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Grand Rapids Fan Wears
Team Logo with Pride
by Randy Snow
Originally posted on ArenaFan.com, Saturday, May 22, 2004
What is a fan? Is it someone who comes to games only when
the team is winning? Is it someone who wears a rainbow wig and holds up a
“John 3:16” sign? Or is it someone who comes to every game and cheers for
the team, even if they are struggling on the field?
Doug Melven, of Wyoming, Michigan, falls into
the last category. You see, Melven attended his first Rampage game back in 2001
when some friends took him to a game for his birthday. After that, he continued
to attend Rampage games for the rest of the regular season, throughout the
playoffs and all the way to the ArenaBowl championship game where they beat the
Nashville Kats, 64-42, on national TV in Grand Rapids. After a season like that,
it was inevitable that Melven would become hooked on the team and the sport of
In 2002, Melven embraced his love for the team by officially becoming a season
ticket holder. Oh, and one other thing, he also went out and got himself a
tattoo. But not just any old tattoo, it was the Rampage logo that he had put on
“This was my first tattoo,” said Melven, who added that it took a local
tattoo artist less than an hour to complete the design.
Since getting the Rampage tattoo, Melven has added five more.
“I’ve got a Grand Rapids Griffins [American Hockey League], a Detroit Red
Wings, an American flag and a couple of dragons.”
When asked if he plans to get any more, Melven said no.
“I’ve got all the tattoos I’m gonna get,” he said.
The Griffins are a minor league hockey team and are currently an affiliate of
the Detroit Red Wings. They also share the Van Andel Arena with the Rampage.
Melven says he’s not the only fan that has gone under the needle to show his
love for the team. He knows of several other fans that also have Rampage
“I saw one that was even bigger than mine,” he recalled.
Melven can be found at just about every Rampage home game, cheering on the team
from his seat in Section 110. Even though he sits fairly close to the field,
there is one thing he has yet to experience. He wants to catch a game ball
during a game. He says he’s come close a few times, but still no souvenir.
This season, Melven also traveled to a couple of away games to watch the team
play. He went to Chicago to see the season opener against the Rush on February
8th and to the Palace of Auburn Hills in Pontiac, Michigan to see the Rampage
play the Detroit Fury.
It has been said that the fans in Grand Rapids are some of the best in the all
of the Arena Football League, and Doug Melven is one just one example of how
much Rampage fans love their team. Tattoos are often used to express love
towards one’s country, another person, or any number of things. But for one
fan in Grand Rapids, the object of his affection is a snarling red rhino.
(Photo by Wayne L. White)
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