Widespread recognition has arrived. VCU won the Naismith Student Section of the Year award last year, and discerning journalists and opposing coaches and players marvel at VCU crowds and their influence on the games.
3. Chris Crowley, aka “VCU Pav”
He is perhaps the most visible of all of VCU’s fans with his distinctive beard and plush Rams’ horns hat. He’s a mainstay with the Rowdy Rams, the student athletic support organization that fills a part of the student section, having helped usher the group into existence when he was still a student. He uses a white board to urge the crowd into chants and cheers.
5. Daniel Kreutler, aka “The Pharaoh”
Daniel Kreutler’s VCU fandom originated in 2007 when Eric Maynor’s dramatic game-winning shot sprung VCU over Duke in the NCAA Tournament. The Richmond native was hooked.
Kreutler, who is now a junior, said the assortment of costumes in the Siegel Center helps create the sense that each contest is more than just a game – it’s an event.
7. VCU Peppas
“We love our school. That is why we are here. We aren’t just here to play the typical band-in-a- box sound.”
8. Anthony and Ian Renninger, aka “The Nightmare”
“Even our friends get creeped out”
9. Harrison Wash, aka “The Minotaur”
The outfit is not only meant to suggest VCU and football, but also GWAR, the costumed heavy metal band that has VCU roots.
“It’s something that projects passion, power and strength”
10. Gary Watkins, Brian Curran, Matt Greene and Manny Juranis, aka “Sons of Shaka”
Watkins and his crew interact constantly with the students, and he said the group finds the students’ support inspiring.
“The energy we get from them is what motivates us,” he said.
The crew’s unofficial handle, “Sons of Shaka” – a reference to the TV show “Sons of Anarchy” about a motorcycle club – celebrates the fact that the group was forged from the Final Four run. It also is a testament to the tight-knit camaraderie of the VCU fan base.
12. Brandon Alness, aka “Batman”
Alness loves Havoc’s frenetic quality. The student section’s adoption of characters and costumes led him to join the practice. He now wears Batman socks with little capes to every game, and he either paints his face or wears a Batman mask, too.
Alness believes the costumes and rampant eccentricities of a VCU home crowd are unique and give the outside world a positive view of the university as a compelling place.
13. Becca Morrissette, aka “Ginger Rage”
“I do what I love and let myself get lost in it”
15. Teddy Leinbach, James Spollen and Bruce Toulon, aka “The Lettermen”
“When you get fully geared up like that, you can’t just be low key. You have to live up to the hype.”
16. Betty Tudor, aka “The Sign Lady”
“I have so much appreciation for what they do and for what they’ve done for us,” she said. “I want them to know that.”
17. James Parker, aka “Waldo”
James Parker, a former VCU student, attended a Rams’ game last year that was televised. Friends and family said that they couldn’t find him in the stands. He joked with them, “What, didn’t you see me?”
For the next game, Parker developed a way to stand out.