Most people have had at least one bad experience dealing with the unpleasant child of a stranger in a public place. Whether it's in a restaurant, on an airplane or at a sporting event, there are few things that can ruin your day like the menacing fruit of someone else's loins.
It's just something we all have to live with usually. Parents can't go out to dinner or travel without their kids. You may dislike them in the moment, but don't you dislike all of the terrible parents who end up on the news for various acts of being unfit and far more? Of course you do.
That being said, not all kids are terrible little monsters put on this planet for the express purpose of ruining your day—not to mention the day of everyone around you. It may not be the standard, but believe it or not, some kids are actually pretty cool.
Some are just cool enough not to ruin the fun at a sporting event, which is a totally acceptable level of cool for a child. But there are also the rare few that are awesome enough to actually enhance your sports viewing experience.
Here are 15 totally awesome kid sports fans that are more than welcome to sit next to me.
If you've ever been anywhere with a large concentration of children, you know that every few minutes one of them breaks free from whichever adult is charged with baby wrangling and takes off with impressive speed.
My family is Irish-Catholic, so most family events are massive. Everyone over the age of 16 generally spends the entire day trying to prevent the kids from accidentally killing themselves. (We haven't lost one yet!)
Which is why seeing this overly enthusiastic Baylor fan storm the court against Oklahoma in January just feels like home. He runs with such joy and a complete lack of purpose that even the announcers couldn't help but be amused.
In March 2012, a Canucks fan by the name of Jack Millos became an instant crowd sensation at a home game when he busted out some of his best moves, dancing to the LMFAO (inexplicable) hit "Sexy and I Know It."
What he lacks in variety, he more than makes up for in enthusiasm. And Jack wasn't the only one enjoying the moment—the guys behind him seem absolutely thrilled with the fleeting glimpse of fame bestowed upon them thanks their proximity.
Have you ever tried to get the people in your section to take the leap with you on starting the wave? How about getting your very own cheer started? It's like wrangling cats—not easy.
Maybe that's because nobody listens to some a-hole adult with a few too many beers in her. But everyone seems to listen to little kids, even if they have nothing noteworthy to say (and they usually don't).
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. In July, a little boy on his dad's shoulders at a soccer match was able to get what seems to be an entire stadium full of people on board within seconds.
I wish I had this kid's command of a room!
What is it about a sick kid that can make the most enthusiastically childless people (like me) fold like a house of cards after Tiger the dog runs in and knocks over the house of cards. (That's something that happened, I swear.)
In August 2013 during a Browns scrimmage on Family Day, a five-year-old cancer patient, with a rare form of lung cancer, was brought down onto the field with the team and allowed to score a touchdown.
He got to meet the players and couldn't have been happier. Running back Trent Richardson even taught little Ryan some celebratory dance moves.
There's nothing wrong with being enthused about nabbing a fly ball, but we all know there are plenty of people—most of them adults—who behave like complete animals every time a ball comes their way. Some to a reasonable degree, others not so much.
Which is why it's so very refreshing to see this little Marlins fan handle his good fortune with some dignity. In fact, his reaction is so cool that it's a little reminiscent of McKayla Maroney being unimpressed with her silver medal.
The Broncos Barrel Boy is seven-year-old Denver native Robert Lee Valdez. He's not related to Barrel Man (whose real name was Tim McKernan), the late Broncos superman who died in December 2009 at the age of 69.
Although, according to his Facebook page, he does have the official endorsement of Becky McKernan—Barrel Man's widow. Yes...he has his very own Facebook page with a few hundred "Likes."
He's been doing his thing since his grandfather encouraged him to wear a big orange barrel (as a tribute) to a Broncos pep rally in 2012. Enjoy it now though, eventually he's going to be a half-naked old man under that barrel!
Considering all the videos I've seen of grown men (literally) stepping on children to get their grubby mitts on a baseball at a game, it's nice to know there are still nice people out there—even if they're other children. Sometimes it takes a little kid to be the bigger person!
At a Diamondbacks-Giants game in September, outfielder Gerardo Parra tossed up a ball to a D-backs fan in the stands and another kid, who happened to find himself in the right place at the right time, ended up with the ball.
The kid who was supposed to get the ball was obviously distraught, and the kid who ended up with the ball was stunningly oblivious or willfully ignorant to the situation. Then out of nowhere a Giants fan from the next section swooped in and gave the boy his own ball, which he acquired at some point—perhaps even in the gift shop.
He's the polar opposite of the smirking kids throughout the video who seem to be taking great pleasure in the whole thing.
I can't say that I'm a fan of those ridiculous Pablo "Kung Fu Panda" Sandoval panda hats they're strangely fond of in San Francisco. Something about a grown man with the head of a panda sitting on his head that just doesn't sit well.
They're not so bad on little kids, though. This young Sandoval fan at a Giants game in July may have single-handedly changed my thoughts on the matter. He's surprisingly loud for such a little person, which I can really appreciate.
Also, you gotta love the coaching advice he offers up with Sandoval up at bat. "HIT A HOME RUN! HIT A HOME RUN!" Why didn't they think of that?! Just hit a home run every time and winning would be so much easier.
I do agree with the announcers though—someone needs to get this kid a Giants shirt!
The one thing I really like about little kid sports fans is when they take the game as serious—or even more serious—than me. Or you…or whoever.
Generally speaking, uncontrollable crying hysterics is not something I'd ever condone or encourage. But if this kid is gonna be a Jets fan, it's best he gets this out of his system at an early age!
Cause you know it's not going to get any better for him.
This kid is so great because he's such a sharp contrast from the devastated Jets fan in the previous slide. That kid may be crying now, but by next season he's probably going to be this kid!
Judging from the Buzzfeed headline ("The Most Stereotypical Jets Fan Is An Obnoxious 7-Year-Old Kid") I read about this video recently, I'm thinking he might be a pretty polarizing figure.
I can't lie though—I love him! "You stink bubblehead! Your defense SO sucks! They're gonna score IN YOUR FACE! In your face, loser! Hey Buccaneer! Shut up and pay attention!"
You just can't teach that kind of intensity.
What is it with Northeastern cities that produce such hilariously maniacal sports fans. The "Come at me bro!" attitudes in Philadelphia, New York and Boston are simply unparalleled.
For better or worse...usually for worse.
Not this time though. The jacked up Bruins fan in this video definitely falls on the "for better" side of the spectrum. Caught by the cameras, he instinctively whips off his jersey and does his best crab.
Then, in true Boston fashion, he starts punching the air as the Dropkick Murphy's play in the background. It's one of the most Boston things that has ever happened.
Speaking of the "Come at me bro!" mentality, that's exactly what this young Rockets fan had in store for NBA great Shaquille O'Neal in July. The kid was extremely displeased with Shaq's criticism of Dwight Howard for deciding to sign with the Rockets.
"Dwight Howard is the best center in the league. Shaq! Shaq! I want to say one thing to you Shaq! Don't ever disrespect Houston like that again! Don't ever disrespect Houston! H-Town baby!"
I hate Dwight Howard as much as the next person (not in Houston), but I don't think I'd ever say it to this kid's face!
This is exactly what frustrates me about kids sometimes—they basically get to do whatever the heck they want with almost no threat of repercussions. They're always getting away with behavior that would land most of us in jail.
That being said, I must admit that I admire this little boy's drive. Even if a guaranteed trip to jail wasn't waiting for us on the other side, there aren't many people willing to throw caution to the wind and storm the field at a baseball game.
You're probably thinking there are plenty of people who do it, but certainly not compared to the number of people who don't do it. Not only did this White Sox fan get to run on the field, he was scooped up in the friendly arms of a baseball player, too!
Maybe it's just me, but it's hard not to enjoy anything when it's set to Run-D.M.C.'s epic 80s classic "It's Tricky." Seriously, one of the greatest songs ever.
At a Pacers-Rockets game in January, the kid in this video absolutely busts it out for the "Old School Dance Cam." He doesn't look like someone who would have such an impressive arsenal of movies, but boy does he!
The looks on his parents face's are priceless. The dad looks surprised but totally amused. The mom initially looks surprised, but eventually it starts to shift into embarrassment.
And the kid couldn't possibly care less. It's amazing.
Another random act of kindness by a kid that will restore your faith in humanity. In this ABC News clip, the anchor calls the boy in the video, Ian McMillan, the Person of the Week—a well-earned, if not entirely official, title.
It all went down at a Diamondbacks-Brewers game in July 2011. As Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks headed toward the dugout in the top of the fourth inning, he tossed a ball up into the stands, likely aiming for the young fan in a Brewers shirt.
But it ended up in the cap of a D-backs fan, who looked to be a few years older and definitely had the faster reflexes. As is often the case, the kid who missed out on the ball was absolutely devastated. The kid with the ball didn't even get back to his seat before deciding to turn around and give the ball to the Brewers fan.
The announcers were understandably befuddled at the generous gesture—you don't see things like that often. Not only did they praise Ian for his kindness and his parents for raising such a nice kid, they even brought him up to the booth and hooked him up with an autographed bat!