Hi 88 / Lo 71
|Volume 70, Issue 23,
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Student uses his head to help support Cougars
By Matt Dougherty
For most students, there is a limit to how much they will do when it comes to school spirit -- but not for sophomore Rubik Yeriazarian.
Since he started attending UH a year ago, the pre-business student has shaved and painted his head before Cougar sporting events. He wakes up early the morning of a game to shave -- early enough so that his scalp has time to "rest" before he has to paint it.
"I shave my head and paint it like a helmet, with ‘UH' on the sides and a face mask painted across my face," Yeriazarian said. "I've gotten the whole process down to 30 minutes."
Yeriazarian began the painting ritual when he was a senior at Cinco Ranch High School in Katy. He said he didn't think his parents would go along with the idea, but to his surprise, they were supportive.
"At first I didn't think my mom was going to let me shave my head," he said, "but I think that she was proud that I was putting so much devotion into something that she let me go ahead."
Yeriazarian wears his war paint to all UH home football games and to men's and women's basketball games, where the painted football helmet becomes a basketball.
"The UH fans like what I do," Yeriazarian said. "They see me and are like, ‘Wow, maybe I can do something, too.' I haven't gotten any complaints."
Yeriazarian was able to recruit another student to his art: University Studies sophomore Jaime Martinez, who paints a red-and-white checkerboard pattern across his face.
The pair has traveled across the country together following Cougar games, appearing alongside one another several times on ESPN.
"Rubik was the catalyst for a whole group of us getting more involved in our school spirit," Martinez said.
Although Yeriazarian said he loves what he does, he admitted his spirit has had some drawbacks. In April, Yeriazarian dyed his hair red in an attempt to win Rockets tickets, which he said turned off potential employers over the summer.
"I tried to get a job at Fuddrucker's, but they wouldn't hire me," Yeriazarian said. "I asked them if the hair thing was a problem, but they said no, but I know that's why I didn't get the job. So I got a job working at Burger King."
As far as UH's school spirit, Yeriazarian said he thinks students would care more about the University if they started attending games.
"I know that I can't force people to come to the
games, but by doing this I hope that I might be able to inspire some people
to come -- through my spirit," Yeriazarian said.
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