Fans see Troy sports as ‘family’

Published 11:00 pm Friday, May 31, 2013

Brian and Ty Ross cheer during a NCAA baseball game between Troy and Alabama in Tallahassee, Fla.

Brian and Ty Ross cheer during a NCAA baseball game between Troy and Alabama in Tallahassee, Fla.

TALLAHASSEE – Brian Ross and family have no biological ties to Troy University or its athletic teams, but feel that everyone on campus is family.

Ross, affectionately known as HemiMan in Troy sports circles, is perhaps one of the most outspoken fans of Troy athletics. He isn’t a football fan or a baseball guy, he is Troy fan. He, along with his wife, Ty, and two daughters, frequent Troy athletic events at home and on the road, because of the family atmosphere that the university provides.

“It’s just a really big family,” Ross said. “The parents, the players, the coaches and the administration have welcomed us in, and all treat us like family.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Ross, a resident of New Brockton, became a supporter of Troy athletics after getting some football tickets from a friend. He made the trek to Troy for the game, but was having trouble locating the correct ticket booth when an unlikely hero saved the day.

“We were walking around and couldn’t find the will call booth,” Ross said. “Out of the tower steps a football player, with his pants on, and asked me if I’m lost. I told him that I couldn’t find will call and he told me to follow him. He took us right to the place, and I remember thinking ‘Wow, this is wild. This is D-1.’”

The Ross’ two daughters have rooms painted in lavender and pink, but cover their walls with Troy posters. Brian said that at times he feels the girls may have more fun at the events than he does, because they have developed such a good relationship with all the athletes at the university.

Ty said that she doesn’t have to look too far when one of her daughter’s runs off at a basketball game or other sport.

“The girls love the softball team,” said Ross. “The team will take them in the locker room, play with them after games and just treat them so well. All of the sports teams at Troy welcome us in with open arms.”

The Trojan faithful traveled well to Tallahassee, with players tweeting about the fan support and head coach Bobby Pierce commenting on it during the post-game press conference.

Pierce said that the Troy fans have been with them every step of the way.

“They [the fans] have pretty much been with us throughout the season,” Pierce said. “I knew they would show up, but I was a little surprised with the size. It is certainly great to see our baseball crowd growing.”

Ross said that he has lived the fan’s dream over the last few seasons and said that he hopes it continues for years to come.

“I didn’t go to Troy, but I am a Trojan for life,” Ross said. “My kids are Trojans, and we love for our family to be a part of the much bigger Troy family.”