Valdosta Daily Times

Sports

December 6, 2013

Valdosta native a finalist for ESPN Fan Hall of Fame

VALDOSTA — Sports fanatic and University of Georgia freshman (and triplet) Pierce Wallace has had a big impact this year in the stands at UGA games, cheering on the ‘Dawgs in his superfan uniform. You can’t miss his bright neon green wig, joker makeup, and spiked shoulder pads — not only because it’s colorful but also due to his 6’5” frame which literally puts him head and shoulders above the crowd around him.

Wallace is known as “The Georgia Joker,” with makeup inspired by the joker in the Dark Knight movie, and is one of ten finalists for the ESPN “Fan Hall of Fame.” He’s come a long way since his time at Valdosta High School, where he played basketball and served as the assistant head coach of the golf team. He was also the Wildcat’s team mascot and was voted one of the 2012 VHS Homecoming Kings, looking dapper in a suit and tie and completely different from his current superfan image.

On the ESPN Fan Hall of Fame site, where all 10 finalists are profiled, Wallace said, “I have always been the biggest Dawg fan since I was a little boy. My friends and family knew me as the die-hard Georgia boy forever and always, so it only seemed fitting that my destiny was fulfilled of attending the University of Georgia. I am only a freshman at UGA but I knew my enthusiasm and dedication needed to be shown at every UGA football game. Thus the Georgia Joker was born.”

The field of superfans was narrowed down from thousands to the top ten finalists, and now through midnight on Dec. 11, you can vote to help him win, similar to the Titletown vote Valdosta swept. Wallace’s competition is fierce as he faces mostly fans of professional sports teams who’ve been around for years.

Each individual can vote up to three times a day per device (cell phone, IPad, computer) at http://fanhalloffame.com/vote/2013/pierce-wallace-georgia-joker/ and if he wins, he will be one of three inducted into the Fan Hall of Fame.

 As a triplet, Wallace’s two brothers, Austin and Doyle, are also freshmen at UGA, but they are fraternal, not identical. “They’re 5’10” and don’t look like at all like me. You would never be able to see us as brothers in a crowd, so they’d never get mistaken for me on campus.”

When asked what they think of his persona, Wallace said, “They just know me as funny Pierce. When they hear something about me, they just say, ‘Oh, that’s Pierce.’”

Wallace said the Georgia Joker came about when he joined the UGA Spikes Squad. All members wear the spiked shoulder pads and body paint to the games, but they each paint their faces differently. A huge Batman fan, “I used to quote Batman every day in high school,” he chose the Joker as his inspiration for his makeup.

“I think that’s the greatest character of all time and I do a pretty good impersonation, plus the colors are the same as the UGA colors.”

Wallace said he found his signature green wig in a closet at home in Valdosta.

“It was my sister’s wig for a talent show. I took it along to UGA because I thought you never know when you might need something like that.”

The face painting and the wig set him apart from the rest of the Spike Squad, and when ESPN took a photo of him at UGA’s first game this year, they ran it with the caption, “Georgia Joker is enjoying the Georgia- South Carolina showdown” and it took off from there, said Wallace.

“I had no idea that I was developing that character coming into college. I love being a fan and that’s my way of giving back to the ‘Dawgs.”

His Valdosta family is rooting for him, he says, including his father, Mike Wallace, a podiatrist, his mother, Carol Wallace, a teacher at Valdosta High School, and his sister Madalyn, a student at VHS.

With a major in business marketing, Wallace is getting invaluable experience now in marketing himself and his character, actively sending out tweets, posts and emails to everyone he knows.

He needs the community’s support and votes to get into the top three to be inducted into the Fan Hall of Fame.

On the ESPN Hall of Fame site, Wallace wrote, “The Georgia Joker is not just a fan but also a symbol, an indestructible symbol of the Bulldog nation and of what a true fan really is. I truly want to be amongst the greatest fans in history and I can assure you I will do honor to that accolade. ‘I’m a man of my word.’ So please vote for me! Thank you and GO DAWGS!!!”

 

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