The idea for the foam finger came from Geral Fauss, a high school industrial arts teacher who also loved sports. Geral taught at Cypress Fairbanks High School in Cypress, Texas. In 1978 the high school football team made it to the state finals and Geral wanted to find a way to support the team and raise funds for the school. The original fingers were made of wood and painted with a #1 in the school’s colors.
All of the finger signs sold out and Geral thought that other schools would like them as well. He started making the wood fingers for other schools and decided to quit his teaching job and go into business full time. His father joined him in the business and they wanted to design a better product that was not as heavy and safer to wave around in a stadium. They finally came up with polyurethane foam and the famous foam finger was born. The new foam fingers were ready in time for the 1979 Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Penn State.. The fingers business took off from there and now they can be found for just about all of the U.S. sports teams.