At home with the Indianapolis "Super Fan"
He's kind of like the Clark Kent of sports fans. You probably wouldn't recognize Michael Hopson out of character but you definitely know him as Super Fan. He's the guy who wears those wild, transformer-like get-ups to all the sporting events.
Hopson said it began quite innocently in the early 1990s when he turned a basketball into a headpiece. One thing led to another and "it just got wilder and wilder," he recalls.
Friday he was at the Paces noon pep rally at Circle Centre Mall dancing and chatting up other fans. He's stopped often for pictures.
Hopson said it takes him about an hour and a half to get "geared up." And it takes several months to design his get-ups. They're mostly made with "found objects," or things people give him.
"I take pieces and put pieces on pieces and use super glue and double-sided tape and beads and this and that," he said.
While Hopson has his own fan following, his biggest fan is his partner of 21 years, Cathy Holland.
The two met at the Speedway Kroger where Hopson stocks shelves overnight and Holland works as a cashier during the day. They have a lot in common.
"She's a sports nut and that's great," Hopson said, with Holland adding, "He's wild and crazy and always in a good mood."
While she loves his get-ups, she said she's never considered going all out herself (even though she will wear a wig and funky glasses to Pacers games.)
"I don't think I could match him. I don't even want to try," she laughed.
It turns out the couple's west side home is just as "wild" as Michael's outfits. The living room is covered from floor to ceiling in Colts, Pacers, Fever and racing memorabilia. Besides collecting things, Hopson said people are always "giving me stuff."
He adds, "Anything I'm into, I'm passionate about. I go to the edge, but not over the edge. I'm hanging on and she's holding me," he laughed.
Asked if he's near the point of running out of room, Hopson pointed to Holland and said, "Don't think so, but ask her."
Holland grinned, "We need another house. People don't understand why I let him take over the house, but I enjoy it too."
The two will be at Saturday's play-off game. They attend all Pacers games as both are part of Roy Hibbert's Area 55.
If you don't hear them cheering, you'll certainly see them. Hopson especially is the one fan you won't miss.