7 facts about NCAA basketball fan heads
by David Cassilo, special for USA TODAY Sports
Did you know those giant heads students bring to college basketball games have a pretty fascinating history? Sports Illustrated’s George Dohrmann took a look and we broke down the seven most surprising facts about those huge noggins:
1) It started at San Diego State.
Conor Mongan, a member of the Aztec student section, made the first one in 2002.
2) Michael Jackson was the inspiration.
A picture from a court appearance by the King of Pop was the first face ever used.
3) They are really, really big.
Jackson’s fathead consisted of four quarters, each made of an 11×17 piece of paper that was adhered to a 20×30 poster board.
4) It worked the very first time.
Long Beach State’s Darnell Thompson was the first player to shoot free throws with a big head behind the basket, and he missed both attempts.
5) Marquette University makes their own heads.
In 2005, Marquette’s athletic department started creating their own big heads and handed them out to students.
6) Charles Barkey’s head leads to wins.
The Golden Eagles are 33-5 when Charles Barkley’s head is used.
7) They can be expensive.
It costs Indiana’s athletic department $75 to make each head.… [For more on 7 surprising facts about NCAA basketball fan heads, click here.]