Fans are everything to sports. They are the critical golden cog in the sports mega machine that makes everything run. And without it, things would fall to pieces.
For owners and athletes to make money, someone has got to spend money. Fans are the asses in the seats. Fans are buying up the merchandise, making them walking billboards for their favorite teams. Fans are watching from home, making the broadcasting rights ever more lucrative.
And guess what! Fans are fully aware of all of this. They know that their very existence is what makes everything possible. For most fans, though, it doesn't matter. They don't think paying the cost of admission to a game gives them carte blanche to behave in ways they would never dream of elsewhere.
Then there are those who let it go to their heads. They make bad decisions and even worse signs. They drink too much, yell too much, and treat the entire venue as if it were their own personal garbage can. Or worse—their own personal toilet.
The spectrum of the annoying fan is quite broad, with offenses ranging from merely irritating to outright horrifying. So let's take a look at 21 of the most annoying things fans do during a game.
Have you ever met a person who likes a clown? Some people are horrified of them. Some people just don't like them. While others are completely indifferent.
But really, have you ever met anyone who actually likes a freaking clown? I know I haven't. There is just no reason to be subjecting your fellow fans to this type of torture.
A long time ago before there were other forms of entertainment, clowns were pretty popular. Ask my grandma to name a clown and she'd probably say "Bozo." Ask me and I'd say "John Wayne Gacy."
Listen. We all know that terrible things happen at sporting events. I mean…statistically speaking…they're probably pretty safe overall.
Just based on the number of total events vs. the number of total people in attendance. But you really never know what's going to go on at a given event, right?
So bringing an adorable little girl and her collection of princess attire—that just doesn't seem like the best parenting strategy. It just takes one drunk dillweed to steal that crown and make her cry.
The odds are totally against some jerk puking on her, but we all know it's a possibility. Right, Philadelphia?
This happens all the time. Some chump gets selected for whatever reason to participate in a half-time contest that may or may not earn him upward of $50K. Sometimes substantially more—depending on the difficulty of the competition and the number of people involved.
The half-court shot is probably the first thing that springs to most minds. These things are common at both NBA and NCAA basketball games. It's not that the contests themselves are annoying—ya gotta kill time somehow—it's the people that fail at them so miserably.
It's actually kind of annoying how annoying their failures are, because the overwhelming majority of the people grumbling in the stands about how much better they could do, would likely fail in similar fashion. In fact, many would fail worse...much worse.
But whatever. Until I actually get my chance to do it, I'm just going to assume I'd be a lock to sink that shot and win the billion-dollar prize I'm imagining.
Most fan-made signs are pretty stupid. Let's not kid ourselves and pretend that the vast majority of the population are clever and artistic.
Remember having to draw a picture of your own hand in high school art class and what a crap show that was?
Okay, maybe that didn't happen to everyone…but it really put my own artistic skills in perspective. It's just that when it comes to sports signs, there's nothing less clever or less impressive than the "D-(Fence)" sign.
It's boring, it's played out, and applies to half of the entire game! Isn't there anything else we can come up with as a people? I'm just getting depressed.
Who hasn't heard the expression, "You win some, you lose some"? For every sporting competition that takes place, there's a winner and a loser.
So one would think that 50 percent of the population, at the very least, would be used to be losing at something on a regular basis.
Plus, how one acts after a loss should truly be in direct correlation to the gravity of the win or loss. The Clemson crybabies in this video are behaving a bit too dramatically, given this was a loss that came in early September 2009.
They're acting like life as they've known it is over, which is more than a little bit absurd. Losing always sucks, but at least go home and cry about it! Don't just sit there and do it in front of a national audience.
I'm not a bobblehead person. I don't plan the games I go to around promotional giveaways because I'm not in grade school. Toys and T-shirts mean next to nothing to me when I'm figuring out which games I want to shell out a pile of money to attend.
That being said, there are so many people like this out there that it's stunning. It literally stuns me. The only time I was actually excited about a giveaway was a Mario Lemieux bobblehead giveaway at a Penguins game in the mid-'90s.
At the time, I was a very unpleasant teenage girl who didn't like anything, but I was actually really enthused about the Lemieux bobblehead. Hockey is and always has been my favorite sport, the Penguins are and always have been my favorite team, and Mario Lemieux was and always will be my favorite athlete of all time.
So I decided for that one day not to be a miserable witch to everyone around me because I was simply just too excited for both the game and the bobblehead. Like most people, I stuck the box under my seat. At some point my friends and I got up for something and when we came back, it was gone. GONE!
Actually they were gone. Some terrible adult had been casing three teenage girls that entire time so he or she could go home with three extra bobbleheads. Maybe a dozen extra. Who knows how many the thief nabbed that day.
I decided to share that unpleasant piece of my life with you because I'm sure it's happened to plenty of people. And I'm sure it will continue to happen because some people out there, probably far more than you imagine, are greedy, rotten scoundrels.
You know who wears/wore fur coats? Joe Namath. Elizabeth Taylor. Floyd Mayweather Jr. And weirdo sports fans.The first three are/were bad enough, because there's really no reason to cover yourself with the carcass of a dead animal.
It's the most expensive way on the planet to stay warm and the easiest way to make yourself look like a complete idiot. It doesn't matter how cold a game is—if you're wearing a fur coat, just assume that everyone within eyeshot of you absolutely hates you.
How about getting yourself a team coat? Or something, anything less stupid.
There are some people on this earth that should always be going shirtless. Or, at the very least, if they were going shirtless, it wouldn't be one of the most horrifying things you'd ever seen.
But those are never the guys taking their shirts off at soccer matches or football games. Seriously, like never. It's always some 300-pound dude that's carrying 200 pounds in his gut. No. Thank you.
Imagine having to sit next to that big ol' belly and uncovered pits all afternoon. I'd rather just leave, eat the cost of the ticket, and go get drunk in a nearby bar.
You see that couple? That's exactly the amount of PDA (public displays of affection) that is acceptable at a sporting event. Sitting together and wearing matching ponchos. Nothing more.
Obviously, I'm not much of a romantic. And perhaps that rule is a little too stringent, but at some point everyone has had the misfortune of being seated next to a couple of horndogs going at each other like the world's about to end.
It's more common at the movies and nightclubs, where it's darker and...it's darker. That's really the only requirement for some people to engage in public sex acts. But I've seen some pretty graphic stuff at a ballpark in the bright light of day and it's just disturbing.
I've seen the way men behave at sporting events, and pretty much everywhere I've ever been, aside from most ladies rooms.
Some are perfect gentlemen that always make their mothers proud. And others are lewd buffoons that would make your mother cry if you brought one home. Although most are somewhere in the middle, as is almost always the case.
The thing about the boys is that no matter how badly they behave, unless they're my blood relatives, their actions are in no way a reflection on me. There's no way they could ever be seen as a reflection on me because, as a woman, I'm not going to be lumped in with their stupidity.
But when I see a sunburned woman grasping an empty and showing off the sloppy cleavage she just got some race-car driver to autograph, I just can't help but think it makes all women look bad. And it's not just because this woman is older and has a body that you'd probably prefer to see a little less of.
This goes for all ladies out there who think holding up a sign that says "PUT IT IN MY FIVE HOLE SIDNEY!" is an great idea—surely Sidney Crosby will be desperately seeking you out after the game! Probably to tell you how gross you are.
In one way, it's a lot of fun going to a game at the opposing stadium. In another way, it's one of the worst possible things in the world.
Tickets are expensive. The trip is expensive. The beers to get you drunk enough to deal with the heckling are expensive.
So if your team loses, the fans of the home team should be decent enough to not heckle the hell out of you. Certainly not heckle you to the point in which it makes you cry.
As someone who has been the opposing fan at any number of professional sporting events, I have personal experience with this one. There are some fans that will slap you on the back and buy you a beer. And there are others that will kick you in the shin and call you a "*****."
Most of the latter are in Philadelphia or Montreal.
Honestly, I think this one really speaks for itself.
Everyone knows the country has been in the midst of a hot debate about gun control. But even if you love guns so much that you want to move to Utah and marry a dozen of them, can't you just leave it at home for one day?
You really think the government is going to invade a NASCAR race to come and take your gun flag? Or show up and pay the cost of admission to schedule a good time for them to stop by your house later and take all your automatic weapons?
You're at NASCAR's NRA 500...something tells me you're already around like-minded people. How about you just chill out and have a beer and watch cars drive in a circle for six hours together?
I don't want to generalize here and give the impression that everyone in the world grew up exactly as I did, so I won't. But when I was younger, my dad used to say all those stereotypical things that dads are known for.
Like when I dared adjust the thermostat a single degree about 65: "Turn the heat down, I'm not paying to heat the whole damn neighborhood." Or if I left any door in the entire house slightly ajar: "Were you born in a barn? We close doors around here."
He was also known for calling his loved ones out for "knucklehead behavior." That's a pretty vague term, but it definitely encompasses crazed fans who storm the field to molest or an accost a professional athlete.
Sure this guy didn't seem intent on doing Lionel Messi any harm, but really, knucklehead? Were you raised in a barn or something?
Sporting events can be an all-day affair. Even if you skip the tailgating and pre-gaming before the tailgating, and the post-gaming after the game itself—you're locked in with 50,000+ strangers for the duration of the game.
The duration of the game can last anywhere from just under three hours for an NBA game, to just over nine hours for an MLB game. Just kidding, it only feels like nine hours in baseball. (And cue the angry hate mail!)
My overarching point here is that most of us aren't Donald Rumsfeld; we're used to sitting down for certain stretches of time. And when you're sitting, but the big painted-up idiot in front of you is standing, you can't see the game.
Then if you stand up, the problem just works its way back. There are plenty of reasons to stand at a game—so go ahead and stand when the time presents itself. But then follow the lead of everyone else in the stadium and sit your ass back down.
Think of it sort of like a Catholic Mass. If that means anything to you.
Sporting events, NFL games in particular, are known to be loud. People are yelling, cheering and booing. Music (probably that damn Muse song) is blasting. The officials are always shouting their terrible calls into microphones that amplify around the stadium.
And the sounds of the games are loud, too. But that's the kind of noise most of us like—it's part of the game experience. If you prefer the sounds of silence, it's best to watch a game from home where you can control the ambiance a bit better.
But there is quite a difference from the sounds of the game and the sounds of the jerkwagons all around you screaming at each other. Sometimes they're opposing fans, but often times they're on the same damn side and have consumed a few too many $10 beers.
Usually cooler heads prevail and things chill out after a few minutes, but crap like this has been known to go on through an entire game. Trust me—I've seen it. Unless there's physical violence, security rarely intervenes.
Imagine this scenario: You're at work sitting through yet another time-consuming meeting that will accomplish exactly nothing. Suddenly your boss says something that really frosts your cookies. And instead of feigning a half smile and nodding along, you start whipping pop bottles and batteries at him.
Sports are all about competition, enthusiasm, adrenaline and the will to win. Oh, and way too much testosterone at times. Although if you think that's limited to the athletes on the field of play, obviously you haven't been to many live events.
Depending on the venue, there are probably exponentially more fights between fans than athletes at any given event. That's because there are exponentially more fans than athletes, many of whom are drunk.
Not that I have any official numbers to prove that, but the statistics seem to be on my side here. Also on my side? YouTube. Search "fans fighting in the stands" and you'll be treated to a veritable treasure trove of humanity at its worst
Kids generally go to sporting events for entirely different reasons than their parents or adult guardians. They are still young, cockeyed optimists just looking to have a good time. Sure, there are a handful of kids who take sports way too seriously for their age, but overall, most are just having fun.
That's why it's so painfully annoying when a grownup does something terrible, like push a little boy out of the way to grab a shoe that former Packers wide receiver Donald Driver was obviously tossing to him. Or pushing kids out of the way to nab a foul ball at a baseball game.
This type of behavior ranges from annoying to downright unacceptable. I've never entered a stadium or arena that ordered me to check my humanity at the gate.
This isn't something that has caught on in the United States as much, but it seems to be an issue in international soccer matches.
But setting fires seems to be a popular thing at certain soccer matches, further purveying the stereotype of the "soccer hooligan."
It's not just that setting a fire is annoying, which it is. It's just that it's not only a danger to the fire starter, but everyone in his or her (but probably his) general vicinity.
And you know how fast a fire can get out of control. One minute it's a controlled blaze. The next minute, the entire upper deck is ablaze. This crap needs to stop.
Drinking can be fun, we all know this. If you are of legal drinking age and want to partake in a few alcoholic beverages whilst taking in a game, then by all means, do so. You're already paying out the nose for the entire day as it is, what's another $40 on a few beers?
But there's a very bold line that many fans cross, which designates the difference between being buzzed to drunk and being straight up sloppy and disgusting. I've always thought a good rule of thumb is to indulge in one beer per period, or two per half.
That works for most sports, but not baseball. The Blue Jays fan leaving the game in this video must have decided on no less than one beer per inning—or he really can handle his liquor. But given the vigor of vomit, I suspect the former.
This is a problem everywhere and sporting events are no exception. People who are soooooooooooo important that the world would cease to be if they put down that damn cellphone for even a second.
If you pay piles of money to...say...sit courtside at an NBA game, why in the name of all that is good and holy would you spend the entire game with a cellphone glued to your ear? Who are you even talking to anyway?
Are you calling up your friends and family to tell them to watch the game because they might get a sight of you sitting courtside not watching the game? Basically just calling around your social circle to brag about how rich you are?
And if you do decide to give your earholes a break, it's only to give your fingers a workout—you gotta text all those people up who you just tried to call but didn't pick up and if you were bragging via voicemail, you know they'd never hear about it.
Guess what, fancypants cellphone guy! Everyone hates you.
Don't be a jerk and an idiot because then nobody will like you and you'll end up sad and alone.
I'm not a Biblical scholar or anything, but I'm pretty sure that's all in the first paragraph.
**If you're the type of person who likes to take in a ball game with a girl who won't vomit, smack a child, or set a fire, then you should definitely be following me on Twitter: Follow @blamberr