Ryan Mayfield ’13 has been featured on Sports Illustrated and ESPN’s websites as the football fan of the week. Every Saturday last quarter, he could be found covered in Cardinal gear at Stanford Stadium, and over winter break, he made his national television debut at the Fiesta Bowl. The Daily’s Kimberly Bacon caught up with Mayfield to talk about his life as Stanford’s “superfan.”
The Stanford Daily (TSD): What inspired you to become such a big fan?
Ryan Mayfield (RM): I’ve really always been a huge football fan. My father is a huge football fan, so when I was growing up I think I went to several hundred high school games in my hometown. When I came to Stanford it was kind of just a natural progression.
TSD: What’s your normal routine before a game?
RM: My sophomore roommate, Eddy Albarran ’13, and I go to the game together. It’s so much fun going to the stadium because I have the flag whipping behind me and…the older fans milling about are laughing at me. I’m usually in line about three and half hours before the game.
TSD: Do you think that Stanford fans have become more energetic in recent years?
RM: Oh, without a doubt. My best friend’s brother [Class of ’06]…talks about how this year we won more games than his entire time here. He is a football fan but he never even cared that much because they always lost. I was really inspired at the end of the Oregon game. With four minutes left [and] down by three touchdowns, the student section was full. I would like to think that, even if we started losing, the fandom would continue at the same level.
TSD: How would you respond to a claim that Stanford fans are apathetic and fair-weather fans?
RM: I don’t think we can know that for sure yet. Obviously if you look at the past 10 years of Stanford football I would agree with that–when we were terrible no one came and now that we’re good the student section is full. We are just such a small school that we have a hard time getting people to create a big following. So I don’t think that question can be answered yet. I think we are moving in the right direction.
TSD: Were you at ESPN College GameDay?
RM: Yes, I was. I went at about 3:30 in the morning. It was fun; it was a little crazy. I had never been to one before. It was cool to see that many people there, that much passion, that much excitement for the team.
TSD: How did it feel to be voted a Sports Illustrated Superfan?
RM: It was a little weird but it was really cool. I would put it as one of my happiest moments because it was cool to see that Sports Illustrated was finally caring about Stanford. The fact that they care about our fans means…that they care about our team. And I think that that is the bigger thing. I don’t want it to get to my head or anything because, whatever, I’m a fan.
TSD: Have you received recognition from the team?
RM: No, no. I don’t know, it would be cool maybe, but I don’t necessarily want it. I’m a fan. We’re sitting in the stadium screaming while they’re getting punched around on the field. Let’s put the tribute where it’s due.