25 Sports Fan Pet Peeves

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterJanuary 17, 2014

25 Sports Fan Pet Peeves

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Hey you, down in front, "Shaddup!"

    Whether it be high ticket prices, fans who decide their Eric Gagne Dodgers jersey they are wearing doesn't need to be retired or the BCS, there is hardly a dearth of things that annoy sports fans. 

    Ah, but we found the select few more frustrating than that. 

    If you like, you can go ahead and toss Tim Tebow coverage right next to Rob Gronkowski stories on the pile of things we are very much tired of hearing about. 

    In fact, we will do just that in what is a breakdown of all the frustrating pet peeves that come with being a sports fan in 2014. 

    Of course, this list is merely emotional, not exhaustive. Feel free to offer your own pet peeves down in the comments section or just tell me to get over myself. 

    For the rest of you, sit back and enjoy all the things that really grind my gears

Beach Balls

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    Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

    They stop already long baseball games when they fall to the field and are the only reason grown men decide to leave their seats. They are beach balls, and we all act like we are seeing them for the first time the second we enter the stadium turnstile. 

    Getting bopped on the head with a beach ball on any other day and you might get fairly aggravated. However, hit up the 99 cent store before the game and blow up your own and you are a damn hero at the stadium. 

    I have never seen adults go from annoyed to elated quicker than when a beach ball falls in their lap at a game. Suddenly they stop griping about all those fans who aren't watching the game because of the beach ball to stop and hit the beach ball they are suddenly holding. 

    I could say I'm just being a grump, but it's probably that my office is currently devoid of plastic balls of air. 

Fans Who Take This Sports Thing Way Too Seriously

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    Video features NSFW language.  

    I understand your team lost, but ripping down the posters and putting a fist through the wall is harshing our collective buzz. 

    It's not like they canceled Happy Endings or Firefly—both fantastic reasons to throw a good ol' fashioned hissy fit. 

    If your team loses, take it like an adult and go into a two-week drunken stupor like the rest of us. 

Sports Flags, Decals

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    Photo Credit: Heather Kennedy Twitter

    You are driving a truck, not taking in the 145th cavalry into battle. Calm down, relax and we will all get through this sports stuff with our minds intact. 

    A tip of the hat to Twitter user Heather Kennedy who posted this image and proclaimed, "Every time I see these stupid sports-team flags on a vehicle, I'm filled with blind rage. They're so dumb."

    Well said. 

Fan Fights

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    The above video is like Patrick Stewart or Tom Cruise: It will never get old. 

    However, we do have to admonish the few who spoil a good time for the rest of us. There is rarely a reason to fight someone, especially if it revolves around team loyalties. 

    That team you love isn't going to spend one minute with you in the stadium holding cell, so bite your tongue, walk away and actually make it through a sporting event without getting arrested. 

    Sure sounds easy. 

    If you are wondering, the LA Times has a full report on the video above. 

The Term 'America's Team'

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    I don't remember voting on this? Did you vote on this? Hell, maybe we voted on this. 

    Either way, we reserve our right for a recount on calling any franchise "America's Team." Proclaiming that a specific team is your favorite should really be sufficient enough. We don't have to have an actual argument over the veracity of any team being the bane of an entire nation. 

    So because a documentary once proclaimed the Cowboys were "America's Team," we now have to deal with insufferable fans?

    Well, according to a recent poll, it's time to stop that madness. 

The Wave

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    You didn't know merely standing would impress people, did you?

    I will stand for an amazing play and to cheer on my closer in the ninth, not because 50,000 people want to see what 50,000 people standing by way of the simplest choreography looks like. 

    Sure, Hi-C Ecto Cooler and Squeezits die a cold death, but The Wave is what we are going to guarantee lasts until the end of days? 

    I would also like to take this time to admonish fans who stand at every little hit during baseball games, even routine pop-ups. It's like depth perception leaves us the second we sit down to watch a baseball game. 

Music Video Parodies

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    Don't read this section out loud and for goodness sake don't show anyone. The last thing we want is for music video parodies to live by Candyman rules and start anew just because you played this video three times in a row. 

    If that happens, a flood of "Call Me Maybe" anthems and "Gangnam Style" parodies will bum rush the Internet like a pack of Pamplona bulls. 

    And then what do we have, America? Nothing good, I tell you. Nothing good. 


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    There you have Eagles security guards actually practicing for the mere possibility of a streaker hitting the field. and this, my friends, is what it has come down to. 

    Feel free to run naked on your own time. We want to make it through the already three-hour game without having to see that junk you are oh so proud of flaunting. 

    This also goes for you more modest fans who simply want to jump on the field to elude security guards as if this is some human bull fighting ring. 

    As we now know, there is already a premium on the action that actually occurs at games. Nobody is amused with your shenanigans. 

    In fact, this brings me to...

Do We Have to Review Everything

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    One day in the not-so-distant future, there will be a time when NFL referees will be forced to review their review of a play while we all watch it on television review. 

    I just know it!

    As we linked to previously, there is a very real issue in the amount of action actually delivered in an NFL presentation. 

    A 2010 Wall Street Journal report posited that the average NFL game features about 11 minutes of actual game play. Replay takes up a whopping 17 minutes of real time. 

    According to my frustration that has built since that time, this issue gets worse every year. 

    Unfortunately, NFL fans know all too well that following a brilliant touchdown, you probably have more than enough time to savor the play and even head to the kitchen to fix yourself a meal. 

    This could be a while. 

The Term the 'Wussification of Sports'

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    Man, all those people trying to eliminate permanent brain damage in sports are really hankering our ability to enjoy the game

    We all know that a linebacker's ability to remember his name doesn't exactly affect you, but it would be nice if he was able to stave off depression and other horrible side effects of a career that featured treating his brain like a maraca. 

    Yes, there are some pretty overzealous safety precautions that have been bandied about. New Hampshire school that banned tag, we are looking at you. 

    However, very real precautions taken for long-term care of athletes is necessary, especially when we now understand the dangers better than before. 

    "Wussification," as we have seen, is a very easy term to throw around. That doesn't mean you should, because, hey, someone could get hurt. 

    In all seriousness, the term has seen its day when someone actually has the nerve to defend former Rutgers coach Mike Rice with it. 

    There is nothing wrong with moving forward sensibly. Don't worry, America. We aren't going to all turn into "wussies" because of it. Whatever that means. 


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    Consider this a subset of the 'wussification' sentiment. This goes out to all the people, ahem! men, who seem to think there is a very real reason sports are kinder and gentler, as if that were quantifiable. That reason, as Damon Bruce once offered, is women. 

    According to some, the only way to enjoy sports is by eating undercooked red meat slowly grilled over an open fire as you...Ugh, Ugh, Ugh!

    Take this from a man, there is obviously far too much testosterone in the sports world. 

Embracing the Debate

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    If you have never seen First Take, just imagine two men debating what is a more important condiment on the table, ketchup or mustard, with the fervor of them defending their own family.

    You will never have seen two men care so much about so little.

    Thankfully, Bleacher Report's Amber Lee already compiled some of the inanity from this particular show, so you don't have to. 

    Of course, First Take is just a symptom of the overarching issue of the network's need to have their talking heads "embrace the debate."

    You can debate passionately only so many hours of the day. And we have seen the warm embrace of the absurd get some in hot water before.

    Rob Parker most famously stepped in it for comments he made about Robert Griffin III in 2012. However, most recently, ESPN's Steelers beat writer Scott Brown decided to launch a Twitter war with fans

    You know, for the debate and stuff. 

    Maybe we take the level down a few notches, because it's far to loud at its current setting of 11


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    Photo Credit: Brent Yarina Twitter

    I have a friend who will remain nameless who decides every year to "claim" the best teams in the NFL, because he just likes good football. 

    Um, that's not how it works. 

    Proper fandom is cultivated over a number of decades of misery. For those in Cleveland, you will wear this badge of futility for life.  

    You see, this is something you become over time. It's not something that happens by sitting down and circling the first-place team in the standings. 

    My pal could be worse, because he could be far more veiled in his bandwagonning methods like the majority of Heat fans who showed up to the party a few years ago. Hey-o.

In-Game Coach Interviews

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    Has anyone in the history of the world learned anything of value when a coach currently on the job has to stop to give a couple of cookie-cutter answers?

    I submit to you there has not been any. Maybe one guy in Manitoba, Canada, who had never seen a basketball game. 

Best Fans in Baseball

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    Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

    Consider this, "America's Team Part II."

    We don't mean to pick on St. Louis Cardinals fans, but let's pick on St. Louis Cardinals fans. 

    First off, congratulations on another year in the spotlight. However, the Red Birds' success meant the rest of the MLB world had to deal with a great many articles on why this particular fanbase is the best in all of baseball. 

    Deadspin's Barry Petchesky found this USA Today article from Bob Nightengale particularly enlightening.

    There was also this St. Louis Post-Dispatch column from Derrick Goold that featured gems like the following ahead of the series with the Dodgers: "This isn’t just a clash of cultures, but of architecture. Bankrolled vs. Built. The Best Team Money Can Buy vs. the club now being called The Best Organization in Baseball."

    Now this section isn't meant to pick solely on the Cardinals lot but the general entirety of fanbases who seem to think their team somehow does the intangible far better than any other. 

    Can't we all just agree that our respective teams encompass a little good, a little bad and a whole bunch of inanity in between?


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    The once sad and sordid tale of soccer has taken over and become the now proud practice of NBA elite. We are of course talking about flopping, and it's getting out of hand. 

    The NBA countered with an anti-flopping rule, issuing fines to players who have the audacity to take a moment in the game to practice their acting skills. 

    The New York Times noticed that the rule seemed to stave off a bit of the egregious flailing that had previously taken place. 

    Still, there is no hope to eradicate the practice completely. It's as part of the culture as it is in world football. That doesn't mean we have to like it. 

The 'He Needs to Mature' Argument

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

    It's not enough for some athletes to spend most of their time training so they can help their future teams with mammoth home runs or timely runs down the sidelines for first downs. 

    No, they also have to dress, walk and talk a certain way. 

    Apparently, according to some out-of-touch writers, maturity comes with a very distinct look. Oh, you might think that idea is rather dumb. Come to think of it, so do I. And that's why we included it here. 

    The best most topical example might be the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick, who goes above and beyond for his fans off the field

    However, there are some who think his tattoos make him look thuggish and his backward hat illustrates an overt lack of maturity

    That's just what we need in sports, obvious profiling. The same could be said of Yasiel Puig, a young man who is still getting his bearings in a new country. 

    Hell, we are willing to say even Rob Gronkowski gets a good amount of heat despite his production when he is healthy. 

    Sports is an amazing place, filled with a diverse cast of characters. It's a shame some just can't appreciate it as just that. 

The Usual Suspects

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    As it turns out, athletes can be just as easily typecast as Danny Trejo, who is no doubt working on a movie wherein he will play Danny Trejo. 

    Now this isn't to say that these guys bug us personally. It's the fact that fans still can't get enough of them, so media outlets are forced to continue covering all things Rob Gronkowski, Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel or any other athlete that fits the bill. 

    These guys are all multidimensional personalities, but we will instead continue to key in on Gronk the Party Boy and Tebow the Quarterback Hopeful. 

    Hey, I've been just as guilty in this. I guess the real problem is that we like to make things as simple as possible, so whittling down our favorite athletes to one-dimensional storylines works wonders. 

    Well, at least we don't have to worry about Brett Favre retirement stories anymore. And that's something. 

Adults' Overzealous Pursuit for Autographs and Foul Balls

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    If you have been on this earth for longer than 12 years, you lose your right to flip out over a home run or a foul ball that might be shot in your general direction. 

    Go ahead and grab a souvenir if it falls in your lap, but try and resist the urge to dive into the bushes for an inexpensive ball—especially at a Little League game like the genius in this video. 

DVR Issues

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    You get home after a hard day at work, flip on the television to lose yourself in the game, only to realize two hours later that it heads into overtime.

    And you forgot to put extra time on the DVR. 

    Only slightly less frustrating might be someone telling you the score right before you actually start watching. 

Fans Who Leave Early

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    Never change, Miami. 

    Of course, we have to use the most topical example of fans leaving a game in the form of all those Heat fans who decided to get an early jump on traffic because their team was behind all of four points in a crucial Game 6 with the San Antonio Spurs

    This just serves as a reminder to the rest of you. Go ahead and leave in the seventh inning, take a hike in the third quarter or just meander out whenever you like. 

    Just know that you are horrible, and you really should have your right to re-enter during an emotional comeback revoked. 

    The sports gods are not kind to those who leave early. For your transgressions, you get Justin Bieber as a fan

Fans Who Cross the Line

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    The seemingly lovely lady flipping off Joakim Noah is Miami Heat fan Filomena Tobias, and she has quite the sordid past

    The only useful contribution she has made to society is in the form of this video, reminding fans what they look like when they treat athletes as if they were somehow less than human. 

    Go ahead and heckle, chide and boo, but there is a line decent folk understand should never be crossed. Now get out there drink, cheer and, above all, stay classy

Burning Jerseys

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    That athlete who didn't care about what you thought when they did right by them to sign somewhere else cares even less that you decided to ignite the jersey you paid good money to buy a few years earlier. 

    I really hope LeBron James heads back to Cleveland, if only to see those same fans head back to the team store to buy yet another King James jersey. 

    You could have saved a great deal of coin by simply tossing the jersey to the bottom of the closet. But hey, an impromptu bonfire works too. 

The Pro Bowl

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    I can take an MLB All-Star Game that lingers for hours, and I can even stand an NBA All-Star Game that devolves into a slam dunk exhibition. 

    For some reason, there is still some entertainment value to be had there. 

    The NFL, no matter how much we love it, doesn't work when athletes are asked to play at half speed. Of course they wouldn't risk injury by playing all out, but that just means we don't have to watch with any fervor either. 

    In all honesty, the Puppy Bowl is more exciting at this point

D-Picket Fence

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    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    We have reached the absolute end of creativity. 

    The only thing more amazing than someone thinking their time would be well spent on being the millionth person to bring a "D" and a "fence" into the stadium is that nobody has ever bothered to bring an "O" for when their team actually has the ball. 

    Now I must warn that "Mashed Potatoes!" guy nearly made this list. You few shouting odd and peculiar things at golfing events have one thing going for you: I am fond of stupid humor. 

    Traipse carefully, and continue into new and dumber avenues with your golf shouts, because that's the only thing that will save you.