The Bobcats have been in existence for 8 years now. In that stretch of time, many things have changed. We have seen the fall of what was once known as "the Hive" in Charlotte. We have seen our home team have the rookie of the year, and we have even seen our fighting felines in the NBA playoffs. We are currently in a bit of a rough stretch right now, setting a franchise high, 16 game losing streak. We are in what could be called one of the hardest stretches any team could ever face. We are rebuilding. That's always hard to stomach, but one thing has held true. True Bobcat fans will stand by the team through thick and thin. This article is to give you a bit of a prequel to how the Cat Crazies came to fruition. At one point, the Bobcats were blessed by a group of fans that were led by Greg "CatMan" Good. He has given us this article to check out to see how they came into being, and their evolution to what this band of fans has become.
The History of the SuperFans – by Greg "Catman" Good
The very first year the Bobcats played it was in the old arena known as "the Hive". Not very fitting for a bunch of Bobcats, but they made do until their new lair could be built. The Panthers were doing fairly well that year & I had gotten some publicity all over Charlotte. The head of the entertainment co. came to me at a Panther game and asked if I would come and 'pump' the crowd at the upcoming Bobcats games. I said yes and when I got there to the arena, it was an audition!
I danced at center court and showed how I could project my voice as well as the other auditioning fans. When it was over, I made the team of 'BIG' Guys, & we were called; "The PHAT Cats" The Entertainment co. wanted us all to be big and agile and wanted us to show our flabby stomachs like some Chicago fans did. That did not sit to well with me; I had a reputation to keep up! But we were outfitted with bright Orange Overalls and we could add our own accessories. So I found a bright Orange wig similar to my Blue one I wear. Lee painted his face every game while Tyler found a mask and improvised it! On occasion we danced during halftime and got paid extra on those days. We were paid $30 for each game & 10 extra if we performed at halftime. We also got paid for practice time, a lesser rate. We lined up under the opposing team baskets and pumped the crowd from there, and were successful at disrupting some free throws. The Bobcats played extremely hard those first two years and we were part of it! We got to run the floor with the big flags and dance alongside the Dance team (Cheerleaders) right on the court! All of the dance team girls were friendly but not available!
When the team moved downtown into the new arena, we didn't have the same freedoms and space from the old venue. It was tighter and not enough room. They moved away from the Phat Cats, as members who were very large could not do the dance steps, and it didn't look good. We were changed to the Superfans and then any size guy or girl could join. We also no longer got paid and needed a sponsor if we were to get paid later. We did that for a while and eventually we faded away. Then, three years ago, we made a new appearance when the Bobcats made the Playoffs for the first time. Tyler T. was responsible for continuing to try and get us back into the arena. And he was successful in getting us back in there, but we now cheer without pay and Tyler fields a squad of masked or painted Superfans to come in and Represent us. Some are still in training!
The Superfans have sportsmanship; we yell things but keep it fan friendly and family safe. We take pictures with the audience coming and leaving the game. Sometimes we dance with the drum line on the main concourse! We are in photo albums from around the world, as several foreign fans have visited and snapped photos with the Superfans! While the players themselves may not always be available to the paying fan, the Superfans always are!
Final Thoughts by Andrew Lail
I'd like to take this chance to thank Greg "CatMan" Good for providing us with some further insight into the Bobcats SuperFans. It was all too fitting to have him write this article as we are now seeing the SuperFans become the Cat Crazies. 50 fans that are seated together at the arena, cheering the Bobcats on is just the type of boost that the team needs. North Carolina is a state rich in basketball. The ACC could even be called one of the strongest conferences in the nation. What better way to show that than to have Cat Crazies screaming, yelling, and cheering our beloved Bobcats through their games! I have considered trying out for the Cat Crazies, but my hope is that I can continue to run this site, and do articles from time to time featuring the continued growth of the Cat Crazies from what was a handful of folks, to 50 fans, to 500, all the way to an arena packed to the rafters with 19,000+ Cat Crazies. That time is coming my friends. Everyone get ready because Trade Street is about to become Cat Crazies central!
Again, thanks to Greg "CatMan" Good, Tyler Mann, Chris Spencer, Ravi Eddins, Arista Clifton, Stephen Demera, Will Green, Mike "Bob da Builder" King, Lee "BirdMan" Whitworth, and anyone else that feels that they are a "Super Fan". I know that there are a ton more of you guys out there, and I hope you read this and give us a shout out. There's always room for some more Cat Crazies down on Trade Street, just stop in and say "Go BOBCATS!!!"