Henderson didn't go to many football games during his first six years in college, but with a drum, a quart of tequila and friend Don Bogden for company, he showed up at one of San Jose State's games in his seventh year. "Bogden had wanted to be a cheerleader all his life," George says, "so he would stand up and yell, 'Kill!' Then I'd stand up and yell, 'Kill!' and pretty soon we'd have a whole crowd of people gathered around us. Every once in a while I'd threaten somebody if they didn't yell 'Kill!' My eighth and ninth years in school I was an elected cheerleader, which meant nothing because I never worked with the squad. I just roamed around the stands beating my drum. I figure you can either do the routines they do, or you can get more people yelling. Cheerleaders—boy! They tell you to always look at the crowd and smile. I never smile. They tell you never to go into the stands, but I never work anywhere else. I want my people to see me sweat. And they teach cheerleaders to do all these incredibly complicated routines, which nobody can possibly remember. So none of my cheers is more than two words long."
An example of this is Krazy George's GO cheer, in which the sections in the arena successively yell the word GO. Two years ago he was leading the GO cheer during a game between the Rockies and the Montreal Canadiens, and as he recalls, "Each time that the cheer came around to the section where Montreal's bench was, the players stood up and shouted GO with the fans." The Canadiens won easily, and as they were skating off the ice, Defenseman Serge Savard beckoned to George and said, "You have more noise here than we have in Montreal during the playoffs." Then he handed George his stick and skated away. "The Canadiens are a classy team," says George, "but they are so ugly. Boy, have they got a lot of ugly players on that team."
The summer following their first season (1977), the Rockies conducted an informal survey in Denver's downtown shopping area, asking people if they could identify any of the team's players. "About 80% of them said they couldn't name any," says team P.R. Director Kevin O'Brien, "but they thought we had some wild-looking guy with curly blond hair who beat a drum. We didn't really have any players to promote, so we built George up to such an extent that he became our advertising vehicle."
George's trademark is his entrance. At various times he has arrived at sporting events by ambulance, by helicopter, by chariot and by hang glider. "One time the guy who was towing the hang glider got going too fast, and he didn't stop when he was supposed to," recalls Krazy George. "So there I was, 40 feet in the air, and I came straight down and landed on the team that was waiting to be introduced. Fortunately, it was the visiting team. Turkeys."
Andy Warhol once said, "In the future everybody will be world-famous for at least 15 minutes." By Warhol's clock, Rollen F. Stewart still has about 10 minutes of fame left in him. For 2½ years, Rock 'n' Rollen, as he bills himself, has been making unscheduled appearances—more than 60 by last count—on network sports telecasts. You've seen him. He's the guy with the rainbow-colored head and the boogie-woogie shoes.
When he isn't crashing sports events, Stewart, 34, can be found on an 80-acre, erstwhile rock ranch in Cle Elum, Wash. That's rock as in stone. Rollen used to sell his crop to local sand and gravel companies for crushing, and thus had the ideal no-work, all-pay business. This spring, the rocks ran out, so Stewart has been living off an inheritance and a few fees he has gotten for making appearances at stores and for promoting a beer.
Rock 'n' Rollen was born on New Year's Day 1977. "I was always Rock 'n' Rollen in my heart, I just didn't realize it," he says. "The colored-hair thing came to me in a Technicolor dream. It was like a vision. I think of myself as a prophet, and part of my mission is to tell the world to shape up."
Another part of his mission is a quest for the perfect close-up. "For the first six months my wife and I did this together," Stewart says, "then she moved to Hawaii, very suddenly." The breakup of this marriage, his second, followed, but Rock 'n' Rollen went on. "When I started doing this I decided I didn't want to be just a background shot—I wanted closeups. I wanted to become well known in the shortest period of time possible, so I was looking for shows with audiences of 50 or 60 million people. Most of those are sports shows.
"My record for getting on TV at national events is about 65-9. I always try to get to the arena early so I can check the camera locations and position myself properly. At the World Series I try to sit behind home plate, because that's where most of the shots are."
Although he has become a nuisance to cameramen and announcers, Rollen is popular with the crowds. "The people enjoy seeing me," Stewart says. "I have no fear walking down a street in New York or in Chavez Ravine at night because, hey, nobody knocks a rainbow. In Finland I'm known as the 'many-colored lid.' I'm Now, I'm Today. You can let me off on any street corner in the world, and somebody will come up to me and say, 'I've seen you somewhere.'