Examination of the American Footbal Fan: Part II, Continued

Spenser T. HarrisonCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2008

The continuation of part two of the Examination of the American Football fan.



The Executive


This species of football fan is currently recognized as the fastest growing population among all others in this animal kingdom.


As NFL ticket prices rise and personal seat licenses, and any other money-milking maneuver owners implement, become more common, so to will "The Executive". To him, the game is not for fun, or to get away from the drudgery of the workplace. Rather, it’s the stage from which he will launch his all-business assault upon customers or colleagues, hoping to close on his much anticipated “deal”.


"The Executive" has perfected the art of bullshitting, to a point even politicians could admire.


Showing just enough interest in the game to convince those around him that he is a fan without leaving himself open to questions that could potentially expose him.


This workaholic has no true identity and is merely a suction cup on the long tentacles of corporate conglomerates.


This group of fan shows little physical variation, generally opting to wear a suit. Occasionally, perhaps he decided to go casual with a button down shirt, sweater vest, loafers and a golf hat. If he is outfitted in neither of his customary garb, you can be sure he’s loaded in home-squad regalia recently purchased at the team store 10 minutes before kickoff.


While their population is increasing, coming across this particular species of fan isn’t as easy as one would expect.


"The Executive’s" are generally a reclusive bunch, hiding within a press box or at the club-level bar, watching the game on a plasma TV. This is specifically designed to avoid intermingling with normal fans at all costs. Adding to his evasiveness, he’ll surely leave the stadium early in the fourth quarter (regardless of the score) to avoid traffic on his 45-minute drive back to the suburbs.



Mr. Know-it-All


This wannabe coach, high-school hero, or failed sportswriter came to the game as if it were his office. Most likely, he coaches his son's peewee team in hopes of climbing the coaching ranks or turning his son into the next Tom Brady.


At the game, he’s usually in his seat 10 minutes prior to kickoff, with his three-course meal in hand, prepared for his endless in game critique. As the game commences, he’ll notice that most people around him stand and cheer from time to time. Not wanting to spill his meal, he’ll continuously tell you to “sit down” or “calm down”, so that HE can see the game.


Heaven forbid the fans around him show some signs of life and rather not destroy their back and ass on a $5 plastic seat they’ve paid 40 percent markup for.


The real reason behind "Mr. Know-It-all's" actions are simple; he doesn’t have time for yelling, cheering, or anyone acting like an idiot. He’s there to watch the game as if he were in film study, studiously breaking down every play and possession to show everyone around them what they missed.


During the course of the game, he’ll brag about how he attends OTAs and training camp, giving him unprecedented access into the inner workings of the team. He feels as though he is the liaison between the coaches, the players, and to you, the fan.


"Mr. Know-It-All" usually runs a team-specific blog on which he displays his exceptional 20/20 hindsight to point out every mistake made over the last five years.


This is the kind of guy who is a slut for statistics. To him they are the end all of debates and could never be skewed in any way. Which is why he’ll also surely be involved in fantasy football and exclaim every three minutes, “He’s on my fantasy team! when that specific player does something; regardless who he’s playing for.


As he continuously looks up at the scoreboard for his fantasy stats, this modern day Nostradamus will gloat about the time he picked up Wes Welker, Derek Anderson, Marcus Colston, or some other gem in the rough on one of his 15 fantasy teams a year.


His attempts at displaying incomparable knowledge are designed to effectively show you that he knew more than you about the game from the get go.


"Mr. Know-It-All" will probably tell you he gambles a lot on football too, offering some wild theory that he’s developed, assuring you “it can't lose”. In doing so, he’ll list his records of massive wins without every noting a single loss.


The best thing to do with this guy is put him in his place by asking him why, with all this supreme football knowledge, and incomparable gambling talent, he chooses to sit in the nosebleed sections every-week bringing in the same souvenir cup from three years ago.



Father/Son Combo


Ok, ok, I’ll try to be light on this group since we all know the sacred bond between father, son, and sport. But that doesn’t give them full immunity.


There are a handful of these father/son combos that come to a game and expect it to be just like a Sunday at their church. They’ll excitedly rush to their seats, await kickoff, with the father anxiously ready to explain the intricacies of the sport to his child.


Yet, at some point in the game, as your throat becomes a bottomless funnel for choice hops, you might open your mouth; perhaps even cheer for your team.


In doing so, you’ll probably spout some profanity-infested tirade about the situation at hand. At which point, Mr. Overprotective will turn around giving you a stern look of warning. He’s not only there to teach his child the game, but also to make sure that in doing so, his precious offspring isn’t corrupted by its inebriated fans.


However, his defensive maneuver rarely works and will only serve to provoke you since the booze has given you superhuman fortitude to stand your ground.


As the game—and beers—continue to flow, the intensity will slowly escalate to the point where he and you become more interested in provoking one another than actually watching the game. The conflict between you two has become a game within a game, each testing each others boundaries and defenses until the other can no longer sit pat.


Much like Iran and Israel, the both of you will volley warning signals and signs of aggression back and forth, in hopes of deterring the inevitable or leading the other into a first strike; thus giving you the high-ground.


Eventually, the rising tensions reach their tipping point and all hell breaks lose. However, be careful, because as I said earlier there is a line to cross. And in this case, once that happens, you’ve crossed into the realm of indecency and become the “drunk guy”.


At which point he’ll be able to call in his reinforcements known as stadium security and you’ll be ejected shortly.


From there on, you’ll be that “drunk guy” this dad will talk about at every family get-together. Reminiscing about how you ruined his sons’ first experience at a professional game and reveling in the fact that he got your season tickets revoked.



Annoying Kid


He might seem innocent, charming, or harmless, yet "Annoying Kid" is anything but. Not yet fully evolved into a raving fanatic, he is in the early stages of his maturation toward becoming “the best fan ever”.


Surely diagnosed with ADHD, he has likely forgotten to ingest his daily prescribed Ritalin, setting himself on an inventible course to annoying the crap out of everyone. From there on out, he’ll serve as a prime example for the justification for pro-choicers to all those within his section.


"Annoying Kid" will scream incessantly in a high-pitched, pre-pubescent shriek at even the most obscure of plays. He gets overly excited every time the stadium decides to ask the fans which helmet the ball is hidden under, frantically jumping up and down when he is proven right.


Furthermore, he’ll sure to boo every call the referee makes against your team, even when it was clearly the right one. He continues his assault on the refs, blaming any loss or even a drubbing on the referees; pointing out that your quarterback's four interceptions were a direct result of previous bad calls.


"Annoying Kid" has no true understanding of the game beyond his own team, but will feel it necessary to try and bait you into bantering with him about the game. I advise you to immediately realize this deception and pay little attention, for the consequences will be regrettable.


If you make such an egregious mistake, you’ll surely wish you hadn’t by games end.


"Annoying Kid" will undoubtedly engage in an endless stream of worthless banter and ESPN rhetoric, designed to prove he’s smarter than the average kid. He’ll surely tell you about the time he commanded your team in Madden NFL 08, averaging six touchdown passes a game and going undefeated for three straight seasons against the computer.


He’s not just a great video-game field general but a general manager, too. Pointing out that he effectively bamboozled the Vikings into trading AP for three fourth-round draft picks. Thus serving as the prime example that his exceptional managerial skills in a Madden franchise have given him a resume equal to that of your current GM.


Somewhere along the way he’ll brag about how he waited hours outside the players' parking lot to get the long snapper’s autograph; whom he swears will be a future star.


Since his unwavering hyperactivity and regimented Ritalin diet has left his body too small and fragile to play football himself, you can be sure he’ll make up for his lost dreams every Sunday for years to come.


Avoid having season tickets next to "Annoying Kid" at all costs, because in the end, this ever-irksome larva will hatch into something far worse, such as “Mr. Facepaint” or “Mr. Know-It-All”. 


Opposing Team Guy/Contractor Fan


Either he’s an obnoxious transplant citizen or this asshole super-fan flew hundreds of miles, for the sole purpose of pissing off everyone around him.


He is the prostitute of the football fan community, selling his allegiance and rendering his services to the highest bidder; in this case, the best team.


Many times this guy isn’t even wearing a jersey or piece of attire between the two teams playing, but rather one of “his” team. Moreover, his faded item is boasting a player who has long since retired or moved onto another team.


This haggard piece of apparel that once had the qualities of a jersey serves as his battle flag; proclaiming that he is different than anyone else in attendance.


Throughout the contest he ridicules those with any sense of loyalty, opting rather to be a mercenary fan.


Since he is naturally a bandwagon fan, he takes it upon himself to spout off about the team that is currently the best in the league. Or perhaps he’ll talk about “his” team's past Super Bowls as if they have any reference to the present game.


Either way, he’ll spend most of his time bragging on about how neither of the two teams on the field is as good as his. Joyously cheering every time the home team screws up.


However, the minute the opposing team makes an error, and those around him try to take their vengeance, he’ll likely respond with something to the tune of “I don’t care, it's not even my team, I’m a {insert recently acquired team here} fan.”


Don’t even bother with this creature, as no argument will be sufficient to persuade him that he is wrong or a complete douchebag. Since he has come there with the sole purpose of pissing you off, don’t give him that satisfaction.


Woo-Saa my friends. Woo-Saa.



Captain Noise-Maker


Perhaps the worst animal you could sit next to at any game.


Like a child, he is endlessly fascinated with making the loudest and most obnoxious noise possible. "Captain Noise-Maker" has likely brought or bought some piece of equipment specifically designed to do so in the most annoying way possible. 


So much so that by the end of the game you’ll want to find the location of the company who makes this devil's instrument and firebomb their headquarters.


Unfortunately, many times, he needs no instrument at all, since he has perfected the art of the finger whistle. Proudly showing off his talent on every defensive/offensive possession, as well as any other arbitrary event through the course of the game. 


In his mind, his ability to whistle at the most obnoxious level possible is the difference between a win and a loss.


The worst part of sitting next to "Captain Noise-Maker" is that you feel his effects hours or even days after the game, as your eardrums were savagely raped for 60 minutes by his love for noise.


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