Watching a sporting event makes you a spectator.
Being devoted to a team or a player makes you a fan.
Punching, tackling, thrashing, stabbing or gunning down a player? Well, that makes you a whack job. As this article will demonstrate, there are far too many of those lurking about.
Click on to see the 25 craziest attacks on athletes.
Note to attacker: Hockey players are tough dudes. Hockey players in the penalty box are the toughest of the tough.
What were you thinking?
Kudos to Frank Lampard for the slick evasive action on this one.
Tottenham Football Club banned the attacker for life.
This fan of the home team was irked when the visiting team took a 2-0 lead. He decided to do something about it.
Unfortunately for him, teammates are like members of a crime family. An attack on one is an attack on all.
As you see in the video, swift justice was delivered.
The crazy fan was dating Scott Laird's ex-girlfriend and apparently felt the assault was a way of protecting his girlfriend's honor.
His punch knocked Laird unconscious.
The attack happens at 0:22 on the video time code. You'll see the poor guy just fall flat.
I know, I know. I giggled too. But I felt bad about it.
In Tiger's words: "When I looked up, the hot dog was already in the air. The bun was kind of disintegrating."
Cool! Just like a meteorite burning up in the atmosphere.
This fan is the kind of schmuck who will someday taunt a tiger in the zoo and get mauled.
Fandel had just issued a red card to Danish soccer player Christian Poulsen.
The attacking fan was apparently more than mildly displeased with the call.
Apparently, this guy horded his family supply of idiot genes.
The attack is at the beginning of the video. A slo-mo replay comes in the last few seconds.
Quite remarkable how Raven, a guy who pummels people for a living, doesn't even feel the need for a bit of vengeance.
There's something especially creepy about this attack.
Maybe it's the shirtlessness of the attackers.
Maybe the fact that they were a father-son team.
Maybe it is the what-could-have-been when you consider a pocketknife was found on the field after the attack.
Take a crazed sport fan, make the object of his fanaticism his son and you get the heinous act you see here.
What kind of friends are these, pressuring that guy to go in the ring?
And what kind of moron is he to succumb?
Yeah, you read the title right—a priest. Or at least a former one.
The incident happened during the marathon at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece.
Vanderlei de Lima was in first place when the defrocked padre shoved him into the crowd.
Poor de Lima lost his stride and finished third.
Crazy story, this one.
The head case tries to take out goalie Esteban Alvarado. Instead, Alvarado spanks the headcase good and hard.
But here's the corker: the ref gives Alvarado a red card.
Quite reminiscent of that mountain biker taken out by an antelope last year.
With this slide, we reach a new level: the ARMED fan attack.
Prepare yourself. It only gets worse from here on out.
This particular incident happened in 2009 in the Copa Sudamericana.
You can see the knife go flying out of the whack job's hand at video time code reading 0:53.
This attack happened during the Romanian Cup final.
Reports claim that Dinamo, the team supported by the fool who launched the rocket, was likely to score at that moment. But when the rocket whizzed down onto the field, the play was called dead.
Dinamo ultimately lost 2-1.
This one happened during a European Champions League quarterfinal game in Milan, Italy.
The red flare gave Dida quite a scare, as it nearly ignited his hair.
Yes, it's rather unfortunate how that sentence rhymes.
Possibly the most gruesome and despicable attack on a player during a sporting event.
The crazed fan was Gunther Parche, who did what he felt was necessary to get Steffi Graf back in the No. 1 spot.
The attack that sickened the world and put a permanent blight on passionate fandom.
The video, of course, is the own goal that Escobar scored in the 1994 World Cup game against the United States.
The goal resulted in a loss and elimination for Colombia.
When Escobar returned to his native country, he was shot 12 times.
In all fairness, this may have not been an attack by a crazed fan. It is speculated that a crime syndicate leader ordered the hit because the own goal resulted in major gambling losses.