10 Most Colorful Fans in Sports
Image via Nola.com
What is a team, a player or an athlete without their fans? Fans are not just living ATMs, dishing out money for tickets, merch and nachos; fans are as much a part of the game as the people who play it. The impact of the "12th Man" can can range from hurting the bottom line of a struggling franchise to the actual outcome of a game.
10. Clipper Darrell
Image via clipperdarrell.com
Clippers owner Donald Sterling decided to repay the team's No. 1 fan in a way that only a maniacal comic book villain such as himself could. Clipper Darrell was ordered to ditch his nickname and stop doing anything that may or may not take money out of the billionaire pockets of Sterling.
It doesn't seem to have cramped Clipper Darrell's style, though, because his official website is still up and running and he's been making appearances using his moniker. Fight the man, Clipper D!
9. Clemson Tom
Image via @ClemsonTom
Clemson Tom is—you guessed it!—Clemson University's No. 1 superfan. I mean, he's dressed in all orange, he's got a championship belt and he's pictured with Clemson's head football coach Dabo Swinney. Tom has been making a living as a sports radio personality recently and had a penchant for pranking.
Clemson Tom has pranked ESPN, the Red Sox front office, head coaches and even rival South Carolina's starting quarterback Conor Shaw. Tom first went viral in November 2011 when Deadspin.com posted one of his infamous YouTube videos.
The video was following Clemson's third straight loss to the hated Gamecocks of South Carolina, in which he called the Tigers' rivals the "short bus" of the SEC and admitted he'd eat a squirrel.
If you don't follow @ClemsonTom on Twitter, you should.
8. Mare Bear
Image via chicagoist.com
Mare Bear is a Chicago superfan who grew up as a dedicated fan of the heart-stomping Cubs, but eventually shifted her fan focus to the Bulls. Her family has season tickets and she attends the majority of home games each season.
Mare Bear is also a well known LeBron James hater and has described booing King James as being "in heaven." Mare Bear's LeBron hating has even been immortalized on Deadspin—a badge of honor for many sports fans.
Mare Bear hosts her own YouTube show during the season called "Bear on the Bulls," which is required watching if you've been wanting to see a crazy old lady break down NBA action. And you know you have.
7. Fireman Ed
Image via Facebook.com/pages/Fireman-ED
Fireman Ed, the moniker of Ed Anzalone, has been the New York Jets’ most recognizable superfan. While he isn’t the creator of the famous “J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS!” chant all of your friends from New York wield like a club, he’s been leading the cheer in the stands since 1986.
But don’t let his borderline maniacal enthusiasm and imposing looks fool you—this dude is savvy.
Fireman Ed has turned his iconic status into a virtual marketing empire, maintaining an official website and Facebook page and launching a mobile app for iOS and Android. Okay, calling it a marketing empire is a bit of an exaggeration, but seriously, do you have your own app? I wish I did.
6. Ronnie Woo-Woo
Image via ESPN
Ronnie "Woo-Woo" has been one of the most famous Cubs superfans for decades, which is a lot of suffering for any one human to take. It was no surprise that a devastated Woo-Woo announced in April 2012 that it would be his last season with the Cubs.
He explained that he had recently turned 70, which is just too old to be dealing with the Cubs crap. But the last 30 years have not been wasted. Woo-Woo's life was recently the subject of a documentary and apparently he earned the nickname "Leather Lungs" by the legendary Harry Caray at some point.
5. Randy Bonneval
Image via nola.com
According to a report by Nola.com, Saints superfan Randy Bonneval was born five years before the creation of the Saints organization and five years after Elvis Presley recorded his first song. So perhaps him becoming the Elvis-dressing-superfan of the Saints eventually was written in the stars.
Bonneval began dressing as Presley for Saints games in August 2002, which was the 25th anniversary of his death. While there may be dozens of other Elvis impersonators attending a given game, Bonneval claims to be the original.
4. Lynne Smith
Image via wickedlocal.com
The Boston Red Sox have one of the most impassioned fan bases anywhere in the world, so it's no surprise that they have their share of colorful superfans. One of them is Lynne Smith who has been attending Red Sox games on the regular since moving to Boston with her husband nearly 45 years ago.
Smith received some local press in 2008 when she revealed an anything but routine bathroom renovation to the world. The bathroom, as you can see, was modeled after Boston's famous Fenway park, complete with its own Green monster and painted fans in the stands.
If you think that Smith has taken it down a notch in recent years, think again. She was one of the Red Sox fans featured in NECN.com's web special about fan excitement for opening day 2012.
3. Buck I Guy
Image via buckiguy.com
According to an ESPN report, there was a great void in Columbus superfandom after the passing of Orlas King, better known as "Neutron Man," in 2004. Enter John Cubb, affectionately known by Ohio State fans as "Buck-I-Guy," who has been a lifelong fan who attended his first game in 1977.
Buck-I-Guy has even got it together enough to have an official website. OSU's No. 1 superfan actually suffered a near miss in March 2012 and could have been snuffed out in his prime. Buck-I-Man survived a car crash that was precipitated by a rogue turkey vulture smashing through his windshield on the highway.
Thank goodness he was okay. Haven't Buckeye fans suffered enough in recent years?
2. Vancouver Greenmen
Image via Facebook.com/canucksgreenmen
Considering that Vancouver Canucks fans went on a literal rampage—setting fires, smashing windows, etc.—after the Canucks lost in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, it’s not too surprising that a lawsuit has been filed against two of the team’s biggest fans.
Sully and Force started making headlines in 2009 as the “Vancouver Green Men,” when they donned creepy, green spandex bodysuits and engaged in all kinds of obnoxious shenanigans designed to annoy opposing teams and their freaked out fans.
While handstands against the glass, waffle throwing, and cardboard cutouts of Carrie Underwood may have led to legal complaints filed with the NHL, it also landed the Green Men in the ESPN “Hall of Fans.”
1. Captain Dee-Fense
Image via Facebook.com/pages/CAPTAIN-DEE-FENSE
The Baltimore Ravens superfan Captain Dee-Fense, also known as Larry Henson, made the transition to the man you see before you in 1996. Prior to that, he was just any regular Ravens fan showing up every other Sunday to cheer like mad during the Ray Lewis introduction dance.
Not only is Captain Dee-Fense one of sports' greatest superfans, but he's also a 24-year veteran of the U.S. military who has participated in over 300 charitable events for the organization over the years. He was also named a good will ambassador for the team in the wake of Art Modell's death.
In 2012 Captain Dee-Fense was one of three (well, four if you count the two greenmen) superfans inducted into the inaugural class of ESPN and StubHub's Hall of Fans.