Famous Faithful: The Top 10 Celebrity Sports Diehards
Celebrities can easily find a channel to burn the big bucks in the bank, but none compare to giving back to the beautiful world of sports. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing celebrities sitting amongst the rest of the one percent courtside or donning a field-pass badge at the big games.
Here is the list of the 10 most diehard celebrity sports fans in recent history.
Note: Any self-proclaiming Kardashian and/or Eva-Tony-Parker-Longoria doesn't count.
Honorable Mention: Kim Jong-Il (North Korea's Ex-Fearless Leader)
It's too bad North Korea keeps all of its "doings" within its own borders, but remarkably Kim Jong Il's impressive sports career could not stay within the gates.
Apparently, Kim Jong Il was, without question, the greatest athlete in world history—in literally every sport he attempted. During his first (and only) time on the links, he fired a record 38-under-par round of 34—including 11 holes-in-one—as reported by Pyongyang Golf Club. Fitting, seeing as how his favorite movie of all time was Caddyshack.
Too bad he never gave Tiger a run for his money.
Feeling that this beginner's luck round was not the final limit of his athletic ability, Kim tested his skill in the alley. His first time bowling, by the grace of his great nation, Kim bowled a perfect score of 300.
Congratulations to North Korea for its pure breeding of athletes. Must have been recent seeing as how in 2010 it qualified for its first World Cup since 1966. Placed in an alleged "Group of Death" with football powerhouses Brazil, Portugal and Cote d'Ivoire. North Korea was outscored a total of 12-1 and lost all three games, which, unfortunately, led to its early exit.
However, Big Pimpin' Kim Jong-Il somehow couldn't help but feel his boys played their hearts out and announced to the nation that North Korea were the 2010 FIFA World Cup champions. En route, thanks to some video trickery, the North Koreans toppled mighty Brazil!
10. Rob Schneider (San Francisco Giants)
"Hey Lincecum! You forgot smoking lamp!"
You can call him Deuce Bigalow, Yuri, Punky, Alan or even Dinosaur Rex, or you can just call him a diehard San Francisco Giants fan. Growing up in nearby Pacifica, Calif., Schneider claims to have watched the Giants as far back as he can remember.
If you need reassurance on the extent of his faith for the Black and Orange, or you just want insight as to how awesome the 2010 MLB playoffs were from a seat in the nation's most beautiful city, check out Schneider's narration of the documentary on the unprecedented playoff run made by the fabulous 2010 San Francisco Giants' band of misfits (MLB Network).
9. Michael Keaton (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
More famously known for his work in film and television in Hollywood, Keaton is the nation's only famous diehard Pittsburgh Pirates fan. We're currently running the numbers on "Total Diehard Pirate Fans."
Keaton's depressing life as a Pirate fan climaxed when he apparently negotiated a clause in a movie contract stating that he would get time to watch Pirates playoff games that year.
Sorry, Batman, it's been 20 years and counting.
8. Bill Nye the Science Guy (Seattle Mariners)
That's right: America's biggest homie is a diehard baseball fan. Having migrated back to his stomping grounds in the D.C. area, the Science Guy now reps the Washington Nationals. However, his glory days were spent huddled in the Kingdome, watching his beloved Seattle Mariners.
Seeing how every episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy was filmed in Seattle, you can imagine how easy it was for Bill to fall in love with Mariners during the Jay Buhner era of the franchise. Before moving back to the nation's capital, Bill was often lounging in the Kingdome watching the Natural, the Big Unit and the pre-"Pay-Rod" days of All-Star shortstop Alex Rodriguez.
If there's one thing Bill taught me, it's that math is easy:
Bill Nye + Bill James + Billy Beane = "Moneyball 2: Rise of the Planet of the Oakland Athletics."
7. Vince Vaughn (Chicago Blackhawks)
Any true Chicago Blackhawks fan rips on the Vancouver Canucks whenever the opportunity presents itself. As seen above, sitting on the glass at the "Madhouse on Madison" during the first round of the 2011 NHL playoffs presents exactly that situation.
Haters beware: Vince Vaughn can be seen donning the Cubbies pinstripes and expressing his love of Wrigley Field in his movies The Break-Up and Wedding Crashers, as well as dancing to the Blackhawks' goal horn in The Dilemma.
The Chicago-Vancouver series last playoffs was one of the best in recent history. Look for more bad blood to come between these two teams, perhaps even in a Winter Classic.
6. Will Smith (Philadelphia 76ers)
Lifelong fan and current part-owner the Fresh Prince will forever be remembered as one of the greatest celebrity diehards in world history. I presume he'd rather earn more Academy Awards than diehard fan awards, but work with what you can get, Hancock.
Will Smith's films have grossed $6 billion worldwide, through which he earned a nice enough chunk to invest in the Philadelphia 76ers.
"Come on, who's more Philly than Will Smith?"
5. Ice Cube (Oakland Raiders)
If you're as ghetto as I am, then Ice Cube's 30 for 30 ESPN documentary, Straight Outta L.A., was purely inspiring. Aside from his criminal record and overall status of being a "not-so-great role model," big dog has mad love for his Raiders.
His documentary lets the average viewer inside his childhood and how the Oakland-Los Angeles-Oakland Raiders affected his extremely successful music career.
Ice Cube keeps cashing checks, and since the passing of longtime Raiders owner Al Davis, I wouldn't be surprised if Ice Cube takes a stab at moving the Raiders "Outta" Oakland and back to L.A.
4. Billy Crystal (New York Yankees)
After directing the film 61*, it became no secret how much Billy Crystal loved the New York Yankees. In 2008, then-Yankees owner George Steinbrenner picked up on Crystal's extensive knowledge of the great history of the New York Yankees and signed Crystal to a single-day contract to play in a spring training game for the New York Yankees.
Crystal grew up idolizing Mickey Mantle and provides fabulous commentary on HBO's two-hour-long documentary on perhaps the greatest Yankee of all time.
Once, Mantle signed a program for Billy when he was just a boy at a Yankees game. Years later, Crystal met Mantle in person on Dinah Shore's talk show and had Mantle sign the same exact program. They became great friends until Mantle's death in 1995.
3. Jay Z (New Jersey Nets)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Big Pimpin himself is currently lobbying to make Brooklyn's Barclays Center home for his franchise. HOVA is originally from the world-famous Marcy Projects in Brooklyn, New York, and would like for nothing more than to see his Nets play in New York.
Jay-Z has plenty of investments and endorsements these days, from fashion lines to his 40/40 Clubs in New York, Atlantic City and Chicago (Tokyo and Singapore to come). Having paid a cool $4.5 million for his stake in the team, it's safe to say he'll be a Net for a long time.
2. Jack Nicholson (Los Angeles Lakers)
From Academy Awards to enshrinement in the California Hall of Fame, Jack Nicholson is notorious around Los Angeles.
Aside from his fantastic acting career, Nicholson has been a season-ticket holder with the Lakers since the 1970s. His diehard fanhood has become so "cuckoo" that many directors have reported they needed to work the movie schedules around Laker home games to keep Randle McMurphy happy.
1. Spike Lee (New York Knicks)
Spike Lee is responsible for the most notorious interaction between fans and athletes (aside from Metta World Peace swinging at Pistons fans).
Spike has taken the throne on Madison Square Garden's hardwood every night since Patrick Ewing was a rookie.
In the '94 NBA playoffs, Spike tried to get under Pacers sharpshooter Reggie Miller's skin by trash-talking, but Miller answered with 25 fourth-quarter points and taunted Spike after every bucket—including his now-infamous "choke" sign directed in Lee's direction in the waning moments of Game 5.