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2013 KHS graduates show their support for Texas Tech in costume

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Posted:?Sunday, September 22, 2013 6:04 pm

By Callie Poindexter?

Staff Writer?|?0?comments

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Plenty of Texas Tech students show their support at football games with red and black garb or the occasional painted face.
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Ethan Riffe, however, prefers to don less conventional ? and slightly more hairy ? attire when cheering on the Red Raiders. ?The freshman with no declared major from Kennedale {{more}}has worn a gorilla suit to every home football game this year.
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Riffe said since he bought the $80 suit for Halloween last year, he and his friends have been using it to catch people off guard whether it?s at a sporting event or a random trip to Wal-Mart.
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?It was actually my dad?s idea,? he said. ?He told me to wear it to a game, and I said, ?Hey I?ll just throw a jersey over it,? and it just kind of went from there.?

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Every gorilla, however, needs a banana.
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After the first home game, Riffe said he recruited his lifelong friend Chase Hinther to accompany him to cheer on the team and wear a yellow banana costume. Hinther, a freshman with no declared major from Kennedale, said the pair has received plenty of attention from fans since joining forces.
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?This kid walked up to me,? he said, ?he was a friend with a bunch of ROTC members, and they were playing this game where they were all standing still, and this dude wanted me to jump in the middle of everyone and do the peanut butter jelly dance.?
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So, Hinther said he did just that.
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Riffe said their motive in wearing the suits is a simple one.
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?I bring silly string,? he said. ?We sit in the front row if we can, as close as we can to the front. We just try to be the loudest two there, and just try to get a lot of people into the game.?
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The gorilla and banana have not just received attention from fans. ?Riffe said they are frequently shown on the Jumbotron at Jones AT&T Stadium, and at Saturday?s game against Texas State, Jim Knox from Fox Sports interviewed the pair.
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In the fourth quarter, Riffe said Knox jumped into the stands with a microphone and began asking them questions and talking about their attire.
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?The crowd was so loud and crazy where we were sitting,? Riffe said, ?especially when Jim came into the stands. Everyone went crazy.?
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After the first game, he said he changed his name on Twitter and Instagram to showcase his new gorilla identity so fans can more easily connect with him, and that he has many new followers and has been tagged in countless pictures and tweets.
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His hometown friends have noticed, as well.
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?I?ve gotten a lot of texts and tweets and whole bunch of stuff from people back in Kennedale that I knew,? Riffe said, ?like ?Hey, I see you on TV? and stuff like that.?
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The gorilla suit did not come with pockets, and he said he had to get creative to be able to carry the things he needs to the games. ?To solve his problem, the gorilla comes dressed with a fanny pack.
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?I think it?s a nice fashion statement,? Riffe said, laughing. ?I don?t know. It?s just something goofy to throw on. I have my cards and my phone, and I keep my silly string in there, too.?
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Hinther and Riffe said they plan to walk around campus in their suits the night before every home game to take pictures with students and encourage them to come to the game.

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The gorilla said he is happy fans have been breaking attendance records, showing support for the 4-0 Red Raiders and will continue to attend every home game with the banana.
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?Watching football games before coming here,? Riffe said, ?I didn?t really notice anything too much. But being here at the games, I realize they?re a lot more rowdy than I thought they were.?

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