The 20 Types of Poser Sports Fans

Laura Depta@lauradeptaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2014

The 20 Types of Poser Sports Fans

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    Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

    No one likes a poser—especially not a poser sports fan.

    People have many different reasons for liking sports or sporting events. Fans don’t have to know everything. They don’t have to be stat wizards. They just have to be honest and not pretend to be something they’re not. That’s all.

    If someone just likes going to games, drinking a few beers and enjoying the atmosphere, that’s totally cool. If that person is completely open about why he enjoys the experience, then he is not a poser. But if that person claims to be a huge fan, then he is a poser.

    There are different types of poser sports fans. There are bandwagon fans or fans ignorant to all sports rules. There are fans without original opinions or worse, fans who wear pink jerseys.

    But all told, in my experience, posers generally fall into one of the following 20 categories.

    Some categories cover offenses that more egregious or embarrassing than others. But they all have one thing in common—all posers are annoying to real fans.

    How annoying are they? And how are they directly contrasting with real fans themselves? Let’s find out.

    Disclaimer: This excludes little kids. Little kids should not have to face my subjective criticism.

20. The Anti-Statistician

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    Kiichiro Sato/Associated Press

    Listen, statistics are hard to memorize. I don’t expect even real fans to just sit around and recite current stats.

    But I do expect them to understand the most basic stat lines and their implications. If a fan doesn’t know that a .160 batting average is hideous, or what RBI stands for, then he is a poser.

    If he doesn’t get why shooting .500 from behind the arc is freaking awesome yet shooting .500 from the free-throw line is ghastly, then he is a poser.

    Real fans understand basic stats, even if they don’t have them memorized.

19. The Out-of-Date Jersey Owner

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    Duane Burleson/Associated Press

    True, sometimes this type of fan isn’t so much pretending as he is lazy or cheap.

    Vintage jerseys, retired numbers or jerseys with no names (a Yankees No. 7 for example) are fine, but only posers wear the jersey of some not-exactly-a-superstar player who isn't even on his team anymore.

    For instance, no real fan would choose to wear an Oakland Athletics jersey with the name “Swisher” on the back.

18. The Mispronouncer

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Chicago Blackhawks fans would know that it’s pronounced “Tays,” not “Toes.” Detroit Lions fans could spit out “Ndamukong Suh” without blinking an eye.

    You might not know the benchwarmers or the practice squad guys, but if a fan claims to be a Dukie and mispronounces “Krzyzewski,” he is a poser.

    Real fans know how to say the names of their favorite players and coaches, even if the spelling looks like gibberish.

17. The Accuser

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    Michael Dodge/Getty Images

    What’s that they say about protesting too much?

    If a fan is consistently more concerned with accusing others of being posers, then perhaps he is one himself. This won’t always be the case, but I suspect it often is.

    Real fans don’t care if other people are posers because they’re too busy watching, you know, games.

16. The Broken Record

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    Mark E. Tenally/Associated Press

    The Broken Record simply repeats the same sentiment over and over again.

    He may have heard it somewhere else, or he may have thought it up himself. But either way, he lacks the creativity and quick-thinking skills to form new opinions on the fly.

    This fan once had the opinion that perhaps the Washington Redskins are better off with Kirk Cousins at quarterback. Unfortunately, weeks later, he still can’t shut up about it as if it’s some great heavenly sports nugget sent straight from above.

    Just as fashionistas regularly change their opinion on the latest styles, real sports fans continually develop new critical thoughts and analyses.

15. The Premature Departer

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    Look. If it’s below wind chill and your team is getting shelled, I can maybe sort of understand leaving a game early. Then again, if a person went to a game with that type of forecast in the first place, he’s probably not a poser.

    However, if a fan leaves a close baseball game in the seventh inning because he’s bored or the beer sales are over, that fan is a poser.

    If a certain basketball team is playing in the NBA Finals and its fans leave the game early only to miss out on an epic comeback and overtime win, then those fans are Grade-A, big-time posers.

    Real fans don’t leave games early for wussy reasons.

14. The Rule Ignoramus

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Sometimes, not even the athletes themselves know the rulebooks inside and out. Fans don’t have to either to be considered “real.”

    But fans do need to know that it’s 10 yards to a first down or three strikes and you’re out. Fans should know that if the ball-carrier’s knee is down, the ball is dead. Fans should know that three steps constitutes traveling.

    If someone claims to be a fan of a particular sport yet doesn’t know even the simplest of rules, that fan is a poser.

    Real fans understand their game(s) of choice well enough to understand the goings-on without relying on commentary or Google.

13. The Avoider

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    This fan, maybe without even thinking about it, avoids actually watching the game.

    This happens perhaps more often in bars or at parties, but I’m amazed to see supposed “fans” get all dressed up in their jerseys, make a big deal about the “big game” and then watch exactly zero seconds of game action.

    This might sound simple, but real fans watch the game. Real fans wait for a break in innings to go to the bathroom or for a timeout to make a trip to the bar.

12. The Instagrammer

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    I tend to see a lot of selfies being taken at sporting events these days.

    If a fan’s main purpose (or even a remotely important purpose) at a sporting event is to position himself for a perfectly filtered selfie that he can immediately splash on Instagram, guess what? He’s not a real fan.

    Real fans don’t go to games to post about it.

    In fact, sometimes lifelong baseball fans go all the way to Fenway Park for the first time ever and forget to take a picture the whole time they’re there because they're too wrapped up in the game—as a random example.

11. The Double-Timer

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    The Double-Timer is a fan who roots for two teams in the same sport.

    For example, a fan lives in New York and roots for both the Yankees and Mets. Or, he lives in North Dakota and randomly roots for the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings.

    Now, someone roots for the Yankees in baseball because he grew up in New York and the Spartans in college football because he went to school at Michigan State University? That’s fine. But he’s not rooting for MSU football and Alabama football—unless of course he’s a poser.

    Real fans don’t do double duty in the same sport.

10. The Traitor

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    The Traitor is a flip-flopper, constantly switching teams, players or coaches as it suits him.

    This fan will be all about the Detroit Tigers (even though he’s from Texas, let’s say). He will go on and on about Justin Verlander’s fastball and the dominance of Miguel Cabrera. He will know things about this team, but he won’t be loyal to it.

    The second a sexier story comes along, he’s gone, claiming, “Well, I’m from Texas, it’s not like I was ever diehard for the Tigers,” or some such related bull honky.

    This fan will be all about RGIII, thinking RGIII is the greatest thing to happen to the NFL since the first-down line, but as soon as RGIII isn’t headlining sports news every day, this fan will move on.

    Real fans don’t flip-flop. They are strong in their resolve, and they don’t forcefully and repetitively state opinions unless those opinions are solid.

9. The Mover

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    A dude is from Chicago, he grew up there, he “loved” all of the teams, and then all a sudden, after college he moved to Denver and started rooting for the Broncos.

    Nope. Much like his family member the Traitor, he’s a poser.

    Geography does not matter to real fans. 

8. The Reader

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    J Pat Carter/Associated Press

    The reader is that fan that brings a book to a baseball game or, more often, buries his face in his phone for the duration of the experience.

    These fans think that there is other entertainment needed besides the game itself. The game is not enough for these fans. The game is not sufficient.

    Real fans don’t need additional media at sporting events. Real fans only want the game.

7. The Marrier

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    Chris Hondros/Getty Images

    This fan married into a team much like he married into his in-laws.

    Let’s say someone is a fan of the Boston Celtics. He’s from Boston, he digs Rondo, he thinks the Garden is awesome—whatever. Then he marries some chick who is just nuts over the Miami Heat.

    He’s all about the Heat now, buying a Dwyane Wade jersey and cursing LeBron James for leaving—as if he cares.

    There are some circumstances where this type of fandom is OK—for instance, you didn’t have a team so you just adopted your spouse's. That’s reasonable—after all, you inherited this person’s parents, might as well inherit the sports team.

    However, real fans don’t switch teams just because they got married. Only posers do that.

6. The Anti-Recognizer

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    Remember when Jimmy Fallon pulled that prank with Matt Harvey? You know, the one where Matt Harvey went around and asked New York Mets fans what they thought about Matt Harvey?

    The fans that didn’t recognize him, yet had strong opinions about him, were big-time posers.

    Please check out the dude that claimed Matt Harvey was his favorite player. Poser.

    Real fans know what their favorite players look like.

5. The Fantasy Prioritzer

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    Richard Shotwell/Associated Press

    No fantasy team should be more important than a fan’s real-life team.

    Just because some guy picked Peyton Manning in fantasy doesn’t mean he should be happy when No. 18 completes a touchdown pass against his team’s secondary.

    Real fans know that fantasy is second to reality.

4. The Generic Insulter

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    Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

    “Your team sucks!” is this fan’s best material.

    This fan is generally more insistent on insulting another team than rooting for his own. If you listen closely, you’ll find that if this is the case, the insults are usually vague and uncreative.

    The Generic Insulter is akin to the Accuser—distant cousins perhaps. Just as the Accuser focuses too much on the opposing team’s fans, so too does the Generic Insulter focus too much on the opposing team itself.

    Real fans focus on encouraging their own team to win, not urging other teams to lose.

3. The Bandwagon Rider

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    Posers hop on and off the bandwagon faster than Marshawn Lynch can inhale a bag of Skittles.

    Cousin to the Double-Timer and the Traitor, the Bandwagon Rider is the worst in the family.

    Listen, if a fan was born in Cleveland, that’s a bummer—I get it. But what I don’t get is jumping ship to root for Miami as soon as LeBron James did or deciding to suddenly love the Seattle Seahawks because hey, at least they’re good.

    Posers generally have some type of excuse for their bandwagon jumping, but don’t be fooled.

    Real fans stick with their teams through thick and thin. Real fans are loyal. Real fans go down with the ship.

2. The Regurgitator

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    Dan Harr/Associated Press

    If flapping jaw at a bar was the same as writing an essay for the SATs, then this type of fan would be expelled.

    The Broken Record’s cousin, this fan has no original thoughts. This fan simply has the intellectual capacity to remember a few snippets of chatter he heard on sports news or read online.

    The Regurgitator may sound knowledgeable, but if put through the plagiarism ringer, he would fail miserably.

    A real fan knows enough about the game to form his own opinions.

1. The Pink Jersey Wearer

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    There is only one acceptable time to wear a pink jersey: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To do so for any other reason (uness your team's color is pink) is such an egregious error that it’s hard to describe the loathsomeness of it.

    Fans who don any apparel in alternate colors are loathsome in general, but pink is the worst. 

    Pink Jersey Wearers are generally more concerned with looking cute (maybe friends with some Instagrammers?) than supporting their team.

    Real fans don’t wear pink.