Last Saturday morning, Jason Martin strapped on an Arkansas State football helmet. He wore it all day. And the next day. And the next. One of two things will happen before he takes it off: the Red Wolves will sell a record 10,000 season tickets, or the month of August will end.
Martin, A-State's associate athletics director for external relations, devised this football helmet hunger strike as an unconventional way to attract attention to the Red Wolves' ticket drive. "It was just kind of a brainstorm of what I could do that would be fun and goofy and still draw attention. I don't know how it really came to me, but I decided to throw on the helmet," Martin told FootballScoop. "I ran it by our athletic director (Terry Mohajir) and he loved it. From that point I was pretty much locked in whether I wanted to do it or not."
From that moment on, Martin - who testified he was indeed wearing the helmet while speaking to me over speaker phone in his office - has worn the helmet at work, at home, in the yard, and everywhere else except to bed and to perform other necessary human functions.
Arkansas State officials told FootballScoop the Red Wovles have moved 6,312 season tickets as of this morning. Before you rush to create a GoFundMe page for Martin's impending chiropractor visits, keep in mind that Arkansas State says it had sold 4,442 tickets at this time last year and finished at 8,571. "I've been trying to pace myself and not act too much like a bobble head. So far so good," Martin said. "Ask me in another week or two. Hopefully we've hit our goal in the meantime."
Martin said head coach Blake Anderson and the football program loved the idea, though they haven't exactly made the physical portion of quest easier on him. "I think anybody has football background or anything has given me a slap on the helmet just to offer some encouragement, which is fine."