NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) — As thousands of fans fill downtown Nashville dressed in team jerseys and NFL swag, a select few of them will have the designation of “Superfan.”
“I’ve been a fan of the Titans since 1976 when they were the Houston Oilers,” says Edward Gifford.
Gifford’s Superfan moniker is “Number 1Fan.” His face is perpetually painted blue and white with a dividing line separating the colors from forehead to chin.
Gifford even moved to Nashville with the Titans in the mid-1990’s and in 1999, he was named the number one fan by Visa in their “Hall of Fans” promotion.
“I believe all Titans are #1 fans,” says Gifford.
Gifford is part of an elite group of Superfans, made up of just more than 200 men and women. Their organization is known as the Professional Football Ultimate Fan Association (PFUFA).
“We do a draft just like the NFL, says Gifford. “We have draft cards that we hand out to prospective draftees and then there's a process that they go through. They gotta fill out their information and stuff and yeah, they're checked out!"
Gifford says they even run background checks on people who want to join. He carries with him a special PFUFA coin and business card denoting his Superfan status.
While each Superfan fearlessly supports their NFL team, they also support each other.
Matt Schroeder, who goes by Legion of Blue in support of his Indianapolis Colts, met Gifford last year at the NFL Draft in Dallas. The Colts organization designated Schroeder as their VIP at the last two drafts.
"We have a group on Facebook. We talk to each other and you know during the season we do the jabbing and playing around but it's all in fun,” says Schroeder. “We've got messages going back and forth about where we're meeting up afterward and its just a family!"
Gifford says there are two events a year where Superfans try to meet up: the NFL Draft and the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio each August.
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- Cameron Taylor