‘Superfan’ a fixture at Sacramento athletic events

Clifton Jones

Team spirit does not always come from players who shed blood, sweat and tears toiling away at practice – sometimes it is the fans who embody a team’s true character.

Since 1990, Randy John Hicks has been cheering on Sacramento State athletic teams in any given sport, on any given night, from women’s soccer to men’s basketball.

Hicks first started watching both men’s and women’s basketball games at the Nest when Joseph Anders coached men’s basketball during the 1990-91 season. Following that year, he branched out to other sports, such as soccer, volleyball and softball.

“Sac State doesn’t really have the community support that it deserves,” Hicks said. “I am one of the few supporters that come to every game.”

Hornet volleyball head coach Ruben Volta has had the opportunity to meet him in person.

“He is always enthusiastic and knowledgeable about what we have done so far this season,” Volta said.

Before he became a die-hard fan of Sacramento area athletics, Hicks held remedial jobs as a cashier, a food-service worker, a parking lot attendant and in a non-profit organization, but he was forced into early retirement after manifesting symptoms of Fibromyalgia – a disorder that causes the brain to process the effects of pain at a higher level.

Before being diagnosed with the disorder,  Hicks’ childhood doctors struggled to find the source of his suffering.

“[Doctors] called it chronic fatigue, hypertension and anxiety disorder,” Hicks said.

Of all the symptoms that include pain, sleeplessness and fatigue, Hicks finds one more troubling than the rest.

“It’s hard for me to remember names or things that I did throughout the day, so I have to concentrate on remembering everything I do,” Hicks said.

Though he is retired with disability, Hicks volunteers at the non-profit organization, Californians for Disability Rights, as a legislative chair member. Because he is a volunteer and not a paid worker, he has the free time to support Sacramento area athletics.

“I try to spread the love around to every school, because everyone seems to enjoy that I am there,” Hicks said.

He makes his rounds at American River College, Sacramento City College and Sac State because he said the athletes have been welcoming when he is at games.

Sacramento City men’s basketball head coach Andrew Jones has interacted with Hicks before and after games throughout the last 16 seasons.

“Win or lose, he always comes and shakes my hand and says ‘Good job,’ or ‘We will get them next time,’” Jones said. “If we lost a game he would tone down his enthusiasm, because he knows that the team is not in the mood to talk at that moment.”

Now, the athletes he sees throughout the week often ask him if he can make it to their games.

“I always say to them that I will try to make it if I have the time to go to it,” Hicks said.

After the games, the athletes talk to Hicks and his domestic partener (that is what he calls him, or his partner) David Rivers.

“The players that have come up to us really love seeing Randy at the games,” Rivers said.

In their 13 years together, Hicks has gone to the games with excitement and brings that energy home, telling Rivers all about it.

“I knew he was very passionate about Sacramento area athletics,” Rivers said. “I try to go with him to as many games at Sac State or the other schools when I have a day off.”

In his 23 years following Sacramento athletics, there was one moment that Hicks enjoyed the most.

“My favorite memory was watching Sac State football beat UC Davis four years ago at home,” Hicks said.