Mazzeis Honored for Longtime Support
By Stephen Trembley
FRESNO, Calif. - "I'd go to the moon and back three times for the Bulldogs," Rico Mazzei said.
That's how far Rico and his late wife Carmen Mazzei traveled to watch their Bulldogs since Rico started attending games back in 1947.
Last Saturday, Rico returned to a Fresno State game for the first time without Carmen, who passed away in January from cancer. The game marked his 300th consecutive home game, including every game played at Bulldog Stadium, and he proudly notes that he has only missed two of the past 585.
"Her seat is still right here. This is my 300th straight home game and means a lot to me," Rico said looking to his right - at her vacant seat 19 in row 18 of section 11. "I started going to the games because I love the Bulldogs. And I have programs and ticket stubs for every game that I have been to."
The 50-year season ticket holder has reliably made the three-hour drive up Highway 99 from Bakersfield for all the home games, and has gone on the road as much as possible.
"That was my vacation," Rico said. "We went on trips to watch Fresno State games in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s up until my wife passed away, but I'm going to Oregon this week and Nevada later this year."
Rico grew up in Fresno and attended Central High School. After serving in the Army, Rico relocated to Bakersfield and has been a season ticket holder since 1963.
On Saturday, he talked about how excited he was to see his 'Dogs again and spend the time with his family.
"It looks like we have an exciting team," Rico said. "If I can go to all the games and I live in Bakersfield, these people here in Fresno can come to the games. We have a great football team."
And for all the years watching the Bulldogs, his best memories include home wins over both San Diego State and San Jose State in 1977, another regular season home victory over SDSU in 1992, as well as the 1992 Freedom Bowl triumph against USC.
"I've been here since Bulldog Stadium was built," Rico said. "It's really means a hell of a lot to me."
So, it's time to go back on the road as Rico will make his way to Autzen Stadium to watch the Bulldogs duke it out with the No. 4 Oregon Ducks on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network, which is only available in Fresno on Comcast Ch. 433 (823 for HD).
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