30 Most Infamous Fans in Sports History

Zack Pumerantz@z_pumerantzAnalyst IIIJuly 6, 2011

30 Most Infamous Fans in Sports History

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    While athletes are the main attraction at sporting events, there are those special occasions when a fan steals the show.

    Whether they blatantly interfere during a live play or they just happen to be famous celebrities who take camera time away from their athletic counterparts, these fans have made more than a name for themselves.

    They have carved their names into the history books with their unique antics.

    It may be a distraction for visiting teams or a supportive force in the stands for the home team, but either way it's always a party.

    Here are the 30 most (in)famous fans in sports.


30. Rainbow Man

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    While he was more into religion than sports, Rollen Stewart made appearances at the World Series, Super Bowl, Olympics and World Cup.

    1992 was arguably the worst year of his life.

    The Los Angeles Times said he was planning to assassinate President Bush and candidate Clinton, and he then received three life sentences for holding a maid hostage at a Hyatt.

29. Dictating His Loyalty

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    He may be a feared dictator, but Kim Jong Il has a soft spot for the hardwood.

    Obsessed with the Chicago Bulls, this dictator has a video library with all of Michael Jordan's games.

    I never would have guessed.

28. Scott Crull's Roller-Coaster Ride

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    This story presents the ultimate roller-coaster ride.

    In August of 1977, the Cubs' Bobby Murcer promised to hit a home run for Scott Crull, a terminally ill child. 

    Murcer hit two of them, which was remarkable considering he only hit nine the following season. He just wanted to fulfill this dying boy's last wish.

    Broadcasting the game nationally on ABC, Keith Jackson told the country about the situation.

    The only problem was that nobody told Crull that he was dying.

    His parents were beyond horrified.

27. The Snow Throwers in Philly

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    In 1968, the Eagles were amidst their worst season in franchise history.

    They had recently been 0-11 with the chance to draft O.J. Simpson first overall, but ruined that dream by winning two in a row.

    At halftime of the final regular-season game, Philadelphia fans decided to bombard Santa Claus with snowballs and end his night early. 

    True holiday spirit.

26. Joe from WFAN

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    Many people may remember Joe Benigno as a frequent caller to WFAN, while others know him for his all-sports New York radio station.

    This loyal Mets, Jets and Rangers fan won the station’s Fan Appreciation Day contest in 1994 for a chance to host his own show.

    One year later and for the next decade, he was WFAN’s overnight guy.

    In 2004, he was presented with the 10am-1pm timeslot for his good work.

    He provides hope to all radio enthusiasts out there.

25. Parachuting Fan Man

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    Known for parachuting onto playing fields during live games or events, James Miller, also known as Fan Man, is quite the passionate individual.

    He has skydived into the stands of an L.A. Raiders/Denver Broncos game and even a soccer match in England.

    Fox Sports Net naturally ranked this incident as its "Most Outrageous Sports Moment."

    Just try to digest this for a moment.

24. The Barrel Man in Denver

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    This remarkable super fan began his tradition after a bet.

    After losing a $10 bet with his brother in 1977 over whether wearing an orange barrel would get him on television, Tim McKernan began wearing only a barrel to Broncos games, regardless of the weather.

    Ultimate dedication.

23. James Goldstein

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    Attending over 100 NBA games per season, including all the home games of the Lakers and Clippers, this multi-millionaire fan continues to invest his money in basketball.

    David Stern surely isn't complaining, except about Goldstein's fashion.

    Sounds like the Mark Cuban of fans.

22. Who Let the Dawgs out in the Dawg Pound

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    Rarely does a receiver feel adventurous or suicidal enough to jump into this section of Cleveland Browns Stadium.

    Chad Johnson felt obliged to test it out.

    He wasn't pleased with the results and it's doubtful he will ever return.

    Other receivers took note.

21. Washington Hogettes

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    This is seemingly a PG version of Gangland.

    Unique and zealous, these fans clearly have what it takes to reach super-fan stardom.

    While their beloved Redskins are far from hinting at a contending season, they continue to grow strong and be true to their heroes.

20. Omnipresent Jack

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    Known as one of the most iconic figures at Lakers games, Jack Nicholson constantly brings his celebrity appeal to the arena and seemingly believes his input is needed as the refs discuss each call.

    The support can't be ignored and the enthusiasm is refreshing.

    It's good to see age become insignificant when judging passion.

19. Fireman Ed

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    Most Jets fans don't remember a time without the most passionate fan at Jets games yelling and screaming until the fat lady sang.

    Edwin Anzalone is a leader of the throng and continues to pump up the New York fans for eight brutal and nail-biting home games during the regular season in preparation for the playoffs.

    There is never a time that Fireman Ed doesn't have veins punctuating his forehead.

    His passion is immeasurable.

18. Rudy Having Attachment Issues

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    The former mayor of New York was an icon during the 2001 World Series following the World Trade Center tragedy.

    Once seen as a dedicated Yankees fan, Rudy Giuliani caused some suspicion in 2007.

    He was quoted as saying, "I'm rooting for the Red Sox, I'm an American League fan, and I go with the American League team—maybe with exception of the Mets."

    Some clarification is needed immediately.

17. John Green Faces Artest's Rage

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    This Pistons fan expected nothing less from the NBA's most prolific nuisance when he decided to throw a full cup of beer at Ron Artest during this epic matchup.

    The impending brawl included a plethora of players from both teams and featured an exciting finish.

    The matchups may have been slightly unfair though.

16. The King of Sox

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    Often seen in the Boston stands at Fenway Park, many find it fitting that horror novelist Stephen King loves a team with such a disheartening and cursed past.

    He has written two books that involve the Red Sox and he was seen throughout the 2004 postseason, including the monumental ALCS against the Yankees.

    Whether he is good luck or just flirting with the curses is left for debate.

15. Hank Aaron's Fan Club: Britt Gaston and Cliff Courtney

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    There is no better way to celebrate a record-setting home run than touching the bases with the culprit himself.

    After Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, these two fans decided to join the jogging party.

    It may be pronounced "yogging," as the "J" is silent.

    Apparently you just run; quite the phenomenon.

14. Judd in Time

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    After moving to Kentucky when she was six years old, Ashley Judd fell in love with Kentucky basketball.

    She attended the University of Kentucky and even had the team over for dinner after a first-round NCAA tournament game in 2003, having them all sign her wall as well.

    If Judd is as vocal as she is during her movie roles, Kentucky is lucky to have her.

    Looks like it.

13. Charmed Dodgers

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    While she has clogged screens with her mediocre, yet attractive acting for years, Alyssa Milano also has a passion for sports...well, just the Dodgers.

    With a line of baseball clothes for females called "Touch," season tickets to the Dodgers and a blog that is featured on MLB.com, Milano has established herself as an influential force in the Los Angeles system.

    She even dated former Dodgers Brad Penny and Russell Martin, taking care of yet another facet of the team.

12. Spike Lee Is the Heart and Soul of the Knicks

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    Spike Lee goes to more Knicks games than the New York head coach.

    A constant next to the Knicks bench, the accomplished director has made it clear that he will support his favorite team through thick and thin.

    While times are getting better and the future looks bright, Lee certainly remembers the days when mediocrity was expected.

    Time heals all wounds.

11. The Green Man Group

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    Known as the Vancouver Canucks' secret weapons, these green men wait for opposing players to enter the feared penalty box.

    They then mock and provoke them with a variety of acrobatic moves that distract the best in the game.

    Charlie Day from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia certainly wishes he had this flexibility because his green man is quite underdeveloped.

10. Diversity Isn't Just an Old, Old Wooden Ship

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    Will Ferrell has been known to excite fans with his humor, but here he saves a football team.

    Head coach Pete Carroll and Ferrell executed a successful Halloween prank on the USC football team.

    The always comical Elf at his best.

    Well done, sir.

9. World Cup 2010 Features Larissa Riquelme

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    This fan clearly knows how to get attention.

    A fan of the Paraguay national football team, as well as the club Cerro Porteño, Riquelme was first spotted during the 2010 World Cup

    While she was being filmed celebrating a goal during the game between Paraguay and Slovakia, the media noticed something more. 

    She shows us the correct way to hold a cell phone.

8. Crystal Pinstripes

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    Yankees fanatic Billy Crystal loves to switch it up.

    He signed a "deal" with the Yankees to celebrate his 60th birthday and fans were ecstatic.

    His swing looked smooth during his leadoff at-bat as DH during a spring training game, but his stamina needed some improvement.

    Either way, it was a worthy signing.

    Low risk, high reward.

    He also directed 61*, the story of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.

7. The All-Star Heckler

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    Washington Bullets fan Robin Ficker was known as the most prominent heckler in sports.

    Not only did he get under Jazz coach Frank Layden's skin after reminding him that USA Today had rated him Worst Dressed Coach, but he also was recruited by Charles Barkley in the 1993 Suns/Bulls NBA Finals to sit behind the Chicago bench and do what he did best.

    He was ejected in the first quarter.

6. Captain Fantastic

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    In 1976, Elton John became the chairman of Watford FC, the team of which he has been a lifelong fan.

    He infused the club with money, and they reached the FA Cup in 1984.

    Their loss resulted in a flood of tears from the talented singer. 

    He has been involved in the team's business for 30 years, and his passion doesn't seem to be fading one bit.

5. Phillies Fan Can't Contain Himself

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    Say it, don't spray it.

    This 21-year-old New Jersey native got three months in jail after vomiting on a police officer and his daughters at a Philadelphia Phillies game last year.

    Matthew Clemmens and his friend were sitting behind off-duty Easton, Pa., police Capt. Michael Vangelo and his two daughters.

    After his friend was kicked out for accidentally spitting on Vangelo's daughter, Clemmens decided to use his backup weapon—breakfast that morning.

    There is nothing more grotesque than being thrown up on.

    A young girl learned that the hard way.

4. Jenny from the Block

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    While she is now known for much more than being an FSU cowgirl, Jenn Sterger certainly opened eyes when she was first spotted by ABC.

    For Brett Favre, it was love at first sight.

    For the rest of us, all we can do is smile.

3. Gunter Parche Decides This Match

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    Known as an obsessed fan of Steffi Graf who was determined to see her return to the top of the rankings, Gunter Parche became infamous during a 1993 match between Graf and Monica Seles.

    He stabbed the former No. 1-ranked Seles, changing women's tennis forever.

    That wasn't the only tragedy as Parche only received a two-year suspended sentence and was ordered to attend mandatory counseling.


2. Maier of New York

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    While Yankees fans love him, Baltimore fanatics cringe at the mention of his name.

    Jeffrey Maier was a 12-year-old fan who saw an opportunity to help his team.

    In Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS against the Orioles, the Yankees saw light at the end of the tunnel. 

    Derek Jeter hit a deep fly ball that seemed within reach for right fielder Tony Tarasco, but before Tarasco could reach for it, Maier pulled the ball in and secured a home run for Jeter.

    To the dismay of the Orioles, the umpires didn't call it fan interference.

    Maier attempted a baseball career after this remarkable play, and it was once rumored that the Orioles would consider drafting him.

    The team denied those claims.

1. Steve Bartman in Baseball's Most Controversial Moment

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    No fan has received more death threats and garnered more hate from other fans than this Cubs fan.

    Many fans believe Steve Bartman ruined the Cubs' chances at victory in one of the most infamous moments in history, despite the disaster that followed this play.

    In 2008, Moises Alou was quoted by the Associated Press as saying, "You know what the funny thing is? I wouldn't have caught it, anyway."

    While he denies these comments, he did say, "It's time to forgive the guy and move on."

    He's sure right about that.