Not many people knew who Tim McKernan was. But only a fool hasn’t heard of McKernan’s alter-ego the Denver Bronco’s fanatic, the Barrel Man.
Well some sad news happened a weekend ago for sports fans everywhere. McKernan, the first fan ever inducted into the NFL Fans Hall of Fame, passed away at the age of 69.
The Barrel Man will always be remembered by NFL fans for the entertaining antics he brought to Mile High Stadium every Sunday. Only wearing a Bronco’s metal bucket around his waist along with a cowboy hat and boots, McKernan remained a focal point for sports cameraman and commentators from 1977 to the modern day (no matter what the weather was like in Denver).
During the fanatic’s life it is reported that he only missed four games since 1967. The first time the Barrel Man donned his well known attire was in a 1977 game. The idea came about when McKernan’s brother made a ten dollar bet with him claiming he couldn’t get on TV. Not only did McKernan win the bet, but today he has NFL bobble-head’s being sold with his likeness.
But is the breed of fan like the Barrel Man becoming an extinct notion much like the dinasour or are there other fanatics out there eagerly awaiting to take the Barrel Man’s place?
With all the popular technological advancements made in television in the last ten years (HD, Instant Replay, TEVO) are Barrel Men and Barrel Women to lazy and satisfied with their home entertainment centers to attend sporting events or is this notion just blown out of proportion?
I cannot name a young fanatic that I know of, but then again it takes years to build up the type of fanatic title that the Barrel Man had earned. Personally, I will always prefer a live action match to watching anything on television. The sound of the crowd, looking down at the green field, the stadium atmosphere, and the antics of fanatics….
These are the reasons to go to a game or enjoy sports.
And sure televisions will only get more crazy over the years and pretty soon James Cameron and other filmmakers will introduce even more of our senses to the home entertainment center…
But sometimes all you need is a bucket, a pair of shoes, and a ticket to the game to have the best time you can have.