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You won’t find bigger Cardinals supporters than these ‘Fans of the Year’



These super fans are proud to “Rise Up” and represent the Red Sea.

PHOENIX — The NFL schedule is set to be released on May 15 and fans of the Arizona Cardinals are on the hunt for any information they can get the 2024-25 campaign. The Bird Gang is a tight-knit group but for the last four years, the NFL has been celebrating exceptional fandom and commitment to the football community by selecting a Fan of the Year nominee for each of the league’s 32 teams.

Chandler resident Troy Landrum, known to the Bird Gang as “Tailgate Troy,” was named the Cardinals 2023 Fan of the Year in October. The Navy veteran used to work security overnight at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel when the Cardinals used to play out of Arizona State University’s football stadium. Landrum would get tickets to games as a work perk back then but now he’s a die-hard season ticket holder in the south endzone who makes game days a family event with his wife and daughter.

“It’s a second life for me,” Landrum said of his Cardinals fandom. “It’s extremely rewarding, fulfilling, satisfying… My daughter’s been going [to games] since she was six months old.”

The Landrum’s home is complete with a Cardinals fan cave that showcases countless pieces of memorabilia and jerseys. There are signed footballs, newspaper clippings, tickets from international games, Cardinals-themed garden gnomes and more but Landrum’s “Fan of the Year” patch holds special meaning. 

“We have a lot of fans in the Bird Gang that are worthy of this [patch]. But this is my chance, this is my time, and I’m proud,” Landrum said. “It means a lot. It’s humbling. But I wear the badge with pride.”

Landrum had the honor of sounding the Cardinals’ “Big Red” air raid siren before last season’s home game against the Baltimore Ravens, where he learned he was the 2023 “Fan of the Year”. It was Susan Haluzan, the 2022 Cardinals Fan of the Year, who broke the news to her dear friend Tailgate Troy. You can find Haluzan on social media under the handle “@SuzRedSea” and you can find her at all of the Card’s big events – including the NFL Draft in Detroit.

“I just think it’s an incredible responsibility that we take to represent our teams. We try to be good role models and demonstrate not only what we can do in football but in our communities as well,” Haluzan said. “We don’t take it lightly… We have a friend in every single stadium across the country, it’s amazing!”
 
Landrum and Haluzan are super fans who are proud to Rise Up and represent the Red Sea at State Farm Stadium and beyond.

Follow the conversation with Lina Washington on X/Twitter: @LWashingtonTV. If you have a sports story idea, email Lina at LWashington@12News.com.

RELATED: When will the Arizona Cardinals schedule be released?

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