CAF Member Spotlight (Jan. 2017) - The Blairs
FEATURED CAF MEMBERS OF THE MONTH - January 2017
Robert and Vicki Blair
Surfside Beach, S.C.
Members since 2003
What made you become a Chanticleer fan?
Some believe that fandom is determined by geography and we were initially guilty of that. Trips to see our Tar Heels became full weekend endeavors. Most of the time spent on the road was traveling to and from our home and not in experiencing the joy that is Chapel Hill. While we followed CCU sports from a distance, we admit that the addition of football finally brought us to the table. We bought season tickets that first year and what started as a whim has become a full-blown obsession. From that initial tailgate when we sat in the rain with two folding chairs and a bucket of chicken, we have morphed into true Chanticleers. But are we fans or are we supporters? We buy all things teal, from clothing to decor. We schedule around games and plan tailgate menus weeks in advance. Attending sporting events is a given but there is also a duty to engage emotionally in the life of athletics, allowing for us to form and maintain strong friendships that might otherwise not exist. These social bonds are very strong and, in some cases, seem almost like family. We feel that we aren't just spectators, but participants that enjoy living the experience of CCU athletics. So call us fans or supporters or both. We feel that fandom is almost a rite of passage involving years of "instruction" and "practice," and demonstrating your true passion and loyalty. We still cheer for our beloved Tar Heels, but we are Chanticleers through and through.
What is your favorite memory of Coastal Carolina Athletics?
Trying to think of one favorite memory over the course of many years as devoted Chanticleer fans is not easy. There have been so many wonderful memories and each stands out for a different reason. It could be that very first football game when we stood in awe and, yes, disbelief, that we were really going to win that game. It could be all of the athletic road trips following the Chants. It could be watching us win the Big South basketball tournament two years in a row in our beautiful new HTC Center. It could be the two trips that we made to Omaha and the examples go on and on. In the end, we decided that we simply cannot choose one favorite memory because all of them are so valuable to us. And we hope that we are blessed with the opportunity to make many more
What makes you most proud of Coastal Carolina?
CCU is a place of amazing abundance with leadership and staff responding to student interest and initiative by providing the resources to teach and fortify in every way imaginable. We truly believe that CCU is creating one of the most varied and talented human communities among southeastern universities. Students are encouraged to open themselves to each other, teach each other and discover what they can accomplish together. For all that this University has accomplished in a relatively short period of time, from academics to athletics, from uniting the community to inspiring spirit and enthusiastic loyalty, we should all be bursting with pride. CCU represents us all with dignity and honor so let's remember that "Coastal Rising" stands for more than just athletics!
What made you decide to start supporting the education of current Coastal Carolina student-athletes through the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation (CAF)?
Believing wholeheartedly in "Student before Athlete," we know that CCU coaches and staff also believe that their primary goal is to help scholar-athletes receive an education that prepares them for life beyond sports. This has been proven by the admirable GPA's earned by our student-athletes as well as the accomplishments many have gone on to achieve. We know that it could be easy to be consumed by sport over schoolwork or celebrity over scholarship. It is our belief that CCU athletes are among the hardest working students and view the sport as a complement to, not a replacement for, their studies. We want student¬-athletes to excel in the classroom just as they do on the court, field and arena. It is a privilege to provide support toward these efforts through the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation. One of the best ways to improve the education of student-athletes is to give them the license to pursue academic goals by making it clear that society as a whole supports them in their academic endeavors.
What advice would you give to other members of the Chanticleer family who are wondering what they can do to help the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation and Coastal Carolina athletics as a whole?
Obviously, supporting your college team is a great way, and sometimes the most obvious way, to express pride in your university. Student-athletes are encouraged by the crowds attending the games, the cheers from the stands, the wearing of school colors and the singing of school songs. What some forget is the less obvious – but just as important – way of showing pride by supporting the mission of the Chanticleer Athletic Foundation, which advocates for endowments, capital projects and other needs as prioritized by the CCU Department of Athletics. This will only be accomplished by reaching out to and depending upon alumni and friends. We feel that the entire Chanticleer family has a deep love for Coastal resulting in their desire to see this institution succeed in all aspects of college life. Philanthropic giving, on any level, is essential in making the overall student-athlete experience possible. Our student-athletes deserve the best, both academically and athletically. So, if you feel the same way, we encourage every member of Chanticleer Nation to find a way to support CCU athletics through an avenue of giving. Every gift, in any amount, makes an essential impact in supporting the success of our student-athletes and helps them reach their goals and realize their dreams.