Your team just lost a monster game—a real gut-opener.
What do you do?
Do you laugh? Cry? Do you play "Stud-Finder" and figure out which parts of the wall are good at breaking your knuckles? Maybe you grab your laptop and begin a PowerPoint presentation on why your guys choked the big one. Perhaps you already left early to beat the traffic.
Like any other kingdom of living organisms, there are different types—species—of sports fans. While each fan is unique, there are certain prevailing archetypes that can be found in every group of friends that follows athletics.
The following are sports fan stereotypes we've all encountered before. The question is—which one are you?
"I hate you, I hate you and I don't even know who you are, but I hate your guts."
The Silky Johnson fan hopes everything bad in life happens to you, and nobody else but you.
To be clear, Silky Johnsons hate seeing anyone achieve a degree of success, and will discount and downgrade accomplishments until everybody's team sucks big fat mole babies.
Sports discussions quickly devolve into a Player Haters Ball for Silky Johnson, who has an unlimited cache of reasons as to why your favorite player is, in fact, a walking pile of twice-baked owl pellets. They won the Super Bowl? Well, the league was "down" this year, so-and-so was injured and you really lucked out.
Interests: Rooting for a historically crappy team so they can bag on their own team and everyone else's.
Behold, Rothgar: Destroyer of worlds and chucker of cell phones.
Watching sports with this strain of fan is like Wii bowling with a mandrill in heat. Rothgar fans get mad, and their anger can only be exorcised through wild gesticulation and the throwing of iPhones and/or feces.*
Only after Rothgars have thrown their phones and howled their mating call ("ARE YOU KIDDING ME??") will they begin to de-Hulk and experience remorse for their actions.
Interests: Power Bars, protein, being in the zone.
*Feces flinging only seen in the most extreme cases.
"Unnecessary roughness?! I remember when Alabama won the Muckety Fudge Bowl in 1912. Lost four quarterbacks and a punter named Corn Shoe Figgins to high hits! Who cares if Figgins was a scarecrow! He was All-County!"
Old-Timer Tim remembers a day and age when all this was just cattle country—and he's quick to remind you this much.
While well-meaning and generally knowledgeable of the game, talking to an Old Time Tim fan about any current sports development is like trying to feed a DVD into a jukebox. This does not compute, Will Robinson, and there's a high probably you just ruined that jukebox.
Interests: Joe Theismann, Werther's Originals, that damn Sasquatch.
A consummate showman, the Heckler goes into sporting events like a standup hitting the stage for the 9 p.m. crowd.
Armed with an obnoxious voice and ragamuffin quips, the Heckler tears into "bums" on the opposing team and asks them if their mother "sews."
This breed tends to have an intense fear of calm, and will take any break in the action as an opportunity to comment loudly on the game to no one in particular.
Interests: Bull horns, themselves, Dane Cook.
"I know a guy who knows a guy whose girlfriend's stepdad's stepcat saw Richard Sherman pass out at 31 Flavors last night. Yeah, a stepcat is a cat that's also your father. No, you don't have to call him 'Dad'..."
The Insider sits down for lunch and takes off his glasses. He's got a sports scoop, but you're mainly concerned about his eyes, which are bloodshot from reading Internet forums.
That's what the Insider fan does—scour the far reaches of the Internet, checking blogs and web sites in the name of being the first one to iMessage breaking sports news to their group of friends.
In their minds, Insiders are half Jerry Maguire and half Cypher from The Matrix. In reality, they just follow Jay Glazer and Adam Schefter on Twitter.
Interests: Conspiracy theories, cork boards diagrams, amphetamines.
Johnny Know-It-All, a.k.a. "Stat Sheet Johnny" is the fan who breaks out the sabermetrics talk when you're trying to watch the Home Run Derby.
All you want to do is drink beer and watch big dudes hit trucks with baseballs. Johnny, on the other hand, is the fan who decides this is an opportunity to rabble endlessly about the birth of the DH and the injustice of Bill James not being able to cast a Hall of Fame ballot.
Johnny-Know-It-Alls also enjoy going to great lengths to turn any and all sports discussions into a debate. NBA lottery rigging? That was their senior thesis. Steroids? They'll play lawyer for the devil's advocate. Anything to stir the pot and demonstrate their terabytes of sports knowledge.
Interests: Protractors, cantaloupe, sportswriting.
"My sport is better than all the other sports forever!"
Single Sport Steve is the cyclops of the sports world—a great, singleminded beast reeking of self-interest and Grey Poupon. They thumb their noses at athletes outside their chosen discipline, looking at other sports as petty pastimes compared to their sacred art form.
If they somehow find themselves cornered in a discussion about another athletic venture, Single Sport Steves will only speak of it in relation to their sport, and how their athletes are stronger/faster/tougher/more likely to shave their upper thighs.
Interests: CrossFit, "working hard, playing harder," bottling flatulence.
♫ They will mash potato (mash potato!) ♫
♫ And do the twist (do the twist!) ♫
♫ They'll sell their first son (one they love most!) ♫
♫ For a championship! ♫
Bandwagon Bobs are all about the hardware, and they will do anything to ensure that they remain on the winning side of things.
Led by Justin Bieber and the rest of the lusty bandwagoneers, Bandwagon Bob is primarily concerned with his or her own personal happiness.
They shape-shift and transform to preserve this sense of well-being, which makes nailing them to a single allegiance a lot like taping down rain drops. If you bring up their checkered past of false allegiances, prepare to be blasted with their war cry: "Bro, I can like more than one team!"
Interests: Dubstep, "trying new things," Fly Away Home.
One player, all the time forever—this is the One Player Pete way.
As their name suggests, One Player Petes are fans whose allegiances vacillate with the employment of their favorite athlete.
For example, if a certain player were to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to get hot and nasty in Miami, One Player Pete is the first to pre-order an "El Heat" jersey. And if that same superstar were to then leave Miami for the New York Knicks, Pete's dying their white headband blue.
Interests: Laser pointers, individual success, shiny objects.
We never know what's going on up there, and we probably never will.
The Face-Painter is a bizarre and strange subculture of the sports fan kingdom. We don't understand their way of life, but we must respect it.
Interests: Paint, faces, Shetland ponies.
Unlike their cousin, Bandwagon Bob, Front-Runner Freds are fans who habitually invests themselves in teams besides their own.
That is to say, they don't leave their team, they just become overly attached/defensive of the success of another squad.
When their "home-base" squad is sitting on the couch for the postseason, count on Front-Runner Fred to sink his hooks into the next best thing—another team from their conference, or a squad with a player he likes. Also, Front-Runner Fred doesn't sort of pull for this team—they goes waist-deep and will celebrate lustily should this group win the whole knish.
Interests: Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick, paint chips.
"I don't know, I think if we just keep Greg Schiano and let him work his system that maybe one day a unicorn will fly out the tunnel and poop us a victory."
Danny Denial is the fan who can't admit when it's time to make a change.
They've become attached to a certain player or coach, and are the last ones to realize that the sands have shifted and he or she is now on the downward slope.
Danny Denial thinks that, given just one more chance, his or her team will put it all together and win it all. The reality, however, is that the team is probably better off stripping [insert player or coach here] for spare parts and sending them to the Brave Little Toaster junkyard.
Interests: Nostalgia, hoarding newspapers, Hummel figurines.
Nothing to see here, guys. Just your typical, levelheaded fan who loves his or her team and supports them loyally.
None of us ever get carried away, throw tantrums or obsess compulsively over a roster decision. Never have we ever hated on another team out of pure jealousy or spite. Certainly not. Ahem. We're just normal fans.
Thumbs up? Thumbs up.
I'm a Silky Johnson/Front-Runner Fred, with a splash of Johnny Know-It-All. What are you?