “O.”
More than anything, Faris embodies a love for his Ducks unlike any other. “He’s one of the craziest, most passionate Duck fans I have ever met,” Du Pont said. “He’ll definitely leave a lasting impression.”
You don’t have to show up as early or as often as Faris, but make sure you attend an Oregon sporting event every now and then, and wear your green and yellow proudly when you do. Don’t be afraid to let loose when the much-anticipated kickoff, tip off or first pitch rolls around.
If you think love for your team isn’t enough and want to take your passion to the next level – Faris’ level — he is looking for a “superfan intern.” For any interested, there’s no résumé or interview required — just show up early and look for the guy with the steel “O” and the fedora. If you don’t see him, you’ll certainly hear him.
DuckLife is the Emerald’s magazine for incoming freshmen, made available during IntroDucktion. This story has been reprinted from the magazine in its original form.