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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA fans could learn from man’s ‘Major’ passion

Imagine the date is Dec. 1  — one day before the UA vs. ASU “”Duel in the Desert”” football game — and your physician has told you that you must go under the knife for life-saving surgery. There’s a good chance you will make it out of the surgery just fine, but the procedure will render you unable to attend or even watch the game. Do you tell the doc, “”We’re going to have to put a hold on this whole ‘surgery’ thing, I’ve got a game to watch,”” or do you just have the surgery and move on with your life? Most readers will say, “”Eh, a game is a game, and ASU shouldn’t be that much of a challenge anyway,”” but if you’re one of those surly, dedicated to a fault, diehard fans, then you’re the spitting image of a man named Major Hester and you tell that doctor, “”Surgery will just have to wait.””

Major Hester is a Michigan State fan in every sense of the word. The 69-year-old retired man watches every Michigan State game with such tenacity that he has been banished to watching in his bedroom where he can’t scream or rant and rave in the presence of his family and friends. Unfortunately, this intensity comes into conflict with a preexisting condition; Hester suffers from cardiomyopathy, which results in a weakened heart muscle. Due to this medical matter, Hester has been instructed to have surgery to implant a pace maker in his chest. Nonetheless, he has told the doctor that the surgery will have to wait until after the Michigan State vs. Michigan game. Hester’s rationale for dodging the surgery was that he didn’t want a complication on the surgery table to cause him to miss the game. “”(Surgery) is like going into combat. You may come home alive or you may come home dead,”” Hester said.

Hester’s devotion is crazy, extreme, fanatic (pardon the pun) and oh-so-awesome. Imagine what that guy wouldn’t do for his team. You would never catch him wearing any other school’s gear, or even so much as setting foot on a rival’s campus for anything other than a football game against his very own Spartans. Apparently Hester’s heart is so deeply rooted in the Michigan State program that he has to have pep talks to calm himself down during games, lest his heart suddenly fail from all the intensity and passion.   

If the UA had this much school pride from both the fans and administration, we would never have seen the construction of the wall in front of ZonaZoo, and we would never have to hear players or coaches complain under their breaths about how fans leave early after one half of the football game. Every week would carry the party atmosphere that the Iowa game did, and every team would truly enter a “”zoo”” whenever they came to Arizona Stadium (even if was lowly NAU).  

Do we all need to push ourselves to the edge of sanity for the red and blue? No, but we need a bit more passion and perhaps an admiration for fandom  and school pride. Imagine what we could do for our school’s reputation with a ZonaZoo army of screaming Hesters. No matter how talented the team we put on the field, the enthusiasm of the crowd alone would make every road trip to Tucson a nightmare. Here’s to Major Hester for his superior dedication even in the face of uncertain surgery. Some may say you’ve risked too much, but nobody can question your fervor.

— Storm Byrd is a political science sophomore. He is also a student organizer for UA Votes, which is run by Arizona Students’ Association. He can be reached at

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