You've seen him. The guy in the neon green wig and smudged makeup screaming like a nut in Section 109 at Sanford Stadium. Georgia has its share of committed fans but one, Pierce Wallace (also known as the Georgia Joker) has quickly gained attention you wouldn't necessarily expect for a guy who technically isn't a member of the football team at all.
Pierce (or more precisely, the Joker) was recently selected for ESPN's "Fan Hall of Fame" which, while not a lifetime achievement award, is a pretty good indicator that he's become a recognizable part of the Sanford Stadium experience. You know, like that guy who sits next to you and scowls every time you stand up, but with more school spirit and a better repertoire of Chris Nolan movie quotes. A few days ago I chatted with Pierce about what the ESPN recognition means to him, what he has planned for the Georgia Joker in 2014, what he does when he's not dressed up like a criminal psychopath, and more.
MaconDawg: You were recently voted one of the most passionate fans in college football. What does that mean to you?
The Joker: First, I just would like to say thank you to all the people who voted and supported me during this campaign! I want to express my sincerest gratitude for that before anything else in the article. This is such a blessing to be in the fan Hall of Fame but it was not possible without the votes from Dawg Nation. This win goes out to Dawg Nation and UGA.
MaconDawg: One does not just dress up like a Batman villain while attending a college football game for no reason. What drives a man to do that?
The Joker: What goes through my mind every time I show up like that is supporting our 'Dawgs in the best and most enthusiastic way. People always ask me why I dress up like that and go super crazy and i always reply "I do it for the Dawgs!" To have a great fan base you should always have something that sets yours apart from the others. We definitely have that kind of fan base. It occurred to me because I have a lot of enthusiasm and passion for UGA athletics and it's a great way to give back.
MaconDawg: Tell us about the first time you came into Sanford dressed as the Georgia Joker. What kind of response did you get from those around you?
The Joker: For the first game some people were kind of scared. But the majority of the people around me loved the attire and the way I showed my enthusiasm for Georgia, it fired most everyone up! Some people started quoting the Joker and laughing like him, while others came up and asked for pictures while others simply said with me, "Why so serious South Carolina?" Everyone seemed to enjoy a little extra "chaotic" excitement.
MaconDawg: I understand you're a freshman. How long do you plan on keeping up the Georgia Joker routine? What about when you graduate, will the Joker go into hiding?
The Joker: I am a freshman, that is correct. I promise that I will attend UGA games as the Georgia Joker all the way up until I graduate. I'll certainly keep it up for a good while, but alas when the time must come that I have to graduate, I'll probably pass it down to another enthusiastic Dawg fan so we can keep it alive forever.
MaconDawg: So what do you do when you're not dressing up as a mentally unbalanced comic book villain?
The Joker: When I'm not the Georgia Joker, I'm just your normal, everyday college student enjoying life at UGA. I am involved in my fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, at my church, the UGA Catholic Center, of course class and schoolwork, and other student events and organizations.
MaconDawg: You know what they say, innovate or evaporate. What will the Georgia Joker do for his next trick?
The Joker: The Georgia Joker will evolve for sure. New season means new ideas and I can't wait for next year! I have started thinking of ways to "up the ante" for next season, but they remain a surprise.
MaconDawg: Speaking of tricks, if you could re-enact the "disappearing pencil trick" with one SEC football coach, who would it be?
The Joker: I guess I would have to say Steve Spurrier, in the safest way possible! Les Miles is out of the question since I made that video about him and LSU! Yep, Spurrier for sure. (But, as a legal formality, that would never happen . . . hahahah!).
I want to thank Pierce for taking the time to talk with us. Look for him in a few short months screaming his fool head off in Athens. Until later . . .