That Guy: The 10 Most Annoying Sports Fans in America
The fan. The single most important element of any sport.
The athlete, the coach, the game—all of those things are just there for our entertainment.
What really matters is the fan. The rest literally get together at our bidding to perform for us. We pay the money to watch them do it. We buy the products that the advertisers sell that gives the money to the networks that they give to the league that the league gives to the teams that the teams give to the athletes, the coaches, and even the cheerleaders.
Yes, it all starts with us.
Yet while the fan has all the power, there are those of us who misuse our power and neglect our responsibilities, the biggest of which is a simple task: to merely not be annoying.
It's not complicated. Just avoid being these guys, and you'll avoid being one of the most annoying fans in the country.
The "Cleveland" Guy
This is the love-spurned teen who can't accept that his lifelong crush is just unrequited. Yes, you were "best friends" but you were never lovers. While your love was sincere, she just didn't like you "in that way."
The bottom line: you just weren't hot enough.
Sorry Cleveland, it's not a slight, it's a fact. You can go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame only so many times. You need to stop pining over what wasn't, whether it's "The Drive" in the 80s, the Cavs in the 90s, the Indians in the first part of the 00s, or the Cavs in the second part.
The Prom Queen is just setting her sights on guys that are cuter. The big time stars are going to go to the glitz and the glamour, not the city that cooks their fish before they catch them.
Lower your sights and expectations and you'll have a happier life. You can't blame the athletes; the heart wants what it wants.
The "Stats" Guy
This is the guy who thinks that everything in sports can be measured by numbers.
He'll argue that whoever has the highest OPS is the MVP. He'll base all his arguments around True Average and WAR or PER and not ever hear a thing about what the limitations are.
Sometimes things just don't make sense and don't work by the numbers. Take the two times in the last decade the Cardinals played in the World Series.
The first time, in all of baseball, they had the best stats and the best record with 105 wins. They got swept and had the door slammed on them by a guy that was basically pitching with one foot and a stump. The second time they had 83 wins, were given the worst shot of any team in the postseason, and they beat the Tigers in five games.
Stats tell much but they don't tell all. The best team doesn't always win and the best players don't always play the best.
The "Gut" Guy
This guy likes to predicate arguments with "sometimes numbers lie."
Numbers lie to him whenever they disagree with his opinion. Objectivity has no place in debates with him, neither does subjectivity unless it's his own. He likes to say things like "if you actually WATCH the games," as though he's the only one who does so, or that knowing who leads the league in batting and watching baseball are mutually exclusive things.
Online, this guy likes to accompany his arguments with frequent use of CAPS.
Sometimes stats do lie, but that can be the laziest argument in sports. Sometimes subjectivity lies, too; an honest sports fan reconciles what they see with what the numbers show. Most inconsistencies between stats and "reality" are in reality, inconsistencies between what actually happens and what we think happens.
If the stats have never shown you were wrong, you're this guy. If you've never been wrong in a sports debate, you're this guy. Get a mental crow bar and pry your mind open! You'll actually learn something.
The "Chicago" Guy
Chicago is the un-Cleveland in terms of winning. Cleveland is the city whose three major sports teams have gone the longest without a championship. With the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup win, Chicago has now won all four major championships in the most recent time frame. They also have a President.
You'd think that would make them happy right?
For whatever reason, Chicago celebrates with riots. Why does winning make Chicagoans want to go out and riot? If there is a city that needs "joy counseling," it's got to be Chicago. If "Da Bears" ever win again, I'm locking my doors and hiding!
The "Clone" Guy
This guy models himself after the most annoying person on the radio.
He believes that excessive uses of the words "epic," myopic," and "karma" make him sound like he knows what he's talking about. He likes to pontificate and talk down to athletes in the second person.
Just like Jim Rome, the "clones" have an over-inflated sense of their own knowledge and place in the sports world. They think they are more informed than anyone else, but they are "myopically" (yes, I went there) focused on one man's half-informed opinion.
If you're a "clone," expand your pool and talk like a normal person. You're not in high school anymore, stop trying so hard to be cool.
The "New York" Guy.
New York fans are all about "story lines" and soap operas.
If it's not over-dramatic, it's not dramatic enough. If it's not hyperbole, it's understated. Witness Darrelle Revis, Jeter vs. A-Rod, and so on. There seems to be some perpetual drama going on in New York, and if they don't have on, they'll invent one.
The perfect example is the whole LeBron scenario.
For two years, the entire city persuaded themselves that a Yankees hat meant that LeBron would inevitably be a Knick some day. For two years it's a force-fed story. Then, literally the day after LeBron stiffs the Knicks to "take his talents to South Beach," the rumor mill starts swirling about the inevitable arrival of Carmelo, and within a week, Chris Paul is added to the mix as well.
And all of this without either player ever saying the words "New" and "York" in the same sentence.
I know this is a hard thing for New Yorkers to accept but there are places some people would "rather be" no matter how lovely a place it is. That's because they don't want to be part of a junior high gossip mill every waking hour of their lives.
The "Idiom" Guy
This guy likes to speak in idioms, thinking that by using such phrases as "There's no 'I' in team," or "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing," he makes himself seem wise.
But knowing idioms isn't the same thing as knowing sports.
I once was watching TNT and Stephen A. Smith literally had back-to-back rants. In the first, he was criticizing a player for thinking it was "all about him" and kept saying, "There's no 'I' in team." Then on another subject, he was arguing that LeBron was overrated because "he still hadn't won anything."
The blatant contradiction between these two rants never seemed to cross his mind.
The idiom guy doesn't really think things through that deeply. Actual discussion doesn't get anywhere with him because he thinks that, if you don't agree with his argument, it must be because you didn't hear it, so he'll just say the same thing over and over until you concede the point out sheer exhaustion.
The "Kobe" Fan
This guy has a compulsive need to inject Kobe into every conversation.
If you're talking about the Mavericks, he's talking about Kobe.
If you talk about LeBron, he's talking about Kobe.
If you're talking about Duncan, he's talking about Kobe.
If you're talking about Roger Federer, he's talking about Kobe.
My advice to the Kobe fan is simple: If the topic isn't Kobe, then leave Kobe out of it. We appreciate your ridiculously over-the-top man-crush, but please, save it for the bedroom!
This doesn't have to be "Kobe," as it can have other manifestations, but for right now Kobe is the most common.
The "I Played" Guy
This guy thinks you have to be a chicken to know how to cook an egg.
His one year of playing second string on the JV team means that he knows more about the sport than anyone else. He frequently refers to "when he played" to ensure that you understand that his superior knowledge is based on experience.
"I Played" Guy, we appreciate your year of service to the sport and we give it all the credence it deserves. However, you are not the only person who ever played. I'm fairly certain of that. There are also certain things that can be learned through observation.
You really don't have to be a chicken to cook an egg. Get over yourself.
The "Ring" Guy
This guy insists that all that matters are "rings." Greatness is measured by championships and only championships.
According to him Derek Fisher is "greater" than John Stockton because "he's got the rings." Robert Horry is greater than Karl Malone because "he's got the rings."
"Rings" Guy needs to understand that, unless you're talking about tennis, there's more to greatness than championships because there's more than one player involved in winning.
Great QBs need receivers, and great receivers need someone to throw the ball. Great backs need someone to open holes. Great offenses need defenses, and great defenses can't score enough points to win.
As long as we're talking about team sports, great teams can contain great players but great players aren't always going to be on great teams. Kevin Garnett did not become great when he won a ring. He was great already. He just changed teams.
The "Never Admit I'm Wrong" Guy
There was a time when the debate raging on the Internet was Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady.
Manning fans argued that he had the stats, Brady fans argued that he had the rings. Manning fans said he'd win, too, if he had a defense. Brady fans argued that he'd have the stats, too, if he had the receivers. Both insisted in all vehemence that the other side was wrong.
Within a couple of years, Manning got his defense, and Brady got his receivers. Not surprisingly, Manning got his ring and Brady got his stats.
Turns out that both fans were right. Yet, I don't think I ever saw a thread that said "I was wrong." If you're going to say "I told you so," you need to be adult enough to say you were wrong.