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Bob Pearce (above) was the ABA Floridians' version of Robin Ficker. Pearce, a Miami native, was originally a jai-alai fan. But he was ejected from various Miami jai-alai venues because of his loud booing. The jai-alai owners felt that Pearce's booing and heckling would incite a riot among excitable jai-alai fans.
Far from being annoyed with Pearce, Floridians management welcomed him with open arms. Pearce made his first appearance at a Floridians game on February 10, 1971 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The fans loved him so much that the following night -- when the Floridians hosted Virginia -- about 50 other people joined him in a "boo-fest." Pearce and his section heckled the Squires bench and Virginia Coach Al Bianchi. The booing was so loud that immediately after Virginia won the game, the Virginia players all ran over to Pearce's section and booed Pearce and his friends.
The Floridians gave Pearce his own special seating area, dubbed the "Bob Pearce Cheering and Booing Section." They gave him a special nickname: "Super Fan Boo Bird Bob Pearce." They put a photo of Pearce on the cover of a Floridians game program, and distributed Pearce photos to national media outlets. The Floridians ballgirls even flirted with him (above right). When asked about his newfound celebrity status, Pearce said: "There's lots to boo here, but there's lots to cheer, too. I hadn't seen a pro basketball game until early February, but I like 'em. It's fun to boo, and when you're booing the other team, you're really cheering for our team."
Floridians History Page