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Faithful Fans Feed the Bulls

Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 29, 2013 - Most fans at JCSU’s tailgating section cook for a few friends at football games. But Russell Ransom of Richmond, Va., along with his cousin Travis Gleaton and wife, Belinda of Greenville, S.C., cook to feed the Golden Bulls  football team, including son and senior player Cameron Ransom.

During each home game, they set up a monster grill and large tent in a corner of the lot on Summit Street and start cooking up a storm. They have cooked 40 pounds of ribs, 80 hot dogs, deep fried turkeys, chickens and prepared tasty side dishes such as macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas, potato salad, rice and sausage.

At least 40 to 50 players and a few of their coaches show up on a typical game day, and as many as 100 players on a big day. “When they win, they eat a lot,” says Travis of the players. “When they weren’t winning, they would come over and talk about the game,” added Russell. “You’ve got to build them up and encourage them.”

Either way, the players come hungry after the game and enjoy the complimentary meal. Their hosts purchase all of the food for each game, transport it there, cook and feed the players. It’s a tradition that began during Cameron’s sophomore year.

“I don’t look at the expense part of it,” said Russell, who constantly shops for bargains. “Being a Dad and being a model for my son is what it’s all about. I hope I am a positive male model in the lives of these young men.”

Russell and Travis always wear their fraternity colors of Kappa Alpha Psi. Travis, who does most of the cooking, has seven children and also cooks for one of his son’s high school football teams.

"It means a lot to me knowing I have family to support me and my teammates," said Cameron. After the Homecoming football game, which was the last time Cameron would play for JCSU, he was surprised by the even larger turnout for the tailgate event. He was greeted by his grandmother, who made a special surprise visit, a decked out tent with a banner congratulating him on his football career with JCSU, and a DJ to stir up a dance party.  

"It's been great playing for JCSU all those years," he said. "I'll miss it, but next Homecoming, I'll be here cooking out."

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