Cat W. Bobo | Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau
Everybody has seen the wild group of painted bodies in the student section at Auburn University football games, but did you know that these "Superfans" have their own organization? The Auburn University Superfans are the real deal, so we decided to pick their brains for fun. Check out this Q&A with some of the group's officers.
How many students are involved with the organization? We have about 90 members on our Facebook group (including some graduated alumni who return as guests to paint occasionally). This season we've had about 30 people painting up with us per game! -Katy Knutsson
How did the organization get started? The group was started a few years ago by Emily Halaszynski, who absolutely loves Auburn and everything about it. Emily wanted to create a unique game day experience that would allow her group to exhibit true Auburn spirit from an excellent vantage point. She and a few friends started painting up for football games, and we have only continued to grow from there. In the beginning it was difficult for the group to spell small phrases, and now we often have to elongate a phrase to fit the number of people that have committed to an event. - Christen McKeague
What if it’s cold outside? We paint up no matter what! There was one game where we wore matching painted sweat shirts but every other has been paint. A lot of us wear hats, scarves, gloves and long pants to warm up. We get hot chocolate at the game and bring hand warmers. Over all the game gives us so much adrenaline and were surrounded by other people so that keeps us warm too. We are tough! - Allie Deyton
Who comes up with the phrases painted on you? We have a meeting with everyone to brain storm ideas and pick the best ones we like as a group. Then the officers pick the final phrase and decide who will be each letter. - Allie Deyton
What’s the funniest thing to ever happen to a Superfan? Probably the funniest moment I have been a part of is when sbnation wrote the article about me eating a chicken sandwich on the Taco Bell student section camera. I was actually looking at my photographer friend Ben Morgan who was in the general direction of the T-Bell camera, and I didn’t realize I was on tv until after my friend texted me and told me. - Robert Alongi
Do people recognize you without the paint on? Yes!! I have people ask me all the time if "I'm in that painting group" or say that they think they saw me on the Jumbotron last weekend! I have classes with football players and they recognize me as one of the Superfans. My favorite moment was when we went down to Toomers corner after the LSU game and a little girl told me that she always sees me on the Jumbotron and that she looks for me each week! -Katy Knutsson
What’s the most out-of-the-ordinary event you’ve attended with body paint on? I remember last year we had a group that went to Storybook Farm and painted up for the kids there. It’s was definitely an eye-opener experience for the members that attended. - Robert Alongi
Do you travel with the teams? We do not travel with the teams, and currently do not have much of a presence at Away games. However, as the group grows, getting Away game tickets as a group and painting for the event is becoming more of a possibility. - Christen McKeague
For more information about the Auburn University Superfans, visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SuperfansPhotos/.