Not all sports fans are created equal. Some are great, some aren’t so great. Today, we focus on the least likable sports fans of all, the ones who are toughest to get along with, and the ones we will never, ever appreciate.
11. The Tour Group Photographer.
Vital signs: Asian; owner of million-dollar camera that dangles from neck strap; travels with groups of 40 or more.
Reason we hate them: The Tour Group Photographer doesn’t stop taking pictures, and it’s annoying as hell. When they aren’t taking pictures, they’re talking loudly in a language we can’t understand, interrupting our conversations about sports with their gibberish of unfamiliar descent. Worse yet, they’re part of a group that takes up an entire section of the stadium/arena, and are more interested in flipping through the pictures that have been stored on that camera, rather than the game going on before them.
10. A.D.D. Kid.
Vital signs: Under five-feet tall; travels with parents; has more energy than a speed addict.
Reason we hate them: If A.D.D. kid isn’t kicking your chair, screaming in your ear, or rambling on and on about nothing, that probably means he or she is eating, essentially refueling to punish you further in the near future. No one feels sorry for A.D.D. kid, and at sporting events that apathy is taken to a level of pure disdain. You’ll never see A.D.D. kid throwing out the first pitch, participating in the coin toss, or being honored at halfcourt because A.D.D. kid is even hated by the people at the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
A.D.D. Kid’s parents are fully aware that they’re going to hell for bringing A.D.D. Kid to the game, but they’re big sports fans, and ended up with A.D.D. Kid and all his issues after selling their souls to the Devil ten years ago in exchange for a miracle comeback, a free agent signing, or a championship of some sort.
9. Jumbotron Media Whore.
Vital signs: Brightly-colored clothing ensembles; large homemade posters; dancing, jumping, or other gyrations.
Reason we hate them: While we’re trying to focus on the game, they refuse to stop moving, yelling, screaming, and holding their sign for all the world to see in an attempt to get on the big screen. They don’t care whose vision they obstruct, and they certainly don’t care about the contest taking place in front of them. Their main goal in purchasing a ticket was to become semi-famous by appearing on a gigantic television set for five seconds in front of thousands of fans who do not care.
No, a talent agent will not spot them and think “model.” No, the club will not hire them to help promote the team. No, their friends won’t see. No one will go home thinking, “My favorite part of the game was the crowd shots on the Jumbotron.” And yet no one can get through to these people.
8. The One-Trick Heckler.
Vital signs: Beer; farmers tans; idiotic friends; loud, carrying voice.
Reason we hate them: Hecklers are great, unless they only have one line that they shout over and over and over again. Last year, I sat in front of a group of frat boys that came to a Mariners came with the sole intention of harassing Texas Rangers right-fielder Marlon Byrd. Instead of putting some thought into their heckling, they simply screamed “Byrdie” the entire game….nine innings worth. Had someone given me a gun with six bullets in it, I would have known exactly what to do with it.
The One-Trick Heckler usually stumbles upon his punch line by accident, shouting it once, receiving a few snickers, and then sticking with it for the long haul, thinking it will only get funnier over time. Wrong. It was barely funny the first time, and nobody likes you. You’re confused because you’re drunk, and you think that if you keep shouting your one stupid line, the hot chick in front of you is gonna be giving up the poontang tonight. No chance in hell, bud.
7. The Guy Who Knows Everything, But Doesn’t Know Anything.
Vital signs: Friends who are less informed about the sport; a know-it-all approach to life.
Reason we hate them: Everything that TGWKEBDKA says is flat-out wrong, just wrong. He thinks he’s teaching someone the nuances of the game, but really he’s just making us miserable. He flubs players’ names again and again, recites fictional stats, shows no partiality towards either team, and vocally questions the decision-making of the players and coaches.
TGWKEBDKA aspires to be a Little League coach, but will never find a woman to reproduce with. TGWKEBDKA hates his life, lives with two goldfish and a cat, and everyone secretly questions whether he happens to be gay or not. He’s not, but he’s thought about giving it a shot.
6. The Seat Nazi.
Vital signs: Ticket in hand; angry look on face; checks in with usher (who does that?).
Reason we hate them: We’re sports fans. We could find our seat in the middle of a billion-seat stadium in Africa if you gave us the opportunity. It’s a talent real sports fans possess. The Seat Nazi is not a real sports fan. In fact, The Seat Nazi is only at today’s game because he’s part of a ticket-sharing program with a bunch of guys at the corporate office. It doesn’t matter if the arena is full or empty, The Seat Nazi has to find HIS seat and sit in that exact seat, because it’s HIS and HE PAID FOR IT! Of course, The Seat Nazi doesn’t actually look for his seat. He just storms around the arena, confronting anyone who may be in HIS seat and telling them they need to move.
Eventually, The Seat Nazi gets to you. “You’re in my seat,” he says.
“These are my seats,” you say. “I sit here every game.”
“No, look at my ticket,” he snaps, “it says ‘Section 1, Row B, Seat 7’. You’re in my f—ing seat!”
“Sir,” you kindly reply, “this is Section 253, Row ZZ, Seat 51. Your seats are on the other side of the arena. And I porked your mom last night, you son of a b—-.” The Seat Nazi pretends he doesn’t hear that last part and stomps away in search of a new victim to confront.
5. The Librarian.
Vital signs: Conservative attire; usually in attendance with only one other person; no food; no sports-related clothing.
Reason we hate them: They don’t make any noise. They abhor noise. If you do anything more than issue a golf clap now and again, they will turn around and give you the eye. They didn’t come to this barbaric show of athleticism to get involved. They’re here to enjoy the purity of the sport, which means complete and total silence. They don’t like children. They don’t like television. They don’t like anything outside of PBS and literature. Why they are at this game, no one really knows. But they’re ruining it for everyone around them with their bad attitude and sense of entitlement.
4. Super Angry Guy.
Vital signs: Dressed head-to-toe in sports-related apparel; 100% into the game; oblivious to everyone around him.
Reason we hate them: Super Angry Guy takes sports fanaticism too far. We can all enjoy fan spirit to a certain degree, but Super Angry Guy crosses a line and then some. He yells at someone or something every few plays. He verbally chastises the head coach from the upper deck. He cusses out the players when they fail to meet his standards.
There’s a good chance that Super Angry Guy has a gun or may be on steroids. You want to tell him to shut up, but you fear that he’ll kill you if you so much as look at him. Instead, you just pretend Super Angry Guy isn’t there and will eventually calm down. No dice, however, as his behavior continues all game long. There’s a good chance that when Super Angry Guy leaves the park, he’ll run over a few pedestrians in his Hummer on the way home, then take his anger out on the wife or kids, before eventually ending up in prison for some form of assault before the night is over.
3. The Disinterested Tagalong.
Vital signs: Carrying a book, newspaper, crossword puzzle, or text messaging device; bears no sports-related attire.
Reason we hate them: We get it. You have to bring your wife/daughter/gay son to the game and there’s no getting out of it. So you turn over a ticket to them and allow them to come with you. They don’t give a flying rat’s ass about the game, and would rather spend two or three hours undergoing a lobotomy instead of being here with you. But for one reason or another, they’re here and they’re bringing everyone down with their reading/texting/crossword puzzling.
So what if this game is sold out and arguably one of the single biggest sporting events of the year? That won’t slow the Disinterested Tagalong down. They plan on knocking out ten chapters tonight, or finishing up six or seven puzzles, or getting the lowdown on who gave who that BJ under the bleachers during third period gym class. Not that you care. You’d give your left and right nuts to be here tonight, regardless of who’s sitting next to you. Of course, we’d rather you would have sold that ticket to a scalper, who in turn would have resold it to a true fan, but whatever. It’s your ticket and your call, and this is the path you’ve chosen. Bastard.
2. The Late Arriver.
Vital signs: Empty seats next to you at tipoff/first pitch/kickoff at what has been deemed a sellout.
Reason we hate them: It’s obvious. You have all this aisle space NOW, but give it a few minutes and those seats next to you will be history. The Late Arriver will undoubtedly show up at a critical point in the action, shimmy past you at a sloth’s pace to get to his or her seat, make a big to-do about settling into said seat, then immediately get up to get food after sitting for thirty seconds or so. Oh, and the Late Arriver has a weak bladder, too, so get ready for frequent bathroom breaks.
In most cases, the Late Arriver isn’t all that knowledgeable about sports, and will likely head for the exits late in the game (at yet another critical juncture), simply to beat traffic.
1. Jersey Over Collared Shirt Guy.
Vital signs: A sports jersey being worn over a collared button-up shirt; usually worn in tandem with slacks or dress pants.
Reason we hate them: You’re not fooling anybody. You just bought that jersey at the team store in a halfhearted show of support for the home team. You left directly from work, where you’re the CEO of a company that makes a lot of money but offers little to society. Every single one of your employees hates you and your wife is sleeping with your best friend. You only come to these games because it’s the cool thing to do. We wouldn’t normally spot you in the concourse like this, but you had to take a poo and the bathrooms near your suite are closed for cleaning.
Your jersey is white, pristine, and is an embarrassment to jerseys everywhere. Our jerseys, on the other hand, are well worn, have a few mustard stains, and have been there through thick and thin with us. After today, your jersey will hang in the closet collecting dust, doing a grave injustice to the name on the front and back of the uni. Our jerseys will continue to be displayed proudly, ’til the names on the back have long since been forgotten, and the name on the front has been re-logoed time and again. You show up, but that doesn’t make you a fan. It’s impossible to buy passion, and you can’t put a price on love. That’s not something you’ll ever understand, which is why you still wear your collared shirt under that brand new jersey. Also, you look like an idiot.