UofL FOOTBALL | Louisville's Redbird Named "Best Fan Ever"

11/22/2016 06:45 PM

Gary Budd recently won the USA Today “Best Fan Ever” contest. He said he has been a Cardinals fan since birth.

“Being out here and seeing other fans and getting fans involved at games and telling me, you know, I’ve had people say like I made the game experience better for them just because of how passionate and rowdy I get and I get the section going that I’m in, get a cards chant going here and there- it’s just kind of fun I guess,” Budd explained.

His fan experience changed when he met a group of Louisville fans called the “L Raisers” at a game at Freedom Hall. The group painted their faces for each game.

“They told me to just, you know, show up the next game like them- painted up. Well, I took it like a whole step further and and painted from my chest and my waist up and showed up and they were like ‘wow, this is awesome!’” Budd added.

From there, the Louisville Redbird was born.

Budd is a football season ticket holder and goes to away games within driving distance with his wife, a Louisville graduate who usually helps him paint up. He tries to make it to as many basketball games as he can.

Budd said that the Redbird gets one question pretty frequently (when they aren’t asking if he is cold).

“When is it going to end? Her side of the family, some UK fans, seem to think that this is the last year. Well, we’ll see,” Budd said.

His entire painting process can take over half and hour, but he said the camaraderie with other Cards makes it worthwhile.

“I’ve had interactions with lots of fans and some of the players even. I’ve talked to some of the players outside of stadiums and arenas and they think it’s awesome, so if they think it’s cool and other fans are like ‘yeah, you make the game better for us sometimes’ then I’ll keep it up,” Budd told cn|2.

And that is what makes Gary Budd the best fan ever.


Watch Gary transform into the Redbird here:

Lyndsey Gough

Lyndsey Gough joined cn2 in August 2016 as a reporter for cn2 Sports. Before that, Lyndsey was a multimedia journalist, reporter, anchor and producer at WBKO-TV in Bowling Green, KY covering both news and sports. Lyndsey graduated from the University of Kentucky in May of 2015 after covering the Cats for 3 years for print, radio, and television for various outlets. She is excited to finally be covering sports full-time again here in the Bluegrass. You can follow Lyndsey on Twitter @lgough_cn2 and send story ideas her way.

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