Monday, September 29, 2008

An Attempt At Diagnosing the Various Sports Fans

I have always felt that there should be some type of guide for labeling the different types of fans. Therefore, partly in response to Jim's scathing oration on BYU/Jazz Fan, I have constructed a short list with which to diagnose what we call fanatics. The utility and credibility of this article requires that I focus on clinical, research, and educational purposes that are supported by my own personal experiences and, where possible, empirical evidence. My highest priority is to provide a helpful guide to assessing and diagnosing one's own fandom, or more likely, the fandom of others. Not all types of fans will be addressed here because the list could go on forever. Please, feel free to add to this list as needed - it is not intended to be comprehensive.


The Tough Guy/The Instigator
We've all met the tough guy/the instigator: he's the one who argues aggressively with anyone about who will win a game while strongly implying that he will kick your trash if you even consider arguing with him. For instance, he's also the guy who when you say, "Carlos Boozer is a terrible post defender," gets so upset that he challenges you to a fight by the flagpole or tells you he'll give you the business in the octagon. This guy can't back up his arguments with any facts or logic, so he goes with intimidation and the threat of violence.


Emotionally Invested
This is the fan who gets his feelings hurt if you even disagree with his opinions. He may also break into tears if his team doesn't do well. I have actually seen this before - he gets so frustrated that he begins to well up and cry. It's a sad sight, really. This guy isn't that fun to make fun of either, because he's so sensitive that it takes the sport out of it - you actually feel bad that his team sucks. Well, I don't, but some people might.


The Coach
I hate The Coach. He consistently ruins my live event experience. This is the guy who is constantly yelling at the players and coaches, telling them what to do because, obviously, the fan knows better than the paid professionals. I have been to several BYU games where the fans are constantly yelling at the QB and telling him how to read the defense. The Coach also is never satisfied with just saying what he has to say, he needs to elaborate to the guy next to him on why things would be better if the player/actual coach listened to him. "If he would have checked down to the hot route he would have..." BYU is notorious for having The Coach peppered throughout the bleachers.


The Premature Withdrawal
There are very few legitimate reasons for a fan to leave a game early, but it never fails - they leave and walk right in front of you in the middle of a play. Wanting to beat traffic or the fact that the game is a blowout are not good reasons. The weather is not a good reason. Needing to get home to the kids - not a good reason. Because you live far away - not good enough. Someone just died? Getting closer. Now that I think about it, I don't know that there is a good reason to leave early.


Superior to the Ref
This is the fan who is on the refs all game long, particularly at basketball games. The classic lines are usually something like this: “What are you, blind?” “Call it both ways, ref!” “Even Stevie Wonder saw that one!” and “Here ref, borrow my glasses.” This guy is at every single basketball game. Actually, it would be ok if he left early.


Captain Negative
I call this fan Captain because he deserves a bit of a superhero-ish title. Nothing is ever good enough for this guy. Your team just gained 19 yards? He's screaming about how you didn't get 20. The quarterback could be 14 for 15 and this guy is pissing and moaning about the one incompletion. It's like making out with Jessica Alba and being upset that she isn't using more tongue. Sometimes you should just be happy with what you've got...


The Embarrassment
I see this guy everywhere - he epitomizes BYU fan. The embarrassing fan is the guy that makes you feel stupid because he cheers for the same team you do. The embarrassing fan just does things that make you uncomfortable. The BYU/embarrassing fan wears socks with sandals, sweat pants, a jersey of Ty Detmer, and has a great big part in his hair. He also has delusions of grandeur and isn't afraid to state it to anyone within fifteen rows of him. I hate being by this guy because I feel stupid by association. Jim has ranted about the idiocy of BYU Fan, and in most cases it's legit. And I'm embarrassed by it.


The Eye Candy
Most people probably like having this girl at the game, but I don't. I saw about 5,000 of these girls at a UCLA football game last year. This is the chick who looks like she just came from a party at Pacman Jones's house. Her shorts or skirt barely pass her crotch and she's cut a jersey up so that it reveals most of her expensive aesthetic enhancements. She usually wears high heels with this ensemble, making it impossible for her to climb all the way up to her seat by the end of the first. She can usually be heard asking stupid questions, proving that she is just there hoping that either a) you'll spend most of the game staring at her or b) that she'll be able to get the attention of one of the players. Don't get me wrong, I understand that guys generally enjoy eye candy, but that can be enjoyed after the game.


The Logomaniac
This fan has his team’s logo on his hat, shirt/jersey, gloves, pants, and socks. If he’s a real die-hard, his shoes too. He is usually sitting on a team pillow and covered by a team blanket. The sad thing is when you see this guy sporting all his gear when he’s not at the game. It’s bad enough to look like that big of an idiot at the game, but when you see this guy just walking around, you know it’s bad. I have seen several fans who fit this criteria, most recently Celtic fan. This guy was sporting a Paul Pierce jersey, a Celtics hat, green ghetto shorts (you know, the male version of capri's), and the old school Larry Bird green/white/black Converse shoes. Ok, the shoes were pretty sick, but the rest was just pathetic.


The Bandwagon Fan
The Bandwagon Fan is currently a Celtics fan, a Red Sox fan, and a Giants fan. This is the guy who sports a different hat each year or season – last year it was a Colts hat, this year a Giants hat. The Bandwagon Fan is constantly running his mouth because he knows you can't talk back - he always has the last word and the bottom line. He would never be caught associating with a losing team. Every real fan has been accused of being a bandwagon fan at one time or another —PlayBoyd is currently getting some backlash for the Celtics winning the NBA title. Most people don’t believe that Boyd is old school - he is, I can verify this. I experienced the same thing in the early 2000s with the Lakers. It’s tough to be a true fan when you have the bandwagon fan out there sullying your good name.


My Cup Runneth O'er
This is my boy Dyer, no doubt. He always thinks BYU will go 12-0 and the Utah Jazz will go 82-0, followed by an impressive 16-0 run through the playoffs. Nobody can touch any of his teams. If someone tells him that the Utes have a chance to beat BYU, he’ll tell you that you’re a retard and you don’t know what you’re talking about. I ask Dyer who he thinks will win games all the time, and he has never predicted against BYU, the Jazz, or the Braves. Ever. The optimistic fan also thinks the team can always come back. Down 42-7 with 6 minutes left? Not a problem - we can do it! Because the glass is half full…


The Attention Seeker

This fan is always either wearing something ridiculous and painting his face or holding up a stupid sign. This is the least creative guy in the stands. Sportscenter is Next!! Wow, haven’t seen that before. How about John
3:16? Why does that show up at sporting events anyway? How about some creativity, such as Mosiah 2:17? You also have the guy holding up the D-Fence or the guys all standing next to each other with the team name painted on their chests. These guys just want the spotlight, but then when the spotlight comes, what do they do? They always yell the same thing—we’re #1! Um, Ok. The team could be down by 3 touchdowns in the second half and the fan finally gets the camera and yells “we’re number one!” Actually, Wazzou fan, you're #109, but thanks for the lunacy. The Jazz fan in this pic actually showed some rare creativity with this sign aimed at Tony Parker, thus warranting inclusion here.


Soccer Fan
This is the most terrifying and frightening fan of all. Soccer fan will lob urine-balloons at you and shoot the goalie if the team loses. Soccer fan is downright scary. The closest thing to soccer fan that I know of has got to be Raider fan. The whole phenomenon is downright frightening. If you go to a Raiders game and cheer for the opposing team, you must either wear protective gear or have some massive grapefruits. Notice the woman's crown in this picture. That is flat out amazing.


The "Fan" Who Doesn't Know Shiz

I'm always skeptical that I'll find this guy. Every time I engage in a sports-related conversation I expect that the person I'm speaking to will reveal that they don't know anything. For instance, when I first met my brother-in-law, Rob, I expected it to become obvious that he doesn't know his stuff. It didn't happen - therefore, I respect his sports knowledge. The Fan Who Doesn't Know Shiz is the guy who comes into my office when Boyd and I are talking sports and tries to jump into the conversation with lines like, “If the Colts didn’t have Payton Manning they’d suck.” Wow. Thank you for that amazing analysis - tell me more! The most annoying thing about this guy is that he tries to pretend he knows what he’s talking about even after you've pointed out his fallacies, and will then argue with you to the death. When you question him about something, he gets defensive and calls you an idiot because he can’t back up his argument with stats or facts of any kind. You need to recognize your limits people. I know my basketball, but I recognize that Boyd watches more of the NBA than I do, so I don’t pretend to know more about it than he does. In essence, I know my role.


Please, people, use this list to identify your place in all of fandom, and act accordingly. If you find yourself in several of these categories, please, in the words of The Rock, know your role and shut your mouth.


P.S. - since I have been getting comments about misspelling PAyton Manning's name, I thought I'd better clarify - I spelled it wrong because it is a joke from one of our older posts. I realize that it is PEyton. It's part of the joke people ... not knowing shiz ... get it? This site also only refers to Brett Farve.

34 comments:

Boyd said...

I know the list wasn't meant to be comprehensive, so I submit to you The Heckler. The Heckler isn't necessarily a fan of the team or sports in general. He is much more interested in trying to be funny (usually failing) or annoying (usually succeeding), or offensive (always succeeding.) If someone makes an easy basket, he might yell "that shot was greasier than the baby oil you use to masturbate with!" or he may shout so many profanities to Carmelo Anthony in a rookie league game that Carmelo yells "F-- You!" at him.

I am The Heckler.

Anonymous said...

Boyd is the Heckler, except at the Jazz vs. Celtics game this last season when I got us hooked up pimp style and he and I were the only Celtics fans in the entire ring of luxury suites. "The Heckler" didn't say a word to anyone but me the whole game and we both just kept our mouths full of succulent shrimp cocktail and beautiful slices of beef fillet, as we watched the C's dismantle the Jazz in the third and fourth quarters with the capstone of the victory coming when Matt Harpering (and his bad knee) got caught in an isolation play with Paul Pierce and let's just say that match-up isn't good for Harpering even if he had three good knees.

The Heckler, AKA Boyd, was forced to take his heckling outside of the arena where he yelled "GO CELTICS!!" to every person wearing C's gear he could find (be they true fan or bandwagon jumper alike).
-Jim
P.S. I'm going to try to cut Jazz fan off at the pass and say, no the Jazz did not have that game in hand all the way, no they should not have won if it weren't for the stupid refs, and the game the Jazz won in Boston had nothing to do with the Jazz being better than the Celtics and more to do with the fact that at that point the C's had best record in the NBA virtually wrapped up and they were resting their starters for their championship run (Ray Allen only played 12 minutes because he got "hurt" though he could have played more if the game was more important [and we all know how Ray Allen loves to play against the Jazz's inferior exterior defense], and none of the other starters had over 37 minutes, look it up).

Rich said...

"The Drunk" is a culmination of or perhaps transient through, several of your profiles. Angry drunk/instigator once challenged my friend's 8 year old son to a fight at a Jazz/Lakers game because he was rooting for the Lakers. The drunk may also turn into the emotionally invested fan that gets plowed and then sad about everything broken play or loss. The drunk coach is the guy drawing up the statue of liberty play on his mustard stained napkin yelling it will work. Unfortunately drunk fan doesn't prematurely withdraw, in fact, like most drunk guys, he will just go on and on long after the event is over.
Lastly, though I am not drunk fan, I AM eye candy.

Aimee said...

I'm going to say that my brother Jim is "The Logomaniac." While I was visiting my parents for two weeks in August, Jim came over every day sporting a different Celtics shirt, hat, watch, headband, jacket, warmup pants and on Sunday, a Celtics tie. I guess when your team only wins once every other decade, you have to show your team pride.

Anonymous said...

I do not own a Celtics headband, warmup pants, or necktie. Nice try Aimee (or should I say sour grapes Lakers fan). The two week long runway show of Celtics fashion was done in your honor and now you've only sullied it with your exaggeration and mockery of the proud franchise that is the current NBA champion.

All hail the mighty Celtics and learn, sour grapes Lakers fan, from your game six ass kicking that the only thing that matters is scoreboard.
-Jim

P.S. I think you should be more impressed that I own two weeks worth of Celtics shirts without doing any laundry. That is nothing to be mocked but praised.

Aimee said...

Ok, so if you aren't "The Logomaniac," I guess that by default you would have to be classified as "The Embarrassment." Didn't I hear that you, Shelley and the girls dressed in Celtics attire for the photo you are going to insert into your Christmas cards this year?

Anonymous said...

That is some funny shit. I love the logomaniac, the coach, and the embarrassment. I run into the tough guy and my cup runneth over every day. Awesome. What about the fairweather fan?

Taylor said...

I'm not a fan of the heckler... The heckler is embarrassing - provides a good home court advantage, though. I want to verify that Rich really is EYE CANDY...

Willie Moe said...

can you do a post in best taunts by some these types of fans? Like the ones who don't know shiz, except they can do math, and will throw out the "Scoreboard!" line. Its a classic. Your team's up big, then the opposing team starts a monster comeback, but as long as your squad still holds the lead you can throw out a good hearty "SCOREBOARD!" to mask your nervousness and impending doom. The "Overrated" chant is also one of my favs, especially when it doesn't really apply. Like when, say a #2 is losing to a #3, and said #3's fans break out a chorus of "Overrated!" I mean technically its true, I guess, but I think there should be a rule that only fans of a supreme underdogs could chant this. Am I wrong?

Willie Moe said...

Sorry for the bad grammar there, I typed too fast. Should have read, "Can you do a post on the best taunts by some of these types of fans?

Anonymous said...

I actually had this yesterday at the Phillies game...the chant starter. This guy would not stop Phillies chants and was yelling to the players like they were his friends. When he yelled "what do you say Eric" during Eric Bruntlett's at bat, thats when i started to freak. They're not your friends, you don't know them, and you don't need to start a "let's go Eric" chant during a pitching change. I'm sorry, but it made the game less enjoyable, even watching my Phillies win.

Anonymous said...

i never post on blogs, but that picture of the fat dude texas fan deserves its own column

Anonymous said...

The Statistician:
This is a fan who even if his team is losing on the scoreboard will come up with 100 stats on why his team should be winning, is getting screwed, or the other team has been lucky and had flukey plays go in their favor. In general this fan is very knowledgeable about sports and will get into heated arguments with the fans who "don't know shizz".
I am the statistician!

Ken said...

The Expert

This is the guy who sits behind you and who doesn't know what the he is talking about but is still slightly more knowledgeable than his buddy about a particular sport or team. He then spends the entire game making those around him cringe with his lack of knowledge.

Anonymous said...

The Downtrodden

Usually found in cities like Detroit or Cincinnati, this is the guy who actually laugh at and complains more about the horrible things his team does than cheering the good plays that are made. As a matter of fact most of his cheering is done with a sarcastic laugh or clap because his team's been so bad for so long he just can't help himself, usually annoying the optimistic fans around them that will blindly stick by their team through thick and thin.
I am the Downtrodden

Anonymous said...

How about the guy that writes a blog called The "Fan" Who Doesn't Know Shiz and spells the name of one of America's best known wrong!

Anonymous said...

Nice reading. I'm always amazed at "Mr. Backwards." He's sometimes a bit like the Instigator or the Heckler, but he spends the whole game facing away from the action so that he can have ongoing dialogue with an opposing fan or to motion to the section that he was right about something. He's also REALLY into the attention he gets because all those people are looking in his direction, and that makes him think he's a lot funnier than he is.

Jason said...

The Clinger:
This is a fan that shows up at one teams game and once they are getting destroyed they need to "cling" to something successful so they begin to cheer for another home team that is totally unrelated to the game they are attending. Cleveland Browns fans epitomize this. Every time the Browns are getting killed, they starting singing "Hang on Sloopy" and cheering OH-IO in retaliation to the opposing teams heckling. If they want to cheer for the Buckeyes, make the trip to Columbus on Saturday, not Browns stadium on Sunday. Browns Stadim is NOT the Horseshoe.

Denny said...

Jason is DEAD ON. I came up to watch my Bucs play the Browns two years ago. Once the game got out of hand, that is EXACTLY what the Browns fans started doing. Very pointless and annoying. I don't even know why they cling to Ohio State anyway, they get destroyed by the SEC every year anyway.

Derek said...

I agree with Denny and Jason. I drive from Cannonsburg to Cleveland every year to watch my Steelers dismantle the Browns and every year when we are kicking their tail, they sing that same stupid song and cheer for Ohio State. Sometimes I wonder if they are all so drunk they actually think they are watching Ohio State?

Andrew said...

I have been to Browns Stadium twice to watch the Ravens. Both times the Browns lost, both times Browns fans burst out in Ohio State chants, sang that Sloopy song and did the O-H-I-O thing. I just love rubbing it in their face that they never won a Super Bowl and the minute they left town and came to Baltimore we got a ring! That gets them all fired up. I thought they may just do this because they are salty towards the Ravens but apparently they seem to do it all the time.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to point out that Jason though he may be right is a mulleted freak. Steelers fans are the worst. They are loud, rude and for the most have an I.Q. below 50. Leave Cleveland and my beloved Browns out of this. We have enough problems with some white trash no it all steelers fans talk garbage about us. Also if the Browns had a fight song of some sort the doug pound would be singing it every game for the entire game!

Anonymous said...

I thought you guys had a Dog Pound?

Mike said...

We had the "Bernie, Bernie" remix of "Louie, Louie" back in the 80's. Those were the days.

William said...

Steelers fan here, been to Browns Stadium once. The fans are all drunken ignorant morons. All they kept on yapping about was how Pittsburgh didn't even have a basketball team and how they had LeBron. I really could care less. I was there to watch a football game, not discuss my city's lack of a NBA team. I really don't see what that has to do with the Steelers domination over the Browns anyway. I will probably go back though, as it costs me less to drive to Cleveland to watch the Steelers then it does to go watch them at Heinz.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how in your "Doesn't know his Shiz" category, you misspell PEyton Manning's name.

Taylor said...

The misspelling of PEyton Manning as PAyton Manning is a joke reference to one of our older posts. If you didn't know that I can see how you might think I am an idiot... But I'm not. At all.

Anonymous said...

Dude, why would you criticize eye candy. If having gorgeous scantily clad women around ruins rather than enhances going to a sporting event I would say to you that either your girlfriend has beat the manhood out of you or your boyfriend has, either way grow a pair!

Anonymous said...

Subset of "Heckler" would be "Vacuum Voice". This is the dufus sitting two rows behind you yelling "You suck, XXXX", (where XXXX is the last name of random players on the visting team every time the make a play - But is such a dolt that he switches to players on the home team too if things go south...Yet another annoying character is "The Count 1-2-3 Life Guard", who has the obsessive need to get the wave started in his section at every sporting event he ever attends (and would probably do it in church in decorum allowed).

Che said...

As a life-long Vikes fan, I'd just like to say that I have no sympathy for Lakers fan, Yankees fan, BoSox fan, or even Redwings fan (that's right, I'll throw love to hockey fan) complaining about bandwagon fans . . . you knew it was a snake when you picked it up!!! Boyd, the only thing that seperates you from Lakers fan, in this regard, is Lenny Bias.
In this same vein, I submit Masochist Fan. This fan can be best defined as a guy born and raised in Utah who as a boy declared his fandom for the Minnesota Vikings and continued into his late 20's to support each horrible season.
P.s. mark my words, at a paltry 1-3 start, Minny will put together enough wins to limp into the wild card game with enough momentum to rip my heart out an inaugural second time this season. I guess I love misery.

Anonymous said...

Similar to The Expert is......
The Overly Confident Woman!
The Overly Confident Woman swears up and down that everything she says is right. The type of fan that yells defense when her team is on offense, is constantly changing her story, and always asks her husband why they ran that play (as if he told them to).
This lady is always sitting behind you with her husband that doesn't have the balls to shut her up!

Anonymous said...

Submitted for your approval: The Team Mate

This is the guy who shows up in all the team gear who can't stop babbling about how good "we're" doing this year and how "we" will kill the other team today. If the team has a bad play, he will say things like, 'that's ok, we will be fine'. If the team has a great play, 'we are the best'. If they lose, 'they suck'.

The Socialite

Mostly found in the home stadiums of winning teams, this one spends half his time on the cell phone and the other half talking to whomever he came with or those around him about everything BUT the game they are supposedly watching.

Anonymous said...

Let's not leave out... "The Stargazer"... similar to "Eye Candy", but with important differences.
Usually a woman, but occasionally a gay guy, she comes to the game with her boyfriend or a group of friends, and spends the game dissecting the social life, if not the tabloifd life of every "cute" player on the field. Sometimes carries a "Marry me, Jacoby" sign with her. (yes, I'm a Red Sox fan)

Anonymous said...

what time of fan am i ?? i do not wear colors, paint, goofyhats, bric a brack, etc.. i have been known to scream till i have no voice (like when i was at the Final Four).. however, the screaming, clapping, stomping, etc.. are positive (never booed my team or the opponents). i root hardest for the teams i follow, but have been known to get loud when another team plays well (like in tournaments, you get the tickets for others games in the package). I follow games, but do not feel my level of expertise means i must share it with those around me (though i have been known to hug, kiss, hi five, dance etc.. with those around me that i do not know when the excitement level is up), and i wait to get food till halftime so i do not have to block the people around me during the game..

and most importantly, i don't mooch your beer or food....