By day, he's a mild-mannered locomotive engineer from Winnipeg, Manitoba. But sometimes, usually between Friday night and Saturday morning, 53-year old Syd Davy undergoes a bit of a change. . .and becomes the man known as "100% Cheese-Free." Purple face paint, some chain mail, a big replica championship belt with "vWo" (Vikings' World Order) painted on it, and a horned helmet complete the look for Syd, who has been a huge fan of the Minnesota Vikings since Bud Grant. . .who used to coach the CFL's Blue Bombers in Winnipeg. . .became the head coach of the Vikings in 1967.
Lots of people travel to Vikings home games, but few make the 500-mile trek that Syd and his wife make every time the Vikings play a home game. They've only missed a few games since September of 1986 (when they first acquired season tickets), and it has helped Syd to achieve a cult status among Viking fans, with people getting their pictures taken with him in the tailgate lots leading up to kickoff.
Though Syd and his wife have been season ticket holders since 1986, "100% Cheese-Free" wasn't born until, ironically enough, Halloween of 1993, when the Vikings hosted a game against the Detroit Lions. With it being Halloween and all, Syd decided he'd get all decked out in the purple and gold to get in on the festivities. . .and the reception was so huge that he's been doing it ever since.
One of the big things he became known for was catching former receiver Randy Moss when he would jump into the seats after scoring touchdowns. This wasn't without its hazards, however. . .one time, Syd got his nose split open by Moss' face mask, and on another occasion his wife, Susan, wound up with a black eye after Moss accidentally caught her with an elbow on one of his leaps.
By all accounts, Mr. Davy is quite a different person away from the Metrodome. . .one would certainly hope so, anyway. But every Sunday that the Vikings are in Minneapolis, rest assured that Syd will be there, too, exhorting the fans to get into the game, his purple and gold visage being shown on the big screen. Whether you've been to the Metrodome recently or not, the odds are pretty good that you've seen Syd Davy, whether it was live at the stadium, on television, or on websites such as this one.
Here's an interview with Mr. Davy that was done a few years back that can give you some insight into the man himself.
Congratulations to you, Syd. . .you are the boldest fan that the Minnesota Vikings have, and we're happy as heck that you're on our side.