InsideGSUSports will have a special guest blogger throughout the 2013-14 academic year as BlueMan gives his thoughts on all things GSU Athletics. Daniel Wilson, aka BlueMan, set a goal of attending more than 100 GSU sporting events this year, which he recently accomplished. See what he had to say about a great year for GSU Athletics.
It’s been a long, hard, yet fun journey, but after nearly nine months, I finally reached my goal of attending 100 Georgia State Athletic events, plus a few more. My current total is 104, and with the baseball team traveling to Mercer next week, the final tally will be 105. I have had so much fun watching the many sports of GSU in action, whether it be wearing the blue suit to football and basketball, or simply dressing normally to court and sand volleyball. The journey has given me some of the best memories of college, and I have never felt so blessed to be part of this fan base.
While the majority of the events I attended were at home, the journey to 100 also took me all over the Southeast. I got to visit Tuscaloosa, seeing the defending national champions in person for the first time ever. I got to see Vanderbilt for the first time ever. The journey even took me to New Orleans for the Sun Belt Championship. There, I had my first experience of Bourbon Street. Along the way, I had the pleasure of getting to know several good fans, from alumni such as Michael Tweedie and Dan Judy, to students such as Jack Brinson, aka The Blue Bandit.
Of all the places which the journey took me, apart from the thrilling win over Texas-Arlington, I’d have to say that my favorite was the trip to ECU, right before New Year’s. You may ask why that memory? Part of it was that we got the W. Part of it is that it was for an away game. Even though you’re outnumbered by the home crowd, it’s nice to take in a new environment and explore it every once in a while. What made the trip so special, though, was just the fact that I got to hang out with some good friends that weekend. In addition to the ECU game, we were able to get tickets to see Missouri play NC State the night before. We got to sample one of the most delicious BBQ joints I had ever tasted. My favorite part, though, was D-Money: the nickname I was given as we celebrated the big victory.
One guy I particularly owe thanks to is my good friend Nick Bray. People may not be a fan of what he does, but dammit, he is the greatest fan GSU has ever seen! I certainly learned a few things from him about being a true fan. Seeing that kind of passion makes me feel like a softie. Without him, a lot of what we did as Panther Nation probably doesn’t happen. His passion and dedication helped inspire me to go on this journey to attend 100+ GSU Panther events. He once said that one of his goals when he first set foot on campus was to inspire his fellow students to come support GSU and its athletic program. Though his goal isn’t finished, he has certainly done that. Wil Lutz stated in a previous post Nick’s passion inspired him to start his football section behind the basket. His passion and his dedication will never be matched, and for that, we owe him thanks.
I know for sure that I’m not the first to attend 100+ events, and I certainly hope I am not the last. I will say this, though. If you’re a student and you want to do exactly what I did, the best time to do it is in your freshmen and sophomore years. I’m not discouraging anyone of any year from doing this, but this year, I started getting in to my upper level courses. I stressed myself out balancing those with my goal. But other than that, I encourage anyone to come out and support our GSU Panthers whenever you can, be it in a major sport like football or a non-revenue such as volleyball.
As for next season, I can’t promise that I’ll be able to attend 100 events next season like I was this, but I will certainly come out to as many as possible. Thanks to everyone in athletics, alumni, and all members of the GSU Panther community for supporting me in attaining my goal this year. I most certainly look forward to making my final year here at GSU the best one yet.
Your friendly neighborhood Blue Man,