Dance, Crazy Lady, Dance! Meet Utah's shimmying, spirited superfan
It's the end of the third quarter at a Utah Football home game in Rice-Eccles Stadium, and everyone in attendance knows what time it is. The chants faintly start in the MUSS, the Utah student section, before slowly picking up throughout the rest of the stadium.
"Crazy Lady! Crazy Lady! Crazy Lady!"
No, Utes fans aren't trying to insult an opposing team's fan. Rather, they are talking about their beloved superfan Terri Jackson, AKA Crazy Lady. Jackson proceeds to give in to the chants with her signature dance moves to the Blue Brothers theme song—including some shoulder shimmies and hand movements—that the entire band, MUSS and dedicated U fans have all memorized.
Jackson is adored in Salt Lake City, and even cracked ESPN's top 20 list of superfans across the country back in 2010. But it wasn't always this way for the 1976 alumna.
As a student, Jackson didn't have all that much time for athletic events. Though she had supportive parents, money was tight. Jackson was forced to work nearly full-time while at the U, on top of her studies, and the eventual Crazy Lady had no time to work on building her persona as a super fan.
"I didn't become a fan until after I graduated," Jackson said.
Upon receiving her diploma, however, it was no turning back for Jackson, who was "all-in" after marrying her husband, Scott. They had taught their kids well, who would ask for the Utah crayon instead of the red one growing up.
But before Jackson became the Crazy Lady, there was another lady nicknamed "Bubbles" who danced similarly to how Jackson does now. It never crossed Jackson's mind that she would eventually assume this tradition, but she certainly enjoyed it.
"This lady would get up and shimmy through the whole dance. and trust me, her shimmy is much better than mine," Jackson said. "We would all cheer her."
But for some reason in 1997-98, Bubbles decided to not renew her season tickets, leaving a void at Utah games in between the third and fourth quarters. The tradition died for a short period of time, as no one performed the Crazy Lady dance during games for the next couple of seasons.
The next season, the band marched around the tailgate to set the tone for game day, when it decided to play its traditional Blue Brothers theme song. Instead of allowing that empty void to continue, the band leader offered fans at the tailgate the opportunity to come out at dance. About a half dozen people proceeded to have a dance-off, and of course, Jackson was in the mix.
"To know me is to know that I'm out there like a shot," Jackson said.
Courtesy of Terri Jackson
And with each passing weekend, the band would continue to do this dance-off, and each week less people would go out there to dance. Eventually, it was to the point where Jackson was the only one left, and she became a known commodity around the tailgate.
"I would be out there and by the third game, it was only me," Jackson said. "I either A. intimidated everybody else which we know isn't true. Or B. I'm a fantastic dancer, and we know that's not true."
Whatever the reason was, Jackson was invited to participate during the third and fourth quarters inside Rice-Eccles. She became well-known, but it wasn't until 2000-01 that Utah fans really saw her talents.
And to this day, they still love it. Jackson is beloved in the Beehive State, and though the title may have a negative connotation, she doesn't think that way. With an official Pac-12 jersey given to her by the team, and the name "Crazy Lady" across the back, Jackson owns her title.
"I would not change this for one second. I love it so much," Jackson said. "They still chant (after all these years). I am the Crazy Lady."
Griffin Adams is SI's campus correspondent for the University of Utah. Follow him on Twitter.