Story Behind the Picture: Shark Man
From the very beginning of Jacksonville Sharks football, fans have been excited to have a winning team. As the team continued to win the South Division over the past four years, and an Arena Bowl in 2011, no fan has been as excited as Shark Man! The evolution of the legendary man is quite astonishing. In the beginning a t-shirt and a fin hat were adorned, which changed to a red body suit with "Jax Shark Man" printed on the front, which then again changed to a black Bat Man-like suit with a full mask. As his disguise from the outside world evolved so did the relationship he built with those around him.
From other fans, to players, and Sharks staff, everyone knows who Shark Man is. Even the smallest of fans love the masked mystery, but that could also be because he carries candy in a backpack worth more than a ticket to get into the game. The relationship that Shark Man has with other Jacksonville fans is special because he genuinely cares about people's lives. Players love Shark Man, as well. The fact that you can always see him cheering on the team and giving hugs and high-fives to players even if the team lost is something the players cherish because not every fan cares about players if the team loses. The staff of the Jacksonville Sharks love Shark Man so much they put his face on a special ticket for season ticket holders for fan appreciation night. I don't know about you, but I wish my face was on something a football team was giving to thousands of fans.
Where does one find Shark Man when he's at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena? He's all over. He's constantly going around to say hello to people, and if you see a group of kids in a clump in the stands with their hands up, Shark Man is probably there giving out candy.
Some fans wonder why Shark Man hasn't been seen so much this season compared to the past few years, and that's because he is in the United States Army! Not only does this man serve the players of the Jacksonville Sharks but he serves in the biggest way any American can in the Army.
From traveling on bus trips to seeing him at every game, I can say that Shark Man is one of the most enthusiastic and special fans I've come across working in Arena Football. He is the fan other fans wish they could be.
So here's to you my friend! Thank you for all you do and continue to do to make Sharks games special for everyone!