On the Front Lines with the Red Army

QO's Red Army gets rowdy as the hometown Cougars take the field.
QO’s Red Army gets rowdy as the hometown Cougars take the field.

December 1, 2011

Quince Orchard senior Afshin Fadakar woke up at 5:30 Friday morning with DMX’s “X Gon Give it to Ya” blaring. He says if the Cougars take home tonight’s 4A State Title over the Old Mill Patriots (Anne Arundel) he won’t have to wake up tomorrow morning—he’ll be up all night.

The shirtless Fadakar (his torso is painted red with the black letter “A” in Cougars emblazoned on his chest) and his nearly 300 compatriots make up the “Red Army,” QO’s self-named student section. Year after year Cougars fans are among the most spirited in the county and state and Friday night at M&T Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, was no different.

“You wake up every Friday morning knowing this is what you’re gonna come to,” he said. “Rockin’ out with 300 of my closest friends.”

He and classmate Affan Humayun arrived in Baltimore at 4 p.m. and tailgated for the next two and a half hours until doors opened to the public, and the “Red Infantry,” the Army’s front lines, bolted through the gates and seized section 126’s best seats. With hoops and hollers they took the battlefield.

“There’s no feeling like being in the Red Army right now. We worked so hard to get here. It’s the best feeling and I’ve been expecting it since my freshman year,” Humayun said, noting the Cougars’ 2007 States victory when he was in middle school gave him high expectations.

Fadakar, bare-chested in the 30-degree weather all the while, led the “Army” in a ritual pre-game wave and mocked the Patriots as they took the field. Cold? “No man,” he shouted. “It’s too hot in here.”

Meanwhile, Humayun took over the command for the interview-busy Fadakar. Alas, after 30 seconds, he was forced to sit down. Putting his hands on his scalp he noted, “my voice is gone. The game hasn’t started and my voice is gone.” Then he popped back up and led his troops once more.


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