Fresno State takes over Fremont Street and shines during Las Vegas Bowl pre-game events
This Las Vegas Bowl celebration apparently will go down in Fresno State history, too.
Amid all the excitement and commotion following Fresno State’s 31-20 win against Arizona State on Saturday, fans rushed the field at Sam Boyd Stadium to celebrate with players and get an up-close look at the trophy presentation.
One fan in particular was so thrilled about the Bulldogs achieving a historic 12th win, he ended up breaking his leg trying to celebrate.
Say hello to Dave Boyt: The father to current Fresno State dance team member Paityn Boyt; former high school coach to Bulldogs great David Carr; and now, maybe the craziest Red Waver ever as he continued to yell “Go ’Dogs!” and “Fresno State!” while laying on the field with a broken leg.
“My dad is a super big Fresno State fan,” Paityn said. “He got super caught up trying to storm the field. But when he’s into something, he’s really into it. That’s how he’s always been.
“He could tell he instantly broke his leg when he jumped down, but was still laughing and doing our Fresno State chants.”
What exactly happened that caused Dave to break his leg?
As the final buzzer went off and Fresno State players and coaches exchanged customary post-game greetings with those from Arizona State, Bulldogs fans were allowed to go onto the field and partake in the postgame trophy presentation.
Suddenly, the sea of red that had been in the stands quickly spilled onto the field.
Paityn’s younger brother, Jensen, was among them, hopping over a side wall to beat other Fresno State fans eager to rush the field.
Being that Jensen is 16 years old, Dave Boyt didn’t want his youngest child on the field by himself.
Besides, Dave wanted to celebrate down there, too.
“I’ve always wanted to rush the field,” Boyt said from his hospital bed during an telephone interview Sunday. “I never had a chance to do it before.”
“I just got caught up living in the moment. I wanted to celebrate with the players and share this moment with my daughter, who was already down on the field. We’re huge Bulldogs fans.”
With the stairwell in a logjam, though, Dave decided to take the same shortcut as his teenage son, avoid the congested crowd and jump down a side wall that was about 10 to 15 feet tall to get to the field.
It would not go as planned.
Boyt, who was already having ankle problems, had a terrible fall.
The Shafter High assistant principal and former Stockdale football coach later found out while at a Las Vegas hospital that he shattered the bottom of his tibia and fibula, and separated his foot from his leg.
Boyt successfully underwent surgery Sunday afternoon and is expected to be out at least eight weeks, doctors told him.
The euphoria of Fresno State’s big win, however, appears to have eased some of his pain.
Wearing a red Fresno State shirt and cap, Boyt laughed and yelled after the game as if he’d never injured himself.
He posed for a few photos and smiled, as well as the No. 1 gesture with his finger — while on the field, on a gurney at the stadium, inside the ambulance and at the hospital.
“I was crying when I first saw what happened,” Paityn said. “Then I saw how my dad was keeping a positive attitude the whole time.
“He even did a chant of his own: ‘I’m ... an .... idiot.. (clap, clap .... clap, clap, clap).’ ”
Paityn posted a poll at Twitter to have fans help determine what color cast her dad will have.
Fans, meanwhile, encouraged Bulldogs coach Jeff Tedford and Fresno State players to sign his cast.
“He’s still pretty pumped about the Fresno State win,” Paityn said. “We all are.”
Added Dave: “People have asked me if I’d do it again. Unfortunately, I think I still have to say yes.
“We all make mistakes in life. But this one’s a memory I’ll happily never forget.”