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A tale of two Superfans

February 9, 2012

A look at the transformation from ordinary Tech faculty into Superfans

ALWAYNE GREEN
Staff Reporter

 

For many Tech fans, watching the Lady Techsters is a way to unwind, cheer on friends and support their school.

DiCarlo and Teske cheer on the Lady Techsters during the Nevada game in the TAC. –Photo by Dacia Idom

 

For Superfan Mike Dicarlo it is a way to connect two of the biggest parts of his life: his family and the Tech family.

 

“I started going to basketball games here when my daughter was about 10,” DiCarlo said. “She played basketball and wanted to go to the games so we started going.”

 

Although DiCarlo rarely goes to games with his daughter now, his passion for the Techsters is strong. The uniqueness of the ladies’ game has captivated DiCarlo, he has regularly held season tickets for more than a decade.

 

“I enjoy the women’s game,” DiCarlo said. “The style of play is a lot more about positioning and passing, rather than pure athletic skills. It’s more of a game below the rim as opposed to the men’s, which is above the rim.”

 

The enjoyment DiCarlo mentions is obvious to those who attend the Techsters’ games, but perhaps not to all those who know DiCarlo from his job, dean of library sciences.

 

When DiCarlo’s secretary, Charlotte Lee, first saw him at a game, she said her first emotion was shock.

 

“It may have been the game where they wore the colored wigs,” Lee said. “I was utterly shocked thinking, ‘oh, my God. That’s my boss? Where am I?’’’

 

DiCarlo’s coworker and fellow Superfan, librarian Boris Teske, shared similar thoughts and said the two different personalities people see are exciting.

 

“The contrast is delicious,” Teske said. “The quiet librarian versus the fanatic. But it is strikingly similar.”

 

Students appreciate the contrast the Superfans bring. Given the chance to describe it in one word, students said it was loud, crazy and real.

 

Joseph Garbarino, a senior kinesiology major who cheers for Tech, said the one word he would use to describe DiCarlo is fanatical.

 

“They have a lot of spirit for the Lady Techsters,” Garbarino said.

 

That spirit can be seen at any and every home game the Techsters have. As a member of Tech’s cheerleading squad, Garbarino is at every game and said he has yet to see either Superfan absent.

 

“I’ve been here for three years cheering, and I have seen them at every game,” Garbarino said. “Everyone knows them as the two crazy librarians shouting out.”

 

Senior nursing major Jasmin Young has developed a habit of focusing on the “two crazy librarians” almost as much as she watches the game.

 

“I like to sit close so I can see what exactly they are going to do,” Young said. “They add excitement for everyone. You get two shows.”

 

Like many who put on an entertaining show, Dicarlo and Teske were honored with Superfan plauques Dec. 11, 2011.

 

Even though some may think they yell for penalties that aren’t there, Lady Techster Kiara Young, a senior sociology major, said she appreciates them for their support on and off the court.

 

“They are funny and encouraging,” Young said. “It means a lot because we know they are true fans. They are always there to support us, and they get after the referees pretty good when we need them to.”

 

DiCarlo said he has become a Superfan for a number of reasons, but mostly because it he wants to give back to the community and the Techsters.

 

“I can’t play the game anymore,” DiCarlo said. “My contribution to their success is to be vocal for them.”

 

DiCarlo and Teske cheer on the Lady Techsters during the Nevada game in the TAC. –Photo by Dacia Idom

JUSTIN FORT
News Editor

 

If one were to walk into Tech’s Wyly Center of Learning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, you would see librarian Boris Teske dressed in a suit and tie sitting quietly at the information desk.

 

Although Teske works more than 40 hours in the library each week, he has become Tech’s Superfan for the five hours of cheering he does every week in the Thomas Assembly Center.

 

“I get a little overexcited sometimes,” Teske said.

 

“Little” and “sometimes” are words that seem modest to anyone who has seen Teske cheering for the Lady Techsters.

 

“You can feel the passion he has for the game,” said Christopher Taylor, a senior political science major. “He knows the rules, and he loves the team.”

 

Teske started attending Lady Techsters’ games shortly after being hired in 2003, and averages less than one missed game per year.

 

“It took me a year or two to really get behind the team,” Teske said. “My first game just happened to be the triple overtime win over Iowa.”

 

Teske’s love of basketball goes back 36 years and fully developed while he was getting his master’s degree in history at the University of North Carolina, which has one of the most impressive college basketball resumes in the world.

 

“I saw [Michael] Jordan play,” he said. “It was truly amazing.”

 

Teske said every time he shows up to the Techsters’ games, he tries to illuminate the same excitement that the North Carolina Tar Heels evoke in him.

 

“At home I pace back and force, wearing a groove in the floor,” he said. “Maybe the rhetoric is a bit more interesting,” he joked.

 

Teske said he believes the basketball games should evoke strong passions in everyone at Tech, adding that the TAC should always be as full as it was Saturday, not just occasionally.

 

“The girls deserve more than an empty stadium,” he said. “I see no reason why we aren’t having pack the house games all the time.”

 

Since these “pac-the-house” type games have not become regular, Teske said he and the other Superfan, dean of library sciences MikeDicarlo, try to provide as much enthusiasm.

 

“They kind of add a fire,” said Barry James, a junior marketing major. “He’s like a second coach.”

 

Freshman chemistry major Camella Cord agreed with James, and said she has never been to a game where the Superfans weren’t in their reserved seats cheering.

 

“I think they support the team better than anybody in the crowd,” Cord said. “They add a lot of emotion to the game. You can always tell if the call was bad or good just by looking at them.”

 

Teske said he believes one of the reasons players and fans have accepted him and DiCarlo so well is because of the way they cheer, using positive, encouraging language for the Techsters, rather than belittling the opponents.

 

“It’s more about positiveness,” Teske said. “It’s about cheering on the girls.”

 

Although Teske tries to keep his cheering appropriate, he admitted that he sometimes gets overexcited and pokes fun at referees or opposing players.

 

“I’ll ask them rhetorical questions to keep them honest,” Teske said. “I try to time it right.”

 

Teske’s ability to perfect his timing and balance humor, agitation and encouragement are what has made him as popular as he is. So popular, in fact, that he was presented a Superfan plaque Dec. 11, 2011. The most important part of that night, Teske said, is that the Techsters were victorious against Mississippi State.

 

As long as the Tech family keeps embracing the Superfans like it has, Teske said he will be there.

 

“If they didn’t approve, I’d be more self-conscious,” Teske said. “The president likes passionate employees in all areas.”

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