T.j. Kirkpatrick, Deseret News
Bill Sproat, a junior at Utah State University, tries to distract a Boise State player on a free-throw attempt during a recent game in the Smith Spectrum.
Visitors to Logan's Smith Spectrum will see a big, intimidating guy on the sideline who likes nothing more than watching Aggie opponents lose — and we're not talking about Stew Morrill. No, it's "Wild" Bill Sproat, one of Utah State's "biggest" fans who, along with his expansive belly, gets almost as much TV airtime as the USU coach. He distracts opposing free-throw shooters, and he talked with USU beat writer Jared Eborn.
Question: You've been on ESPN and a bunch of blogs have been written about you. Did you ever imagine that would happen when you started doing this?
Answer: It's definitely a little overwhelming. I didn't think I was that special or worth their time. I'm just trying to have a little fun out there and I guess people started noticing. I guess it's kind of cool to see Utah State get some attention. It's kind of fun to be a part of that.
Question: You got a lot of airtime when Idaho's Marvin Jefferson missed two free throws. Did he say anything to you?
Answer: He was laughing at me the whole game. Then he missed. I had to ask him if I had anything to do with it, and he said, "No, it was just a bad shot." But he was mine. If I can get them to look at me and get them to laugh, I know I'm in their head. They're mine.
Question: What got you started doing this?
Answer: I'm not really a basketball fan. I don't even like the game. I like football. But my friends were coming and they saved me a seat on the front row and I started coming. Now, I won't miss a game. I still don't really like basketball, but I love coming to the games. You can't ask for a better place to have some fun.
Question: Have you always had such a hard time keeping your shirt on?
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Answer: My mom said I've been like this since I was a baby. I just can't keep my shirt on. I'm part Hawaiian, so my mom says it must be in my blood to always take my shirt off like I'm going to the beach.
Question: Some of your outfits are pretty much out there. Is there any limit to what you'll do or won't do?
Answer: Well, they told me I can't do hip thrusts or wear a Speedo. They told me some people were offended and that I was too "sexual," and that upset me and I stopped coming to games for a while because I don't think there's anything sexual about it. But I guess I don't really have any real limits. The only thing I ask myself is, "Would my mother be ashamed to be my mother?"