Hey, Ump! Bend Over and Use Your Good Eye: The 20 Funniest Hecklers in Sports
Every sporting event has them. Sometimes, they're hilarious; others, you want them to spontaneously combust.
They're hecklers, and they've been a part of sports since before you, I, or Jesus was born.
But who are the best of all time? They succeed in getting under a player's skin through wit, obscenity, or sheer volume.
I've compiled a list of 20 of the funniest signs and sign holders of all time.
20. The Buffalo Bills' Training Camp Hecklers
So, all these hecklers managed to do was prevent their entire section from getting Bills' players' autographs after practice, plus earn them a stern talking to from head coach Chan Gailey.
Sounds like a win-win scenario to me.
19. Bleacher Creatures, Yankee Stadium
They're loud, they're vulgar, and worst of all, they're Yankees fans. The fans of section 203 in the new Yankee Stadium are among the most vicious hecklers in all of sports, although they do, on occasion, have funny moments.
18. Bleacher Bums, Wrigley Field
The Chicago wing of Creatures, the Bleacher Bums have been tormenting opposing outfielders in the Friendly Confines since your dad was a kid. Much like the Creatures, they rely on copious amounts of alcohol to come up with their wit.
17. Illinois Ice Hockey Hecklers
Apparently, at Illinois University hockey games, the crowd can get rather vulgar. It seems that these three gentlemen have enlisted the help of several classmates to scour Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and every other conceivable social network to find any weakness in opponents.
Once the game starts, they let them have it.
16. The People Who Made This Sign
For those who have poor eyesight, this sign reads "Ruth did it on hot dogs & beer. Aaron did it with class. How did YOU do it?"
It's directed at Barry Bonds. I love this sign.
15. IU Student Section
As a current resident of Indiana, I know better than to get involved in this war. But this particular salvo made me laugh for almost a solid minute.
14. LeBron James' Hecklers at Cedar Point
How do you know you've pissed off an entire state? When you can't shoot baskets at an amusement park without drawing calls of "Shoot with your left, LeBron, your elbow's hurt!" or "Just like Game 5!"
13. UNC Fans
Yes. I enjoyed this. It was funny. Don't worry, Duke fans. Your time is coming soon.
12. Robert Szasz
Szasz is a Tampa Bay real estate developer. He took advantage of the small, quiet crowds at Tropicana Field to unleash some crazy taunts on Rays' opponents. Former Mariner Brett Boone and former Royal Jose Guillen were two of his more prominent reactions, with Boone getting into a yelling match with Szasz, and Guillen offering him a pair of signed bats to shut up.
But the Happy Heckler keeps on going.
11. These Guys
I don't know why, but these signs kill me. Maybe it's the ref's "Don't react, just pretend you can't see them" face.
10. Tiger's Plane Message
During the 2010 Masters, Tiger's first tournament after he got caught with his little Tiger in a bunch of different cookie jars, this banner was seen being towed behind a plane.
Naturally, the FAA grounded it, because they have nothing better to do.
9. The Guy From Happy Gilmore
Who could forget that iconic phrase?
"You suck, you JACKASS!"
8. Spike Lee
Lee is a big time movie director, making him the highest profile name on this list. Except, of course, for number seven, who Lee had quite the run in with.
7. Reggie Miller
One of the best instances of a player heckling a heckler right back. Plus, this is an amazing picture.
6. Cameron Crazies
The Crazies were pioneers among the heckling community. Among the first groups to use cheat sheets, the Crazies helped perfect the moving in unison that has become a staple of fan bases across the country.
Plus, they seem to work, as the uncomfortable look on that Georgetown player's face would indicate.
5. The Phillie Phanatic
The Phanatic is one of the classic mascot hecklers. He loves stomping opposing batting helmets, and has been assaulted by former Dodgers manager Tommy LaSorda. His debut in 1978 was definitely a success, and he's been annoying Phillies' opponents ever since.
4. The San Diego Chicken
The Chicken is legendary among mascots. He started as an advertisement, but was often affiliated with the Padres. The Chicken is notable for lacking a true team, although he was first seen in San Diego.
For being a pioneer in the realm of costumed mascots, the Chicken makes No. 4.
3. This Kid
Why is this kid so high on the list? Because he might be one of the most awkward looking children I've ever seen. Couple that with the sign and you have heckling hilarity of the highest proportion.
2. The Green Men
These guys go to every Vancouver Canucks game and wait for an opposing player to get a penalty. Once the box door swings closed, they do everything in their power to get a reaction from the man in the square.
Typically, they get a laugh, but on occasion, players don't take too kindly to their shenanigans.
1. Robin Ficker
Ficker is the consumate heckler. Doesn't waste time on refs or scrubs, he goes straight for the stars. And nothing is sacred for this man with the booming voice.
An example of his talents: Despite spending his whole career as a Washington Bullets/Wizards fan, Charles Barkley once hired him to heckle Michael Jordan during their playoff series. Ficker busted out giant dice and cards, and dealt real hands, asking Jordan to place his bet.
Eventually a grinning Jordan started raising fingers, telling him how much he was wagering. It didn't matter, though; the Bulls beat the Suns in the series. But Ficker's place in heckling lore was sealed that series, and he will remain an icon in the field for decades.