Each week during the 2020 season, Marty Smith and Ryan McGee will celebrate all of the stuff that makes college football great: the sights, sounds, places and pageantry that make it the greatest sport in these United States of America. The same kinds of conversations you can hear and see during Marty & McGee, Wednesdays on SEC Network/ESPN App (7 p.m. ET) and Saturday mornings on SEC Network/ESPN App and ESPN Radio (7-10 a.m. ET). This week the boys look back on their close encounters with college football’s most famous — and sometimes infamous — fans.
Ryan McGee: OK, to me there are three categories here. The fans who are famous for being fans, the fans who think they are famous for being fans, and then there are the famous people who are fans. Does that make sense?
Marty Smith: I think that makes a lot of sense. I think your categorization is spot-on. If categorization is even really a word, because sometimes we do make up words on Marty & McGee. But I think your categorization is a very fair representation of what we are discussing this week during our ESPN.com feature. What the hell is the name of our ESPN.com feature anyway?
McGee: It doesn’t have one. I say we call it “College Football Is Awesome.”
Marty: And it is. Again, nice categorization.
McGee: The group I want to talk about aren’t the famous fans but the ones who are famous for being fans. You and I go stand on a sideline or sit in the press box and there are 80,000 people there, but these are the people you see immediately.
Like, when we went to Virginia Tech at Florida State a couple of years ago and we immediately spotted the two dudes covered in FSU glitter, whoever they are.
Marty: They are just obnoxious, and that’s a compliment because that’s what they’re going for, right? They dance around and they have on the shiny spandex and, look man, there could be some NSFW moments if they’re not careful, know what I’m saying?
McGee: I just looked them up. They are officially called the Garnet and Gold Guys and, hold up … it says here that they’re representatives from the Florida State Baptist Collegiate Ministries.
Marty: OK … well … that’s a unique variable that I did not realize. We took a world-class selfie with them, I remember that. Or, rather, I did, and you photobombed it.
McGee: My tongue is way out in that photograph. I’m pretty sure I ended with glitter stuck to the roof of my mouth.
— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) September 4, 2018
Marty: The famous fan I have interacted with most is probably Buck-I-Guy. He wears the big white cowboy hat adorned with the Ohio State logo. His facial hair is painted red. He wears receiver gloves and shades. I think I said in the video portion of this feature that he drives a white Caddy, but now that I look at it, it’s actually a silver Caddy with a crimson stripe, or no … wait … that’s an old-school Oldsmobile. Silver with red trim like a rolling Ohio State helmet. He’s Buck-I-Guy, son.
McGee: As you know, around Columbus no one refers to me as Buck-I-Guy. A lot of people up there call me something that sounds like Buckeye but starts with the letter F. Maybe if they saw what I drove in high school, an old-school Olds with red stripes, they would cut me some slack.
Marty: Probably not. [Laughs]
McGee: When I think of mega fans, I always think of Mike “Big Dawg” Woods. He was the guy who was at every Georgia game for nearly 30 years with a painting of Uga’s bulldog face atop his perfectly bald and perfectly round head. I first met Mike at the College World Series back in 2008, when Georgia made it to the finals. He died in 2017, but now his son Trent has taken up the tradition.
How Bout Them Dawgs!!!!! pic.twitter.com/vWDGisQtW0
— Trent”BigDawg3″Woods (@BIG_DAWG_III) January 3, 2018
Marty: We had the whole family on Marty & McGee in Athens last fall. That is outstanding use of a bald head. Now it’s a family tradition. Watching Trent’s mama and wife paint his head was like watching Picasso paint whatever it was that Picasso painted.
McGee: How do we feel about the fans who dress up like the very legendary but very dead coaches? There’s the guy at Ohio State who dresses like Woody Hayes. I saw a guy at Oklahoma dressed like Bud Wilkinson and standing beneath the statue of Bud Wilkinson. We used to see a guy like that back when we covered NASCAR all the time, dressed like Dale Earnhardt, and it always freaked me out.
#MartyandMcGee poll question. How do you feel about CFB fans who dress up like dead coaches (Woody Hayes, Bear Bryant, etc.)?
— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) October 8, 2020
Marty: That Earnhardt guy looked more like Barry Pepper playing Dale Earnhardt in the movie “3” than he looked like actual Dale. But he still looked enough like Dale that it freaked me out too.
McGee: The White brothers, the guys who show up at SEC media days every summer, both walking around looking just like Bear Bryant.
Marty: The Wright Brothers? Did they come flying into Hoover in their airplane?
McGee: No, the White brothers. Alton and Dixon White. I interviewed them, and Alton said he was in Branson with a houndstooth hat on, and a bunch of Alabama fans said, “Man, you look just like Bear Bryant, and so does your brother!” So that’s what they do now.
— Kyle Burger (@kyle_burger) July 12, 2017
Marty: I appreciate the conviction. Because you’re paying homage to being a true traditional powerhouse of college football, the men who built those programs. Then there was the guy I ran into in Tuscaloosa a couple of years ago who was dressed like Bear Bryant with a whole houndstooth getup, but he also had on a bunch of chains and was wearing a pair of clear platform shoes that had goldfish in them.
McGee: Like if Bear Bryant had decided to be a contestant on RuPaul’s “Drag Race”?
McGee: When you were in school or when you were going to Virginia Tech games, did you ever try to be Super Fan guy?
Marty: No. I think when I was a little boy, my mom did paint a Spartans logo on my cheek because Gilles High School was playing for the Virginia state championship. Did you?
McGee: Yeah. I think that’s why I always go talk to students now, like the Georgia Spike Squad. I’m jealous that they pull it off. My freshman year at Tennessee, me and my roommate, Dirty McCall, we painted our faces all orange and white for our first game. We thought we were going to be like all these famous superfans. We realized about halfway through the first quarter that we were the only guys painted up in the whole student section. Pretty sure some girls laughed at us.
Marty: How’d that make you feel?
McGee: It did not make me feel like I believe Buck-I-Guy feels when he walks into the stadium on Saturdays.
Marty: Buck-I-Guy walks into the stadium like that GIF of Vince McMahon walking into “Monday Night Raw.” Buck-I-Guy, he blows into the Horseshoe like Stone Cold Steve Austin shotgunning beers. That’s how Buck-I-Guy feels every single day, with that cape flowing, football strings tied around his chest. Buck-I-Guy owns it. Buck-I-Guy is a one-man spectacle.
McGee: If you don’t believe us, just ask Buck-I-Guy.
Marty: Just ask Buck-I-Guy.
Buck-I-Guy just dropped off a truck full of gifts to The BIG 10TV Toy Drive! You can drop off new, unwrapped toys at our station until 6:30 p.m. | INFO: https://t.co/xElbMSzxcB #10TV pic.twitter.com/it9B8Q1JtD
— 10TV (@10TV) December 14, 2017