Fans are what make sports work. In the same way that grocery stores can't operate without high school students, professional sports don't exist without fans.
Think about it, you have egotistical (and often illiterate) athletes, money crazed owners, power crazed coaches and money-power crazed advertisers who feed off the hopes and dreams of our youth. None of that can work without die-hard, scream-til-you're-blue-in-the-face, throw-the-remote-at-the-TV, fans who hang on every moment, every move, and every decision the front office of their favorite franchise makes. Fans make sports go. If the fans leave, the team leaves (see Expos, Montreal or Super Sonics, Seattle).
Fans are the heart and soul of professional sports and rightfully so. We're accustomed to paying inordinate amounts of cash monies to see them, spending ungodly amounts of time researching player injuries, and sacrificing our bodies for our team.
Not in the "I'd run a marathon or dive in front of a bullet for you" kind of way, but more in a "I'll gorge myself on fried food and paint my beer-gut for you" kind of way.
Fans can be everything that is right with sports. A dad taking his son to his first
baseball football game, a kid getting an autograph from his favorite player, or a child reaching out for a high five as players walk off the field.
Pretty much anything to do with children. Because adult fans end up ruining everything.
In honor of you, the fan, I'm presenting a list of the 8 worst types of fans (I chose eight instead of ten because you'll stop reading after four and writing six extra ones seemed excessive). Here we go!
1) Fans of great teams- There's nothing worse than a friend who is a fan of a great team. They just don't get it. You have to put up with them saying things like, "I wonder if Tom Brady will resign for $50 million or $150 million." or "Man, Kobe really is working hard in the gym. I hope he doesn't hurt his finger." They don't have real worries. I worry about whether or not my team will have a running back who is conscious for a whole season, or how long it will take the Wizards to hurt John Wall, or when Ovechkin will decide if he teams up with Sidney Crosby they could be the Heat of the NHL! I worry about when Strasburg's "shoulder inflamation" is going to turn into an elbow injury, which will turn into Tommy John Surgery, and then into the IR, then the DL (no, I don't know the difference between the IR and DL in baseball and no, I don't care), then the minors, then bald and fatness. I wish I had the chance to worry about whether Peyton Manning is doing too many commercials or way too many commercials, instead of worrying "Will my quarterback sign a contract that extends past this season?"
2) Fans of terrible teams- On the flip side of fans of great teams, are these worthless bottom feeders. Here's my thing, I love to discuss sports. I'll argue the value of Frank Gore in fantasy terms with the addition of Brian Westbrook and the loss of Glenn Coffee all day long. I love the discussion, the disagreement, the favoritism. It's all good. As long as its semi-rational. I don't even need a coherent, congruent thought process. I just need semi-logical. But I cannot discuss things with you when you get irrational, and fans of terrible sports teams are the most illogical folk around.
- "We'll be good next year, we're just too young." No. Your team has been terrible for 15 years, its not changing unless your owner dies and I buy the team.
- "The Yankees time is ending, the Orioles are going to run the division soon." False. The Yankees have dominated you for as long as existence has existed.
- "The Cowboys will win the Super Bowl this year." Just like they won that 1 playoff game this decade? One less playoff game than the Redskins have won this decade? (I'm grasping, but whatever. Its true.)
Just don't make stupid arguments. Anyone can get drunk and say things like, "Your mom is a free agent!" That doesn't make you right. Or smart. Or someone I'm not punching.
3) Non-oscillating fans- Why would you make a fan that doesn't rotate? That's not efficient.
4) Fans who care about their fantasy team over their regular team- I love fantasy football. Love it. I'm all in, 100%. However, I live by a few rules in fantasy football. Don't draft Cowboys players, don't draft Redskins players, and don't draft anyone from the Browns. Granted the last two are because there's no one worthwhile on those teams, but the first rule is in place so I'll never have to root for the Cowboys or any of their players. Nothing worse than being in the room with a guy who is rooting for Miles Austin to score, but the Redskins to win.
5) Fans of Self-Glorifying Athletes- Look, if LeBron is your favorite basketball player, Adrian Peterson is your favorite footballer and Alex Rodriguez is your man in baseball there is a problem. Everyone can see that. But if you're a Vikings fan and you're following Brett Favre's every move you have a bigger problem. I've never seen a group of grown men grovel at the feet of a man, begging him to return to them who wasn't named Jesus. It's pathetic. If you're coach didn't look like the least popular guy at a orthodontist convention maybe you would have went after a quarterback who wasn't alive and fighting during the War of 1812. Donovan McNabb was available. I just can't get over how low this franchise will stoop to worship the ground beneath their "football savior". When your team is stockpiling the likes of Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfelds red flags should be flying. You don't start to worry when the only guy who commits less than the Bachelor can decide if he's returning or not. Vikings fans let him make it all about himself and will spend the rest of the year defending him. I'm over that franchise and their fans. They are the lowest of the low. Except for my wife's parents. They're awesome.
Ok, off my high-horse tangent and back to the list.
6) Ceiling Fans Directly Above the Bed- These have to be offset. Otherwise your lips get all chapped and your eyes get dried out. Its less than ideal.
7) Out of Touch Fans- You know these people. They love their team because of its storied history. They remember the glory days of the past. They want to relive the winning and believe championships are right around the corner. Delusional. Idiotic. Redskins Fans. We can't help it. When its good, its real good. We know it will happen again, we just believe it will always be this season. These are the fans who also ask you how player X is doing this year, even though you know that player X was going to be released because he violated the morality clause in his contract, but instead they got rid of him in a Sign-and-Trade with Portland to minimize loss. You know this because you have him on your fantasy team and you're hoping he scores 30 points against your team this weekend. You know, as long as they win.
8) The Know-Nothing Fans- They make similar claims as the Fans of Terrible Teams, and are often confused with Out of Touch Fans, but this group is a special breed. They rant and rave about the team they love, but don't have time to follow closely. They listen to sound bites from local sports radio and recite facts back to you without context. They often impress the common person who doesn't care enough to know where Kevin Durant is from or where he went to high school. Yet, when they run into an educated fan (read, me) they are often put off. They'll say, "Did you hear the Redskins released Willie Parker and are going to try to trade for Steven Jackson?". When in fact, Willie Parker was moved up the depth chart to 3rd string, and many hope that the Redskins will pursue Vincent Jackson as a viable starting wide receiver, instead of the midget Santana Moss or the clutz Devin Thomas. These fans are like Jon Gosselin at a parenting conference.
So here's hoping you never become one of these fans. And for those of you who already are, there's a turd sandwich I'd like to serve you.