Fans attending home BYU basketball games may be greeted by the ROC’s new cheering icon — a baby and her dad trying to distract the opposing team.
Tony Tan, known commonly as “Baby Guy,” has been distracting opponents’ free throw attempts by drawing the shooter’s attention to none other than his baby, Luna.
“We started coming to some of the women’s games, and she wanted to help out,” he said. “We started trying to distract them with the baby at the free-throw line, and so we thought we’d take our talents to the men’s game too.”
Tan, an economics major from Vancouver, Wash., has created several new chants and cheers to keep shooters’ eyes on his baby and off the basket. His cheers include holding his baby upside down and having her wave, holding a diaper next to the baby and asking the shooter to change her or even hiding the baby behind other fans and playing peek-a-boo with the shooter.
“Definitely the go-to is, ‘Say hi to my baby,’ and then the big guns is upside-down baby,” Tan said. “When the game’s on the line, we go to upside-down baby. We’ve even had some say our own players get distracted by it.”
Freshman Jake Curtis said he has enjoyed watching “Baby Guy” all year.
“My favorite is when he gives the baby a doll and says, ‘Look, my baby is holding a baby,'” he said.
Tan said he enjoys doing it, but he also believes the opponents’ shooting percentage actually drops when Luna is smiling at them.
“By my sampling of the statistics that we have, I think that we’re pushing 50 percent when baby’s interacting with the free-throw shooter,” he said.
Though the ROC seats more than 5,000 students, Tan and his baby truly stand out from the crowd. Scout Livingston, a freshman from San Antonio, said most of the student section recognizes him and loves what he’s doing.
“I think he’s great; I think it’s a great thing that he does,” she said. “Plus it’s just a fun thing for all of us to rally around, and everyone knows about him now.”
While some may fear for the baby’s safety in a crowd of screaming people, Tan said his baby actually loves it.
“One time she didn’t like it. That was dad’s fault for not letting her finish her popcorn first,” Tan said. “But since then she’s loved it. I like seeing that she understands that this is something she’s a part of. … She gets excited when she’s up and ready, and she really gets it.”
Curtis said he really believes the baby succeeds in distracting opposing teams.
“I love them because I’m almost positive if I was shooting free throws that would definitely distract me and make me laugh,” he said.
Luna also expressed appreciation for students embracing him and Luna in a way he believes no other school could.
“I don’t think any other fan base would love having a baby as a part of their cheer section more than BYU fans,” he said. “I don’t think we would have been welcome as much by any other than BYU fans.”
Fans who want to see “Baby Guy” in action have one more chance — Friday, March 1 in the Marriott Center, at the women’s final home game.