Wall St. employee turns home-grown inspiration into ‘Occupy Herbstreit’ (but he doesn’t really want to talk about it)

Dr. Saturday

Jim Weber runs Lost Lettermen, devoted to keeping tabs on former college athletes and other nostalgia. This week, he caught up — briefly — with the man behind "Occupy Herbstreit."

The "Occupy Wall Street" movement protesting economic inequality and corporate greed, now entering its second month, has become a comedic gold mine: It's already been parodied on "Saturday Night Live" and spawned the hilarious "Occupy Sesame Street" spinoff, which claims "99 percent of cookies are consumed by 1 percent of monsters."

Now college football fans are getting in on a little gridiron-infused fun with "Occupy Herbstreit."

Named for former Ohio State quarterback and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, the site spread like wildfire across the blogosphere almost immediately after it debuted last week with pictures of a man amid the Wall Street crowds hiding behind signs that simultaneously poke fun at college football and the economy; they look like they belong behind the set of ESPN's "College GameDay" instead of parading through lower Manhattan.

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"Notre Dame thought Charlie Weis was too big to fail," reads one. "What is the difference between Cam Newton & Enron? Only one can survive a SEC investigation," says another.

Who is the fan behind this movement whose head is meticulously covered by posters in each picture? That remains a mystery.

Referring to himself with the alias of "Shane," the self-proclaimed "Lost GameDay Fan" says he works on Wall Street and wants to keep his identity a secret out of fear of reprisal from his employer.

"It's pretty much a guerilla operation," Shane said earlier this week while at work. "We are in and out of taking our pictures in like 15 minutes. I recruited one of my friends from work who takes the photos and also helps me with some sign ideas."{YSP:MORE}

The idea started as just a joke among a close circle of friends. When Shane and his buddies realized they were onto something big, he crashed the protests last week to stock up on photos for a Tumblr website. The operation has made a 12-hour-a-day job even more hectic, especially when Shane switches from his work clothes into a college football shirt for the photos.

[Related: PHOTOS: Top 10 "Occupy Herbstreit" signs]

"I don't want to say that it's like Superman tearing off his business suit and he's got his Superman chest underneath, but it kind of is," Shane said. "I've got to wear it in that day, I'm wearing the Texas shirt. I get out of work, I take off my (dress) shirt, take a picture with the Texas shirt and put the (dress) shirt back on.

"Unfortunately, there's no phone booths that I can change in."

Once the site was up, Shane's group of friends sent it out to their own networks hoping it would go viral. Did it ever.

The site was almost immediately picked up by prominent sports blogs, and Shane claims Occupy Herbstreit received 100,000 unique visitors in the first two days alone. The faux movement already even has a copycat, as a Kansas fan recently crashed an Occupy Wall Street protest in Denver.

Shane won't reveal his age, occupation or work place, sounding more like "Deepthroat" than the owner of a satirical college football website. About the only thing Shane will reveal is that Occupy Herbstreit is a collaborative effort between him and his friends that are all between the age of 25-35 and that his role is akin to an "executive producer" with final say over creative decisions. As for the future of the site, that's still to be determined.

[Related: YouTube's "White Reggie Bush" turning heads again as H.S. senior]

Of course, being funny isn't Shane's only concern. There's always the fear that someone from work will see him in action and raise concerns about how one of their employees spends his lunch break. Is Shane worried about his identity being revealed?

"It's not keeping me up at night," he said.

That said, Shane grows increasingly antsy about the interview being conducted at work as he answers questions. He finally responds with, "I do need to go, I'm sorry to cut you off." And with that, the most mysterious college football fan in America is gone.

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"Occupy Herbstreit" is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow @lostgamedayfan.
Jim Weber is the founder of LostLettermen.com, a historical college football and men's basketball site that links the sport's past to the present. He's on Twitter: Follow him @lostlettermen.

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