There are sports fans, and then there’s the Super Fan – that extra player in the stands who cranks up the crowd to cheer, sing and human wave the team to victory, or at least have a good time trying. In El Paso, many people may recognize Gregg Bush as that guy.
“If I can help the sports teams that I care about succeed and win, I’ll do my best to cheer my team onto victory,” Bush said.
And cheer them on he does. He is a regular in the stands at UT El Paso games, a fixture in the third-base section at El Paso Chihuahuas baseball games and in the heart of crowd at The Corner Tavern and Grill for major league soccer and other games.
“He is always reaching out for more people to get into the tavern and be part of our community,” said Anthony Duncan, owner of The Corner Tavern, 2700 N.Mesa.
In the past three years, Bush has helped build up the El Paso chapter of the American Outlaws, a fan group that gets together at the tavern to support the U.S. national soccer teams. The Outlaws began in 2007 in Lincoln, Nebraska, and have grown to include 100 chapters across the United States.
“We chartered this in 2011 and I became a proud member,” Bush said. He then put a lot of effort into recruiting people who were watching the games at bars around town to join in the fun with the American Outlaws. “We went from about 20-30 soccer fans here to about 100, average.”
During this year’s World Cup the crowd exceeded the tavern’s 300-person capacity and there was a waiting line for fans who wanted to watch the games with a lot of other fans.
“Soccer brings people together,” Bush said. “During the summer I got to meet a lot of different people and in essence that gives value to the sport.”
Making a difference by rooting for the home team
Bush is also no stranger to UTEP sports fans who might know him as the regular guy leading the cheers for his alma mater.
“It’s entrenched in my blood. I bleed orange and navy,” said Bush, received his business degree from UTEP.
And fans like Bush can make a difference in the game, said UTEP Athletic Director Bob Stull.
“The noise and support the team feels is a great advantage. When fans get loud, players feel it. They get excited and they ask for more cheering,” he said.
School pride and team spirit are a great way to unite a community, Stull said.
“Sport brings people together,” he said. “It brings former alumni, community people, kids and faculty and staff to one spot.”
Bush is such a fan that he has created a small side business around his passion, www.theinstigator.biz, where he promotes his own sports merchandise.
“I design licensed scarfs for UTEP basketball and for UTEP soccer. I also hold some great prototypes of soccer designed Nike jerseys,” Bush said.
His latest passion, however, is focused on getting more fan support out for UTEP women’s soccer.
“Coach Kevin Cross has done a very incredible job with the soccer program here at UTEP. I encourage everyone else to come out and support soccer,” he said.
But a coach can only do so much. For Bush, the rest is up to fans like him.
“We bring our chants and cheers to the matches. The more we are, the louder our support is going to be.”