January 20, 2012 16:48 ET

DIRECTV Crowns Lions Loyalist King Among Ultimate Displaced NFL Fans

West Des Moines, Iowa Entrant Is Tops Among Thousands of Entries in Search for America's Most Die-Hard Displaced NFL Fan

EL SEGUNDO, CA--(Marketwire - Jan 20, 2012) - A West Des Moines, Iowa resident, who is an undaunted loyalist to the Detroit Lions with a tattoo on his leg to prove it, was crowned today as the Ultimate Displaced Fan by DIRECTV, America's exclusive source for the popular NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ service that allows displaced fans to follow their favorite team no matter where they live.

A first-time entrant in DIRECTV's Ultimate Displaced Fan search, 37-year-old John Tracy showcased his perpetual passion for the Detroit Lions through an award-winning video submission that earned him a trip for two to Indianapolis to experience Super Bowl XLVI among other prizes.

Loud and proud, Tracy's video proclaims his love for the boys in silver and blue, showing off a Lions tattoo on his leg, the "D LIONS" plates on his SUV and his endless supply of Lions gear. The video ( chronicles Tracy's deeply rooted passion for the Lions that began in 1986 when he purchased a blue corduroy Detroit Lions hat at an Iowa mall while searching for an NFL franchise to call his own. His fandom was sealed when the Lions drafted a quarterback out of the University of Iowa and thus began his long-time allegiance to the Lions.

Tracy traveled hundreds of miles to Michigan and on various road games to show his Lions pride and do his best as a fan to help the team "Restore the Roar," but left each trip without an in-person win. This year, however, the Lions gave Tracy something to cheer about, having completed one of the best seasons in team history.

"I could hardly believe the news when I got the call from DIRECTV," said Tracy. "I checked out some of the other entries and definitely knew the competition was stiff, but the fact I was able to clinch the top-honor is still unreal. Experiencing the Super Bowl has been a life-long dream of mine and I am unable to put into words how I feel at this moment and how truly excited I am about Indianapolis. I get to play football with hall-of-fame football players and the biggest celebrities in the world, I cannot believe it."

The Ultimate Displaced Fan search underscores the value of DIRECTV's exclusive and most popular sports subscription service, NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, which delivers up to 14 games every Sunday during the regular season, catering to the passionate NFL fans living outside the market of their favorite team.

Fans competed for this unique national distinction by submitting written essays, pictures and/or video entries to Through their submissions, fans illustrated why they should earn the title of the Ultimate Displaced Fan along with a dream prize package, which includes: a trip for two to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis; a media tour at the famed "radio row" with an NFL player from their favorite team; and the chance to participate in the nationally televised DIRECTV Celebrity Beach Bowl flag-football game. The winner will also receive a year of complimentary DIRECTV monthly programming along with NFL SUNDAY TICKET service for the 2012 season.

While Tracy set himself apart with his sincere submission, the following die-hard, displaced fans were recognized with Honorable Mention awards. Each will receive a DIRECTV system and installation, a year of complimentary DIRECTV programming and NFL SUNDAY TICKET service for the 2012 season.

  • Marcel Batts (Fort Riley, Kan.) - Growing up in Texas, surrounded by Cowboys fans, Batts has been a displaced supporter of the 49ers his entire life. Through thick and thin, Batts supports his team and although he has been in the Army for close to 17 years, he still finds a way to follow San Francisco football. Recently returning from a confidential location in Afghanistan, Batts still represents the 49ers, even bringing his jersey along with him and wearing it whenever he can.

  • Jacob Neal (Grovetown, Ga.) - Neal claims to eat, sleep and breathe Dallas Cowboys football. A loyal Army man for 19 years, Neal is not once displaced, but twice displaced. After multiple re-assignments and combat deployments, Neal's family finally purchased their first home in Grovetown, Ga. (FT Gordon). However, only six months after closing on their home, Neal was put on orders for Fayetteville, N.C. (FT Bragg). After considering the many sacrifices, Neal decided not to once again uproot his family, so he moved to North Carolina alone. Although he has been on many tours with the Army including Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, Neal's loyalty to the Cowboys has never wavered.

  • Mike Blazic (Crestwood, Ill.) - A native of the South Side of Chicago, "Blaze" Blazic was sick and tired of watching the hometown Chicago Bears play like "the bad news bears" in the 60s. Looking to stand behind a winning franchise that was as "bold" and "brash" as he was as a young boy, Blazic was proud to call himself a fan of the Oakland Raiders. Soon, Blazic was committed to the excellence of the Raiders and got his hands on as many silver and black items as he could. Before long, Raiders pride was a way of life. Still calling Chicago home, "Blaze" built the ultimate man cave in his back yard, a separate structure solely dedicated to the Raiders. The area is complete with wall-to-wall memorabilia, Oakland logos and plenty of seating to watch Raiders games.

  • Theresa Hucke (Hartland, Wis.) - Surrounded by a family of Packer Cheeseheads, Hucke is a die-hard fan of the Dallas Cowboys. She sports the Cowboys gear, has a Texas flag hanging proudly in her house, knows the roster inside and out, but struggles to catch a glimpse of her boys every week. While DIRECTV's NFL SUNDAY TICKET would allow Hucke to catch all of her beloved Cowboys games, Hucke was in an awkward position because her husband insisted on watching his Packers, which were broadcast on the local networks, and didn't see the need for DIRECTV's most popular sports subscription service. So she resorted to extreme measures, trekking over to the neighbors, who subscribed to the NFL SUNDAY TICKET, to watch her Cowboys play.

  • Dehlia Ford-Feliz (Los Angeles, Calif.) - Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ford-Feliz didn't have a local team to root for so she gravitated to the Philadelphia Eagles because of the team's style and coaching. Her passion only deepened when she began to realize how much heart the players on the team possessed, fighting through set back after set back, but still earning a chance in the playoffs with second and third string players on the field. Ford-Feliz's long-distance love affair with the Eagles led to the creation of her own website dedicated to coverage, analysis and a video web series of the Eagles.

DIRECTV (NASDAQ: DTV) is one of the world's leading providers of digital television entertainment services delivering a premium video experience through state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming and industry leading customer service to more than 30.8 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America. In the U.S., DIRECTV offers its 19.7 million customers access to more than 170 HD channels and Dolby-Digital® 5.1 theater-quality sound, access to exclusive sports programming such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, Emmy-award winning technology and higher customer satisfaction than the leading cable companies for 11 years running. DIRECTV Latin America, through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and other Latin American countries, leads the pay-TV category in technology, programming and service, delivering an unrivaled digital television experience to more than 11.1 million customers. DIRECTV sports and entertainment properties include three Regional Sports Networks (Northwest, Rocky Mountain and Pittsburgh) as well as a 60 percent interest in Game Show Network. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please visit

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