Special delivery for Biggest Big East Fan

Steve Springer, winner of Volvo’s Biggest Fan of the Big East Contest, stands beside his brand new, 2012 Volvo S60 automobile after signing the papers at Volvo of Louisville Saturday afternoon. Steve was declared the winner in March after a six-month contest, competing with bloggers from 15 other Big East cities. He gave credit to all the University of Louisville fans who voted for him in the fan poll, followed him on Twitter and Facebook, and made comments to his posts on Card Game.
The Biggest Fan of the Big East accepts congratulations from his dad, the Observer (aka Charlie Springer), after allowing the old man to take a drive in the dream car. Perhaps the best news of all, beside the wonder of riding in such a vehicle, is that it comes with a five-year warranty that covers any and every possible repair from the motor to the windshield wipers, except for tires.

Thanks again, U of L fans, from Steve and the Observer. It would have never been possible without your tremendous support. What a country. What a fan base.

Biggest Fan of the Big East & the trip to the Big East Tourney

 

Volvo’s “Biggest Fan of the Big East” contest culminated with me and my family getting to cash in our prize by venturing to New York City to witness the Big East Tournament finals and semifinals. With wife and kids in tow, we made it in town in time to catch the Cards come from behind and exact revenge on Notre Dame in the semis and then watch a great game which had the Cards falling to UConn in the BET championship.

As part of the grand prize, I participated in the halftime ceremonies and presented a check from Volvo in the amount of $10,000 to the University of Louisville’s scholarship fund. It was one of those giant cardboard checks that one always dreams of getting their hands on. I held up the left side and at the other end of the check was Volvo Cars North America CEO Doug Speck. Mr. Speck ended up being the only male on the planet I’m not related to that was on the receiving end of a big o’ kiss as I planted one on his cheek when they announced that I also won a brand new naughty Volvo S60.  Below is my interview with the Big East Network reporter:

Big East Video On-Demand interview with Steve Springer, “Biggest Fan of the Big East”

It was a great privilege to be able to share the experience with my wife, Casey, and the kids. Not only did we see some great Cardinal/Big East basketball in the most famous basketball venue in the world, along with all the extras like the car, going out on the court, hanging in the tunnel, etc., we took in a few sights and sounds in New York City, as well. We stayed two nights in the beautiful New Yorker Hotel, ate some local cuisine, rode the subway for the first time, and toured Ground Zero and paid our respects at the memorial.

We would have had time for a couple of other places if not for us pulling a silly tourist mistake, getting on the A-train going in the wrong direction and riding something like 200 blocks the wrong way and having to go all the way back and then some. Then getting off at the wrong stop and walking for blocks and blocks to finally get there. Oh well, the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty will have to wait until next time.

Many thanks to the people of Volvo US and Cake NYC for their hospitality and for putting up with our crew for the weekend. They sure know how to treat people right and made this basketball season extra special for our family.

 Also, we have much appreciation for the too-many-to-name people that helped me throughout the course of the contest. And even if I tried to name everybody, I would inevitably leave someone off because there were probably lots of people that voted, retweeted, etc. that I don’t even know about. You know who you are and your time and efforts are much appreciated. This post is dedicated to all of you.

Video: Louisville fan gets the new car

Steve Springer, a University of Louisville basketball (and football, baseball, etc.) fan, accepts the keys during halftime ceremonies at Madison Square Garden to a brand new Volvo S60 for winning Volvo’s Biggest Fan of the Big East contest. A perfect night for Steve except for UofL’s heartbreaking loss to UConn in the championship game of the Big East Championship tournament.

Steve, who lives in Murray, also discusses the family’s challenges in caring for their daughter Mackenzie who was stricken with Transverse Myelitis during the past year. He has received strong support from his wife Casey during an extremely challenging period for the entire family.

Thanks again to everyone who supported the family the past year and for all the fans who got behind Steve in the contest — through the fan poll, his blog comments, Twitter retweets, Facebook comments and YouTube comments during the six-month duration of the competition.

Louisville basketball fan gets the word

The call came in around noon Tuesday.

“You’re talking to the biggest fan in the Big East.”

“What? Say that again. You won. You actually won. What? You won the contest? The Volvo? The trip? The tickets? The $10,000 donation to the University of Louisville? Wait a minute let me get mom on the phone.”

A mad dash with the cell phone up the steps to the second floor. A scream, tears of joy, laughter, dancing, all the hard work, the long nights, the voting, the tweets, the e-mail to relatives, friends and fellow fans, the Facebook stuff, the Photoshop efforts, the formatting and reformatting of posts, the peaks of enthusiasm, the valleys of despair, practically conceding to other contestants, the waiting for whatever comes next, let it happen.

Steve had won.

His wife Casey calls later, full of joy, laughing, crying, having supported her man 24/7 with all the challenges in their lives, a died-in-the-wool Cardinal fan, his inspiration, never doubting her man.

What a day. Great day to be a Cards’ fan. Best day since joining the Big East.

The observer’s personal gratitude out to everyone who supported Steve so strongly and consistently during his incredible five-month journey. Some going way out of their way to help make a difference.  Thank you so much.

Biggest Fan of the Big East update

The Biggest Fan of the Big East contest, sponsored by Volvo and Big East basketball, is coming to an end. The top four finishers will be declared Monday, and the winner of the overall contest will be announced on Tuesday.

The voting in the fan poll has apparently closed, with University of Louisville fan Steve Springer far out in front with 136,061 votes — followed by Dave Krupinski of St. John’s with 71,603 votes, Dan Murphy of Notre Dame, 42,300 votes, and Margot Inzetta of Cincinnati with 26,815.

Nice to win the fan poll but what has been a challenge to communicate and comprehend is that the poll is but one of many facets of the competition. Other important factors included the number of tweets and re-tweets on Twitter, the quantity of comments and “likes” on Facebook, the number of comments on blog posts, and the quality of six “Blog Challenge Posts.”

As of Thursday, Steve was in fifth place in the blog challenge competition with 22.5 stars. Murphy was in first place with 26.5 stars, Krupinski, 25.5; Laurel Mills, Georgetown, 24.5; and Andrew Porter of UConn, with 23. How all this shakes out is anybody’s guess but it appears as if the Notre Dame contestant is solidly in the Volvo S60 driver’s seat.

Many UofL fans got behind Steve in different ways. Thanks to all the individuals and organizations who got involved, including the individual voters and sites, such as Paul Sykes at Cardinal Couple, Shannon Rufra at Cardinal Dominance, Chris Cunningham at Cardinal Laws, Howie Lindsey at Louisville Rivals, and all the folks on Inside the Ville. Good to see the fan base get behind him. It has been quite a ride for Steve and the rest of us.