For the average person, life as a sports fan is a mostly passive experience. Screaming at the television, eating a variety of awesomely horrible snacks, doing 'the wave' and dishing out high-fives, that's how most of us get in on the action.
Your status as "person unknown" is not something to fret over—trust me.
When you're suddenly elevated from nobody to somebody, especially on the wafer-thin merit of just being a fan who did something to make headlines, you suddenly run the risk of transforming from person unknown to persona non grata.
While not always the case, fans that find themselves living their 15 minutes of fame are doing so because they just did something stupid. Or crazy. Or stupid and crazy.
Whether fueled by booze, a natural inclination towards mischief or something much stranger, an exclusive circle of fans have crossed that line and emerged infamous overnight.
Here are 15 such fans.
Depending on who you ask, Boston police officer Steve Horgan is either a hero or a zero.
You can include Tigers fans among those in the latter camp. Horgan was the officer on duty and in the immediate vicinity of Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter as he flipped over the bullpen wall, attempting to catch a David Ortiz grand slam in Game 2 of the ALCS.
The entire series seemingly shifted on that one play, Hunter's near miss allowed the Red Sox to tie the game. Horgan threw his hands up and celebrated along with the crowd in Fenway, later insisting he stayed away because he thought Hunter was going to make the catch.
Hunter called him out for cheering instead of helping him and thanked Boston's relievers who tried to help, "unlike the cop."
Detroit fans may have been upset about how the whole incident played out, but they would've been much more upset if Horgan had gotten involved at any point before Hunter was already on the ground. With that being the case, we're only talking about a few seconds.
Former Florida State student Jenn Sterger rose to some level of fame in 2005, when she was selected as the winner of ESPN analyst Brett Musburger's in-game "talent" contests. You may recall the "talents" of Katherine Webb attracting Musburger's attention more recently.
Of course it was Favre who ended up looking far worse in the situation. Sterger may have cooperated with Deadspin, but she didn't cooperate with the married man sending her lewd pictures.
In May 2010 a teenage Phillies fan by the name of Steve Consalvi called up his father from the game to ask permission to run onto the field.
Naturally, his father said no. Naturally, as teenagers tend to do, he did it anyway. Maybe if Consalvi had thought he'd be taken down by a taser, that would've prevented him.
Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter said he supported the actions taken by security, and a city councilman called called him a suburban idiot.
Yeah. That sounds about right. At least his mother publicly apologized for Consalvi though, instead of denying her son could ever be involved in something like this, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Given the great lengths gone to by poor Steve Bartman to stay out of the public eye, I didn't feel right posting his picture here. This guy has been through more than enough already, particularly with the recent 10th anniversary of the incident.
The photo is actually of the ball handled during that infamous NLCS game over a decade ago, in which the Cubs blew their best chance at a World Series in about a century, after being (literally) blown up during a public spectacle.
Again…the game the Cubs blew. Not the game that Steve Bartman blew.
Logic and reason weren't the order of the day in Chicago back then. After the Cubs choked away that lead in Game 6 and then lost Game 7, Bartman was practically forced into the witness protection program. His may be the infamous name people remember, but he was victimized by that city.
In May 2013, Heat fan Filomena Tobias gave Bulls center Joakim Noah an enthusiastic sendoff after he was booted from a playoff game in Miami. She became an instant viral sensation, with everyone wanting to know more about the Heat's most passionate superfan.
It didn't take long to dig up the dirt on Tobias. Within days she was identified as the widow of a millionaire judge fund magnate who was mysteriously found dead in his pool back in 2007. Investigators found no sign of foul play, but his family has been battling her in civil court ever since.
The incident was particularly interesting, given the Heat won the game by nearly 40 points. Seems like the widow Tobias has some rage issues.
In September 2013, a trash talking little boy, known simply as "Jets kid," became a viral sensation when a video of him behaving like a full-grown Jets fan was uploaded to YouTube.
Buzzfeed summed it up quite nicely with the headline, "The Most Stereotypical Jets Fan Is An Obnoxious 7-Year-Old Kid."
The boy is surprisingly aggressive, not to mention surprisingly accurate about the talents of the current Buccaneers team. Let's just hope the attention convinced someone in his family to stage an intervention.
If not, this kid is likely to make headlines for punching a woman at some point in his future.
In September 2002, William Ligue Jr. and his 15-year-old son William III stormed the field at a White Sox game and attacked Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa.
According to SI, Gamboa never saw them coming. He said being hit off guard by the shirtless psychopaths "felt like a football team had him [him] from behind." Luckily he escaped with relatively minor injuries. Considering the situation, it could've been a lot worse.
After the Ligues were pried off him and taken away, a folded-up pocket knife was found nearby. White Sox outfielder Aaron Rowand said he saw it fall out of the pocket of one of the assailants.
In the least surprising news ever, the Ligues have spent the last decade in and out of prison for various offenses and are not the least bit remorseful of their actions. It's only a matter of time before these hooligans do something else stupid.
And then brag about it on Facebook.
Karl Power is, according to The Daily Mail, is one of Britain's most notorious sports pranksters. In 2001, he appeared in Manchester United's team photo before a Champions League match against Bayern Munich. He became an instant national sensation.
Not long after, he wandered out onto the field during a cricket match between England and Australia and attempted to bat with the team. A year later, he stood on the podium at the British Grand Prix, just moments before Michael Schumacher, the actual winner.
Power has also been on the field during an international rugby match and on the court at Wimbledon. He's pretty much everywhere. Look for him batting leadoff for the Red Sox and the Cardinals in the World Series.
In April 1993, a nut bag German man named Gunter Parche stepped onto a tennis court in Hamburg, Germany, and stabbed Monica Seles in the back with a nine-inch boning knife. He used both hands to plunge the knife into her back.
At the time, Seles was a star on the rise and the No. 1 ranked female tennis player in the world. Parche was obviously not just a fan of Steffi Graf, he was downright obsessed. And as gruesome as his plan was, it actually worked. Seles' career was completely derailed at the age of 19, and Graf eventually regained the No. 1 ranking.
Parche was tried twice for the incident, both times he was basically deemed out of his gourd—mentally unable to recognize the consequences of his actions. He didn't serve even a single day behind bars for the incident.
In March 2001, a Flyers fan named Chris Falcone was reportedly angry over being squirted with water by a player or players from the Maple Leaf bench. The players were reportedly responding to the unrelenting taunts fans in Philadelphia are famous for.
I say reportedly because that's the story according to Falcone, who infamously jumped over the glass partition of the penalty box and attacked Tie Domi, perhaps the most infamously brutal player in NHL history.
There's no question that Domi did, in fact, squirt water on some fans. But it's hard to imagine that a little water was the only catalyst—it was more likely the excuse Falcone was looking for to act on his natural impulse to hit things that he doesn't like.
Said Falcone, "I was drenched. If I wasn't so wet, I wouldn't have done anything." Wow. You do not want to encounter this dude after he's been caught in the rain without an umbrella.
In September 2013, a University of Iowa student named Samatha Goudie was arrested when she tried to run onto the field during a football game against Northern Illinois. Vodka Samm, as she has come to be known, was reportedly "unsteady on her feet" and hauled off to jail.
In jail she was given a breathalyzer test and blew an absolutely epic—and from most accounts should be fatal—.341 blood alcohol level. Vodka Samm went on to tweet about her ordeal, which sounded less like an ordeal and more like a story she's looking forward to sharing with her grandkids.
In 2010, a psychotic Alabama fan named Harvey Updyke called up the Paul Finebaum radio show and bragged about using a pesticide to poison the glorious Toomer's Corner oak tress, which once lined a picturesque street on Auburn's campus.
It didn't take long to confirm the story and track down Updyke. Eventually he was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, criminal damage of an agriculture facility. In March 2013, he was sentenced to six months in jail.
Not that a few months in the slammer would change such a vile jagweed with a complete lack of self-awareness. After Bama defeated Texas A&M early this season, Updyke mocked Johnny Manziel on Facebook, ironically referring to him as a "punk."
If Manziel is a punk, what does that make convicted criminal Harvey Updyke Jr.?
At a home game at Met Life Stadium in October 2013, Jets superfan Kurt Paschke did nothing to rehab the image of his people when he decided to coldclock a visiting Patriots fan.
A female Patriots fan by the name of Jaclyn Nugent.
Not only did Paschke have no problem punching a woman in the face, he also did time in prison in the early 90s for a fatal stabbing that took place behind a pizza joint.
Now when you Google "Jets fan," the first suggestion is "Jets fan punches woman."
After the BCS Championship game between SEC rival Alabama and LSU in January 2012, a particularly terrible Tide fan decided to whip out his genital and Roll them over the face of a passed out Tigers fan.
The video, which is still posted online, was too graphic to post here. But there's no question that the actions of Brian Downing stood out far and above the actions of the many other judgement impaired fans around him.
The following October he was set to stand trial for sexual battery and obscenity, which could've come with a sentence of up to 10 years in jail and a permanent place on the registered sex offenders list.
Hours before the trial was set to begin, Downing wised up and struck a plea agreement with prosecutors. He was sentenced to two years in jail and will not be required to register as a sex offender upon his release.
If name Matthew Clemmens doesn't ring a bell, but perhaps "Phillies puke fan" or "Pukemon" will. In April 2010, the New Jersey native did something so stunningly wretched that it wouldn't have even been believable had it happened anywhere but Philadelphia.
Clemmens and a friend had been screaming and swearing throughout the game when an off duty police officer, who was at the game with his daughters, complained to security, resulting in the friend being ejected. Pukemon responded by sticking his fingers down his throat and vomiting on the police officer and his kids.
Clemmens was obviously ejected from the game and later received a three-month jail sentence, two years of probation and 50 hours of community service.