Do you have a cool uncle who plays in a band? Are you crazy for a local sports team?
If you answered "yes" to these questions, you're only an awkward teenage crush away from being a television character from the '90s.
That's right, while denim jackets and heartwarming lessons about family were the main dishes of the decade, many of our favorite TV characters from '90s were also diehard sports fans. It was a time when entire episodes were based on the premise "Hey! People like sports, right?"
Yes, we like sports a lot, and we predictably connected with the super fans, jocks and other sports nuts featured heavily in '90s television.
The following are the biggest TV sports fans of the '90s, along with their real-life fan equivalents.
Some were mainstays, others were side character lunatics, but they all loved their teams and deserve your respect. Except for Newman. You can't respect the Newman.
Teams: Chicago Bulls/any and all basketball teams.
Cousin Skeeter fancied himself a ballplayer, and claimed to be good friends with Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman during the series' short run. His basketball gear also might have influenced the Michigan Wolverines.
Real Fan Equivalent: Sneaker head/guy who just likes a team because of its one great player.
Teams: Whichever one made him look cool.
Zack wasn't a huge sports fan as much as he was a big advocate of doing things that would impress girls.
That said, he dove into athletic endeavors like cross country and doled out volleyball lessons when the opportunity rang—because if she's a fan, he's a fan.
Real Fan Equivalent: Miami Heat fans who wants back into the stadium at the end of Game 6.
Teams: The New York Mets.
Considering he heckled Keith Hernandez, Newman wasn't the best sports fan in the world.
That being said, he cared enough about the team to talk some trash to its players, which is a tightly held sporting tradition in New York. For that Newman deserves a measure of...consideration. I won't say "respect," because you're physically not allowed to put that in the same sentence as his name.
Real Fan Equivalent: The fan who talks vaguely to the entire bathroom while he's at the urinal.
Teams: Baltimore Orioles.
Elaine Benes would not take her Orioles hat off for love, money or seats in the Yankees owner's box.
She's a true sports fan, and in true sports fan fashion, her personal freedom and team allegiances trump all. She understands that this is America, and she can heckle Mariano Rivera if she wants to.*
*That's a really bad idea.
Real Fan Equivalent: The away fan who beckons the whole home crowd to "Bring it on."
Team: New York Mets.
I barely remember Hey Dude, but what I do recall is a kid named "Buddy" wearing a Mets hat and never taking it off. Every episode, he represented the Mets without fail. Either this was his only hat, or the Mets were one of his favorite things in the world.
That being said, Buddy deserves some credit for wearing this hat to the point where it probably became unsanitary.
Real Fan Equivalent: Guy who wears the same, salt-rimmed Tampa Bay Rays hat every day of his life.
Team: Deering Tornadoes (Possibly the Sacramento Kings).
While the cast changed like a revolving door, the characters at Deering High all had a fierce allegiance to the basketball team. It was "Go Tornadoes, or GTFO," in so many words.
Also, given that the team's coach was Reggie Theus, the kids might've also been fans of the Sacramento Kings, which Theus played for and would later coach.
Real Fan Equivalent: The fan who roots for one awful team, and never changes.
Teams: Detroit Lions, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers and University of Michigan.
If it's a sports team in Michigan, Tim "The Toolman" Taylor was a fan. Every few episodes or so it seemed like Taylor was rocking apparel of Detroit-based or Michigan-area teams.
Real Fan Equivalent: The diehard Lions fan, aka a fan who has learned to gracefully cope with disappointment and sports tragedy year-in and year-out.
Team: New York Yankees.
All George Costanza does is lose, which makes his employment at one of the winningest franchises in professional baseball a strangely perfectly marriage.
Costanza tries to help the Yankees and get himself fired by mouthing off to George Steinbrenner. We can try to hash that out logically, or we can sit back and marvel one of the most complicatedly simple characters in television history.
I prefer the latter.
Real Fan Equivalent: The fan who shows their support by constantly bashing their team's upper management.
Teams: Any and all the teams.
Slater was more of an athlete than a fan, but his whole life was devoted to sports.
If they did Saved By the Bell: The Much Later Years, Slater would be the guy coaching high school wrestling, his daughter's soccer team and going to Oakland Raiders games.
Real Fan Equivalent: The fan who tells you he turned down a scholarship to State because he "didn't like the coaches" and "wanted to focus on school."
Teams: Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles and Pennbrook Penguins.
He hung out with baseball players, wrestled in front of a sold-out audience and snuck radios into class just to listen to Phillies baseball. Cory Matthews loved sports, even if sports didn't exactly love him back.
Real Fan Equivalent: The awesome guy who can't attend the game but gives you his tickets for free (after failing to get face value for them).
Teams: Golden State Warriors, Oakbridge High basketball.
That whole professional basketball thing didn't work out, but Mr. Cooper was still married to the game in his life after hoops. The former Golden State Warriors player started substitute teaching but eventually worked his way up to high school basketball coach at Oakbridge High.
Also, the man could wear the hell out of a windbreaker, which was essential for sports fans of the '90s.
Real Fan Equivalent: The fan who thinks they could be a better coach than some professional or college coaches. This fan spends most of their time screaming at the TV about what play a team should've ran.
Teams: ULA Peacocks, all Philadelphia sports teams and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Will was West Philadelphia, born and raised—but Bel Air was the place he spent most of his days. The (slightly) fictionalized Will Smith was a big sports fan and the captain of his high school basketball team.
He also worked with Carlton at the book store for the fictional University of Los Angeles Peacocks, making him a de facto fan of sorts. Last but not least, Will received free tickets to Los Angeles Lakers game from a girl who was using him just so she could look like one of the cool kids.
Real Fan Equivalent: The fan who dances like a fiend when they get on the Jumbotron.
Image via Imgur.com
Teams: New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Mets (briefly), New York Jets, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit Red Wings.
Joey was all over the place with his sports team allegiances, although he mainly kept to his Queens roots by rooting for New York teams. His greatest sports love was the Knicks—a team he cared enough about to list on his donor qualifications.
Real Fan Equivalent: The guy who goes to bed at 9 p.m. on a Friday because he's getting up at 5 a.m. to tailgate on Saturday.
Teams: Polk High, Chicago Bears and not the Cubs (considering their security chased him with dogs).
Al Bundy is a living myth and an American hero, and it is therefore fitting that his love for sports manifested itself as a near-crippling nostalgia for his high school glory days.
He was the catalyst of "the greatest sports moment in all of history," and his contributions to the game as a player and a fan will never be forgotten.
Real Fan Equivalent: Drunk, overly competitive little league father.
Teams: New Jersey Devils.
I have no words for David Puddy, except to say that he is a grown man who paints his face and must be treated like a wild, potentially dangerous animal.
He is the most rabid TV sports fan of the '90s.
Real Fan Equivalent: David Puddy is the real life face-painter, aka the super fan who knows no shame. It's the playoffs, and that's all he needs to know.
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