Go to a One Direction concert and — if you’re able to focus clearly enough amid the decibel-shattering screams — you’ll notice one immediately conspicuous fact: the dads there are the real MVPs. The unsung heroes, if you will.
But if ever there was a 1D dad to go above and beyond the call of fangirl fatherhood duty, it’s Columbia, Tenn.’s Roger Fraser.
Roger says he’s a “crazy guy,” and you should take his word for it. The father of two girls, 14-year-old Makayla and 12-year-old Maddie, he decided to get a One Direction tattoo in an effort to win front-row concert tickets for his daughters.
MTV News spoke with Roger, who gave us the whole crazy, funny, and ultimately heartwarming story. It all started three weeks ago, when Makayla asked him to enter a contest in which dads of die-hard Directioners had to channel their inner fangirls and dress up as a 1D stan. The contest was sponsored by an Indianapolis radio station, and the Frasers decided to enter because the band didn’t have any tour dates closer to their hometown.
Their initial plan was to deck Roger out in 1D gear and have him pose in a 1D-themed bedroom decorated to the nines with posters and paraphernalia galore. However, they soon discovered a handful of dads had already submitted entries with that apparently unoriginal idea, so they put their thinking caps on.
“I’m pretty crazy. And being crazy and creative, you come up with some pretty cool stuff,” Roger told us. “I said, ‘I’m going to get a One Direction tattoo.’ Nobody believed me, nobody thought I’d do it. I never second guessed it. I went and got the tattoo.”
Makayla picked out the design — a simple “I heart 1D” logo in the band’s signature font — and they were amused to discover their tattoo artist was also a dad with Directioner kids of his own.
The next day, with the fresh ink still healing on his arm, they were sitting inside a Nashville food court when Roger said, “I hope this isn’t one of those contests where you have to be a permanent resident of the state to win.” That’s when Makayla looked at the contest’s fine print and saw the first rule: all entrants had to be permanent residents of Indiana.
“She put her head down, in the middle of this food court, and starts balling,” Roger recalled. “I didn’t know what to say to her and I was embarrassed for just a split second. And then I said to my wife, ‘You know what? This story doesn’t end right now; it begins right now.’ This is hilarious! I love it. And I looked at her and said, ‘I’m keeping this tattoo forever.’”
Sense of humor intact, Makayla tweeted pictures of her dad’s so-called “fail” and it soon went viral, collecting thousands of retweets and favorites from fellow Directioners who got a kick out of Roger’s story and started calling him a model dad.
“It touches me,” Roger said about strangers’ kind reactions. “I came from a father that was there, but we had a terrible relationship. I didn’t have anybody tell me how to be a father. So all of my life, I’ve been scared I was doing the wrong thing. With getting involved with something my kids love, I’ve learned something about being a father… I didn’t just do it with them; I got involved in it with them.”
And don’t worry, Directioners — there’s a happy ending to this story. With their hopes of winning the contest squashed, Roger dropped everything and drove himself and Makayla to Indianapolis, managed to snag a pair of seats only an hour before the band took the stage, and they ended up having an incredible time together.
“I’m gonna be honest with you: I’m a 1D fan now. Those guys put on a good show,” Roger said. “And when you’re standing beside your daughter at a concert with 60,000 screaming fans, and she’s crying because she’s looking at these guys that she loves, and we’re singing songs together, and she’s watching me dance and she’s having a good time… I’m a One Direction fan now. And if I can do anything, I’d tell those guys ‘thank you’ for what they’re doing for not just me, but for everybody around.”
But is he enough of a fan to keep that tattoo on his arm?
“I didn’t have a second thought or a regret from the time I got it,” Roger told us. “When I got it, I said, ‘If we win, I’ll keep it. If we lose, I’ll cover it up.’ But once we found out we couldn’t win? Me being me, you know what? I wanna be able to laugh at me for this one.
“This tattoo may be on my shoulder,” he continued. “But I can promise you: it feels even bigger in my heart.”