In his first football game as a student, Elliot Meme was in awe as he sat in the student section and watched the sun dip behind the top of Bulldog stadium.
Every little detail caught his eye from the checkerboard end zones to the massive light fixtures. As he stood among other Fresno State students, Meme noticed something more — a connection and a drive to be as loud as possible.
That feeling blossomed into a passion for Meme as he began attending every sporting event he could. Four years later, he was honored at a men’s basketball game on Jan. 14 for attending his 300th Fresno State athletic event.
“My high school football coach used to say: ‘do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do,’” Meme said. “When it comes to Bulldog sports, I feel like the right thing to do is to go to as many games as I can to support them.”
However, that Bulldog spirit wasn’t always ingrained in Meme. Born in Martinez, California, Meme said he was “Bulldog born but not Bulldog bred.”
Both of his parents attended Fresno State, and his father is a Top Dog Alumnus who graduated from the geomatics program. From a young age, Meme watched Bulldog football and basketball games on television with his father.
On certain occasions, his father drove almost 200 miles down with Meme to Fresno to watch a few games at the Save Mart Center and Bulldog Stadium. Still, Meme didn’t sit on the sidelines all the time as he developed his own talents on the field.
As a kid, Meme played several sports — soccer, baseball and football. He said sports made him appreciate how much work is involved behind the scenes.
“I worked on the scout team in high school football, and I realized that if I don’t give the starters the best look I can, that’s going to affect them come game time,” Meme said.
After high school, Meme went to Diablo Valley Community College and then transferred to Fresno State, majoring in business administration with an emphasis in management. He brought his passion for sports with him, but left one thing behind — his friends.
“When I came here, I knew no students, and I didn’t even know my roommate when I moved in,” Meme said.
Before the semester started, Meme saw an opportunity to meet new people in an area he knew all too well – sports. Looking at the sports schedule, he noticed an upcoming soccer game and decided to go on a whim.
“When I went to the soccer game, I saw some students and talked to them about the sport,” Meme said. “As time went on, I saw them at soccer games periodically, so I made many friends like that throughout my first year.”
Over his first year as a Bulldog, Meme went to 60 games, but he said the biggest change was attending more events besides men’s basketball and football.
“Over that first year, I watched men’s basketball and then decided to go see women’s basketball,” Meme said. “Through that, I also discovered how much I love the speed of college softball, and I never had watched softball before.”
After seeing more than 300 games, Meme said his favorite one was the Las Vegas Bowl when Arizona State played Fresno State in 2018. He went to the game with his father, and the best part for him was the ability to share the experience together.
“Towards the end of the game, there was a TV timeout, and the stadium played ‘Jump Around,’” Meme said. “When it started, the entire Fresno State section was electric, and I looked across and saw the Arizona State fans were silent with their heads down.”
Some of his best experiences have also come from watching games on TV. When the ‘Dogs won the Mountain West Championship Game, Meme said his family and friends burst with joy.
“When Ronnie Rivers crossed the goal line to win the championship, I was running around the house, and my friends were going nuts,” Meme said. “I feel so bad for my neighbors because we were ballistic.”
After diving head-first into college athletic events, Meme recognized the importance of the school to the community. He noticed Fresno State signs, flags, posters and bumper stickers throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
“The valley is a working-class area, and the ‘Dogs are a direct manifestation of all the hard work that everyone puts in,” Meme said. “They’re putting in the hard work on the field to represent the area.”
As Meme finishes his master’s degree this semester, he hopes more students head to games and watch sports they’ve never seen before.
“If I can go to more than 300 games in four years while working and studying, you can do it too,” Meme said.