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Monday, February 28, 2011

Utah State superfan 'Wild Bill' has become college hoops celebrity

By Jim Weber

LostLettermen.com, the college sports online magazine and former player database, regularly contributes to The Dagger. Here's the story behind Utah State super fan “Wild Bill.”
Only a few super fans are wild and crazy enough to become as famous as the athletes they cheer for, such as the New York Jets' "Fireman Ed" and Duke's "Speedo Guy."
"Wild Bill" can now be added to that list, and perhaps no fan has ever captured our imagination quite like him.
You probably don't know which team he roots for and you certainly don't know his real name, but if you're a sports fan, you've undoubtedly seen a clip of Utah State fanatic Bill Sproat on TV or YouTube in the last year.
He's the large, often shirtless student that stands behind the basket at Aggie home games and distracts opposing free-throw shooters with his ridiculous costumes that look like he's come straight from trick-or-treating.
"I love to be as close to naked as possible without going to jail," Sproat said.
Sproat draws most of his inspiration from Disney movies, Jack Black and Chris Farley, dressing as everything from the Little Mermaid, to Nacho Libre, to Peter Pan to Tigger. He was even going to dress like a showgirl for a Nevada game before Utah State put its foot down (he's also not allowed to wear a Speedo or do pelvic thrusts).
The publicity he's received has grown beyond his expectations. He's already been mentioned on ESPN's "Pardon The Interruption," interviewed on "First Take," profiled by Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis, turned into a YouTube sensation and even visited ESPNU's offices in Charlotte -- which he described as being a "kid in a candy store."
Most recently Sproat made headlines by dressing up as the teapot from the "Beauty and the Beast" during a Feb. 2 game against Nevada. It's one of the many Disney characters he's portrayed in the last two seasons. The Utah State student section followed Sproat's lead by serenading Nevada guard Malik Story with "I'm a little teapot" as he attempted his foul shots.


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