Game Day Rituals: What do Boise State fans do to support the team?

Boise State fans cheering in the student section
Photo by Claire Keener

Game day rituals are a key component to being a sports fan. 

Whether it’s wearing the same jersey or eating the exact same food before every game, fans stick to their game day agendas in hopes that these rituals will result in their team winning.

Although these rituals do not always result in a win for their team, to many fans, it makes them feel like they are doing their part.

A solid example comes from self-proclaimed “biggest Boise State fan” Bronco Vader. 

Bronco Vader became a fan years ago after he fell in love with the atmosphere Boise State exudes on game days. Now, this Boise State superfan has supported the Broncos for 31 years and has loved every moment of it. 

Boise State fans cheering in the student section
[Photo of Boise State fans in body paint cheering on the team]
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

Every game day, Bronco Vader and his friends suit up in their Boise State gear and have an amazing time cheering on the Broncos.

“We dress for every game,” Bronco Vader said. “Basketball, volleyball, football — you name it and we will be there. It’s our passion. It’s our heart and soul.”

Although former Boise State kicker Paul Wiggins doesn’t dress up in a costume for every game day, he still shows his support for the school during athletic events.

Wiggins has been a Bronco fan for 36 years. From playing on the football team years ago to watching them play now, he enjoys everything involving Boise State athletics and has loved every moment of being a fan.

Wiggins said that his game day ritual consists of watching the game from home, with the exception of coming to a Boise State football game to tailgate once a year.

“My favorite Boise State fan memory has to be climbing on top of the stadium lights at 3 o’clock in the morning just for fun,” Wiggins said.

Fans don’t always just cheer for the school and team that they support though. Some fans are mostly driven by who they support rather than the university itself.

For Mark Cantrell, father of redshirt senior long snapper Daniel Cantrell, his game day revolves around supporting his son.

“I have been a Boise State fan for 17 years,” Cantrell said. “That’s when I retired from the military and moved out to Idaho. I’ve loved the team ever since my family and I moved.”

According to Cantrell, he has been very involved with Boise State academics and athletics over the years all while supporting his son on game day. Cantrell also made the Dan Paul Hammer that is run out by a Boise State player every game.

“We don’t wear the same socks every game or anything like that,” Cantrell said when asked about his game day traditions. “We do have jerseys that have my son’s name and number on them that we wear. We travel to every game, home and away, and wear those jerseys.”

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