COLUMBIA — People hear about fair-weather fans all the time, but warm-weather fans are rarely mentioned.
Up until this fall, Bob and Karen Fry have considered themselves warm-weather fans of Columbia College sports.
What is a warm-weather fan? They are fans who attend sporting events when the weather is warm or the event is indoors, such as volleyball and basketball.
The Frys, who both work for Columbia College, have been faithful attendees of volleyball and basketball games for years. But have shied away from soccer games because of potentially harsh elements.
"We have been known as warm weather-fans for Columbia College sports," Karen Fry said, "But we've learned that we can go outside and enjoy sports and survive it."
Actually, they more than survived it. They made all of the Columbia College men's soccer home games this season.
One main motivation for braving the elements to watch the games is that the couple has gotten to know the team better. During the summer, player Dylan Barduzzi helped Bob Fry out in the maintenance department at Columbia College.
"I can't tell a student 'no' to coming to games," Bob Fry said.
The Frys are pretty new to soccer, but the more they learn, the more they enjoy it.
"It is pretty exciting," Karen Fry said.
They have been even more excited to learn more about the sport since their young nephews have started playing soccer in leagues in Columbia.
"We'll be there for them too," Karen Fry said.
The Frys have learned more than just how soccer is played.
"Another reason to attend a soccer game is you get closer to your spouse," said Bob Fry about the chance for the couple to snuggle under covers to keep warm in the chilly fall weather.
They have also found a solution to combat the cold bleachers: personalized seat cushions.
About five years ago fellow Cougar basketball fanatic, Don Curry, crocheted personalized seat cushions for several of the basketball fans who attend games on a regular basis. One side says COUGARS and the other side has the Frys’ first names.
The seats at R. Marvin Owens Soccer Stadium are a little bit harder than those in the Southwell Complex, where volleyball and basketball is played. Soccer games are also a little bit longer.
"They come in handy," Karen Fry said.
The Cougars gave the Fry's plenty to cheer about all season long, making the 20-minute drive from their home in Millerburg seem short.
"As long as there is a game held here, we'll be attending," Bob Fry said.