The word "fan" comes from "fanatic," which stems from the modern Latin fanaticus, meaning "insanely but divinely inspired." Combine insanity with inspiration and you get some strange people. As a result, we were easily able to comprise a list of the 10 worst types of fans in the world of football.
The Bandwagon Jumper
We have scientific proof that there are thousands of these jerks in cities across North America. Eleven of the 12 NFL teams with the lowest home attendance numbers last year missed the playoffs. The Saints had trouble filling the Superdome when they were mediocre in 2007 and 2008, but those numbers have steadily grown now that they're a consistent winner. Colts home games were jammed consistently during the Peyton Manning era, but season-ticket sales plummeted the moment the team entered its recent rebuild.
If you're a bandwagon fan, you're there for the good times and you're off learning new hobbies and experiencing other parts of life (i.e. cheating on your team) during the bad times. You're a big reason why sports franchises move, so I hope you're happy.
How you know you're a bandwagon jumper: Do you watch as feverishly when the home team is 2-9 as you would when they're 9-2? If you don't, you might have some bandwagon in you.
The Face Painter
If you're old enough to drink legally, you have no business applying your team's colors to your face. Or, for that matter, anywhere on your body. I mean, why do people do this? Isn't a jersey or a T-shirt with your team's logo enough to get the message across? People who paint their faces for games walk around with dung-eating grins on their faces, begging for the attention of every normal fan in their path. That's why I always pretend not to notice them in the same way I look away whenever a pompous d-bag pulls up next to me in his over-compensating sports car.
Oh, and on a side note, society permits you to wear jerseys on game days only. If you spend your Saturday afternoons at the mall with Tom Brady's name on your back, you're declaring to every chick within a 300-yard radius that you live in mom's basement and have 11 fantasy football teams. If you're cool with that, fine. I'm just telling you that it hurts my soul as a neutral observer.
How you know you're a face painter: You literally have paint on your face.
Exceptions to the rule: Kids and girls. It's kind of cute when they do it, but in very different ways.
The Front Runner
If you're a 21-year-old from Phoenix who loves the New England Patriots, you had better be capable of giving me an intricate explanation for how the hell that came to be. I have no issues with people supporting NFL teams from outside of their home regions, but that support can't exist solely because the adopted favorite team happened to be good at football when said fan began watching the sport.
It's amazing how many Dolphins fans I've met who clearly jumped on board in 1972. Same goes with Steelers supporters from Curtain days, and on and on. There simply has to be some sort of connection. Maybe you really liked their star player before he became big, or maybe you admire the team's gritty attitude. The problem is that it's almost impossible to prove that someone's a front-running fan if they stick with that original team.
But then there are extreme front runners -- those who seem to cheer for a new NFL team every three or four years. And it just so happens that the team they're backing is never rebuilding.
How you know you're a front runner: Have you changed NFL allegiances in your adult life? Can you offer an explanation for this other than to say you fell in love with a new, better team? If not, you're a front runner, and we can't be friends.
Closely related to: The bandwagon jumper.
The Fan Who Chooses Fantasy Over Reality
Fantasy football has done a lot for the NFL in terms of producing new fans. The problem is that a lot of those new supporters of the game have ass-backwards priorities when it comes to their fandom. You always cheer for your real team first and your fantasy team second. If both succeed by working hand-in-hand (i.e. you draft like a homer), then great. But if/when the moment arrives, it's your responsibility as a fan is to sacrifice your support for your fantasy team in order to properly throw your weight behind your actual team.
The problem with these types of fans is that they're usually so damn loud about it. If you want to go against the grain and watch merely for fantasy purposes, fine. But I don't want to hear about it, because it's unnatural, sacrilegious and heretic.
How you know you're a fan who chooses fantasy over reality: You might lie to yourself and say that you aren't, but when you're watching your Chargers play the Bears and you crack a quick smile when Matt Forte crosses the plane of the end zone, you're guilty.
The Know-It-All Fan
Sometimes this fan actually knows his stuff, but he still drives everyone else crazy by over-analyzing every play in every game.
But oftentimes, this is just some windbag who played half a season of high-school football and read Jon Gruden's book in university and has concluded that he knows more about football than everyone seated in his vicinity.
Supreme know-it-all fans are often seen or heard questioning coaching calls in smart-assed fashion whilst failing to acknowledge the advantage they've received from hindsight.
How you know you're a know-it-all fan: You're pretty sure you could do a better job than your team's coach and/or general manager.
The Quarterback Bully
There's something wrong with your brain or your eyes, or both, which causes you to overlook the errors made by 52 of the 53 players on your favorite team's roster. Nope, it's always the starting quarterback's fault, and whoever's holding the clipboard is always Jesus Christ in a jockstrap.
How you know you're a quarterback bully: It's very hard for these types to come to grips with their disability. But if you find yourself making a Tony Romo voodoo doll, you're displaying a key symptom.
Natural Habitat: North Texas, Southeastern Pennsylvania
The Phony Fan
These people are fans for the sake of being fans, not because they care. They either fear being left out of conversations or not fitting in, or they're trying to live up to the expectations of fanatical friends or family members.
In their defense, they're usually busy and are often quick to admit that they have real jobs and obligations and don't have the time to commit to their so-called favorite team. And that's OK. So long as they don't start taking credit for always being there when times are good, they're tolerable.
But when phony fans try to pretend they know actual things about their favorite teams, they become annoying.
How you know you're a phony fan: Can you name both of your team's starting cornerbacks? No? Then you're a big, fat phony.
The Bad Beat Fantasy Guy
This fan might not necessarily choose fantasy over reality, but he still overemphasizes fantasy and overestimates how much anyone else gives a crap. He'll spend all of Monday and most of Tuesday bitching about the tough breaks his fantasy team encountered over the weekend.
Frankly, though, nobody cares about anyone else's fantasy team. Nobody. It's an inherently selfish realm of our culture. As a sports writer, I'm magnetic to these fans. They ambush me at parties/weddings/funerals and begin ranting in detail, sometimes complementing the embarrassing scene with sad, confusing attempts to pantomime the way in which they were robbed by a controversial sideline catch from Vincent Jackson or a ticky-tacky penalty on a Garrett Hartley field goal.
And this fan is living in such a fantasy world that he (or she) fails to pick up the body language of those who only faintly pretend to care about the fact that the 11th-round pick on their friend's imaginary football team is failing to live up to expectations through Week 5.
How you know you're the bad beat fantasy guy: How often do you complain about your fantasy fortunes to human beings who are not in your league? If the answer isn't "never," then you qualify.
The Drunk Fan
Alcohol might increase the experiences we have at parties, weddings, funerals and even football games, but there should be limits on drinking and cheering. If you need to drink to fully enjoy watching your team play, you might have a problem.
A beer or two is all good, but true fans should want to have their wits about them when supporting their favorite squads. These hooligans become most noticeable in stadiums. Just look for those who claim they're diehard fans yet are too plastered to see the yardsticks by the time the third quarter starts.
How you know you're a drunk fan: Your team is playing and you're drunk.
Exceptions to the rule: If you're team trails by more than three scores in the second half, feel free to bust out the whiskey and take a shot every time Joe Buck sounds unimpressed.
The Over-Reacting Fan
For these degenerates, every win is orgasmic and every loss is apocalyptic. Not only is this damaging to your internal organs and your social life, but it's affecting those around you. Do you know how hard it is to live with an over-reacting fan?
Listen, if you're 11 years old, I get it. When you're 11, Giants-Bucs in Week 2 is your world. You don't have a wife or a girlfriend or a mortgage and your biggest concerns are sixth-grade math and football. For those who continue to mature and become adults, it's too much to live or die with each win or loss.
How you know you're an over-reacting fan: If you're more excited by a win or more depressed by a loss than the players on your team, you fit the profile. Smarten up and gain some perspective. Believe it or not, there's more to life than sports.
I have to admit I am an extreme over reactor. As well as an extreme know it all. Great article. I enjoyed reading it.
The author of this article is so pathetically awful at life (particularly sports writing) and such a sensitive nit, he's responding to anyone who bashes this trash. By all means fellas, pile it on! To use the parlance of our times: "He mad."
@FrankPhillips Yeah, dude. Feel pretty awful. Stop being a sensitive little twat and see that it's a light-hearted fluff piece. It's written in a fun tone and is supposed to be read in the same light. Unfortunately, though, uber-defensive douches who take themselves far too seriously fail to see that and continue to ruin the internet with envy-laced vitriol. Regardless, thanks for the support by reading and commenting. It's trolls like you who keep paying my salary.
Yeah, Frank. That's the thing. I'm a very good writer. Do you know how few of us make careers out of this? You think it's a coincidence that I have? Think I've just gotten lucky for the last seven years? And I suppose I'm lucky in all walks of life, because no idea how I got my girlfriend with this mug... And why did I host two live sports shows last year under those circumstances? Man, pure luck. Or maybe you're concluding that I'm a bad writer based on one piece (of the 4,500 pieces I've written) which rubbed you the wrong way, and that I'm an ugly mofo based on a grainy thumbnail. Look at all those pixels in my teeth!
If I were gay, I could do a lot better than an ugly sports blogger, I assure you.
That said, my "goal" was pointing out the article I read was trash and the author should feel bad about producing anything of that level. Someone got their little panties in a knot that a ::gasp:: stranger thought their writing was bad and threw a hissy fit that greatly amused me.
Which brings us to the present: you still a little bit tiffy precious?
@FrankPhillips That's your goal. You truly want to make someone else's day worse. This is what makes you a troll. I couldn't care less, dude. Truly. Love my job. Starting to think I might have a crush on you, too.
@Brad_Gagnon You are, unsurprisingly, used to people calling you a shit writer. Why am I not shocked?
You also have learned to pretend that people insulting you doesn't bother you - particularly when it concerns your profession. Good acting kiddo.
What's wrong? Done pouting and now busy backpedaling? :( C'mon cutey pie you can't lie to the good folks of the internet. You're mad as shit.
@FrankPhillips Actually, if you're not getting negative comments, you're doing something wrong. I don't know a good blogger who doesn't get ripped apart for factors that have nothing to do with his or her article (as was the case here, since I never actually received a concrete criticism from you on the contents of the actual piece).
When was the last time you wrote a company or left a comment in a comment box at a restaurant to tell them they're doing a great job?
The reality is that the vast majority of feedback is negative. Sad, isn't it? I mean, when you really think about it, my boss assigned me this piece and I wrote it with us both having the intention of giving people a light read to enjoy. Maybe something to relate to, or maybe something to draw comparisons to their lives and friends. Yet instead of reading and moving on, you felt the need to publicly bash our efforts, completely failing to pick up on the tongue-and-cheek vibe.
That's spreading hate for little to no reason. The majority of writers have been trained to ignore twerps like you, but I was in the mood to call you out and have some fun with it.
So again, thanks for the entertainment. And thanks for the extra 10-15 hits. Off to the dentist....
@Brad_Gagnon Pointing out an article is shit and that you should feel bad for writing it isn't hate, it's an obligation to anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together. I wasn't the only one.
Someone threw a temper-tantrum and doesn't like criticism :( Poor baby. Still whining like an insecure little girl aren't you? I'm sure you get insults all the time - you're very bad at this - you should get better at taking them.
That or you're a masochist who gets off on other people pointing out their stupidity. If that's the case, carry on good sir.
@FrankPhillips I love you, Frank!!! I rarely use exclamation marks in my regular content but this has been too enjoyable. Unknown scrub website, eh? I think you should google me before drawing such conclusions on the websites I work for.
But you're right. This has become tiresome. It was hot while it lasted, but I now need a cigarette. And I don't even smoke. You were a worthy troll adversary, Frank. Keep spreading the hate. The world needs it.
And yet you respond to each post within minutes. Be honest with yourself. You really aren't very good at this.
Protip: someone calling you out as shit at your profession, awful to look at, and without a scrap of wit isn't "toying" with someone. It's them bashing the piss out of you.
I think you should quit while you're behind. You're not very good... at... well everything as far as I can see. You done yet? The rest of your post isn't worth responding to and it's not fun running circles around mindless cretins who are actually proud to be sports bloggers for some unknown scrub website.
Anything else champ?
Also! You sure do love exclamation points! It really shows that you went to school for this! All good authors rely upon this crutch! It shows how emphatic and passionate you are and definitely isn't a substitute for good writing! Right! Guys!?
My god! People pay you do this! EL oh fucking el!
@FrankPhillips Sorry, I'm not waiting by the keyboard for responses. I love that you've now concluded I'm awkward and have bad teeth from one thumbnail, but that just adds to the hilarity.
I'm toying with you. And you're coming back for more. You're increasing my hit count and I'm getting a break from the piece I'm working on with a little added entertainment this afternoon. I write for a multitude of sites, including Awful Announcing and am a full-timer elsewhere. The fact that I like to entertain commentors from time to time probably isn't going to do much to help or hurt my career. But thanks for the advice.
I think one man ripping another man for his looks is ridiculous, so I won't get involved in that game. But I guess I just found it funny that you felt the need to come at me for a very basic, very light-hearted and very fluffy piece. There's nothing controversial about what I wrote, and yet you've spent half of your afternoon on the attack. It fascinates me, and jealousy is the natural first assumption. Usually, trolls and haters wish they could be writing about spots full time and lambaste hard-working writers for little to no reason, going after their appearance or whatever else is at their fingertips. You fit the profile.
@Brad_Gagnon My insults spew jealousy? I think you don't know what that word means. You're a sports writer for a shitty blog I was linked to from AwfulAnnouncing.com. You are the lowest rung on the ladder in the entertainment world with the exception of fluffers and interns. Congrats on that.
You are an awkward white guy with bad teeth wearing a backwards baseball cap. I am sure jealous of your appearance broski. Nailed me there.
My comments are going to my facebook profile? No shit. Care to teach me anymore about the internet Mr.? Clearly I'm ashamed of it as I've made most of my information public. Sick insult bro.
The fact that you've been hired, have been "doing it a long time," and are clearly so upset right now lets me know that this clearly isn't the job for you. Better luck in your next endeavor.
I'm the volunteer coordinator and grant writer for a nonprofit that helps feed, house, offers legal advice, drug rehabilitation, and employ homeless veterans. Want to think twice before insulting what I do for a living again? I think you do.
Anything else champ? That one took you awhile. I was hoping you'd be capable of stringing together to decent insults or writing with a smidge of eloquence. I am underwhelmed.
@FrankPhillips Haha! I love it! I respond to comments every day on all of the pieces I write. I believe in engaging readers and that's the mentality my bosses have. I think Bloguin CEO Ben Koo would quite enjoy this exchange. In fact, he's probably reading it.
Your comments spew jealousy. And going after my appearance? That's just the best. Remember, your comments are linking to your Facebook profile, bro. I just checked it out and my self-confidence rose a few extra notches.
I've been doing this a long time, dude. I literally deal with dozens of people like you every day on my regular blog. You're dirt on my shoulder. You're either one of the fans I made fun of above or you're a wannabe journo who never cut it and you're stuck writing grants the rest of your life.
(In the interest of fairness: http://www.facebook.com/bradgagnon12)
@Brad_Gagnon What's wrong cutey? No response this time around? That backwards baseball cap cutting off the blood to your brain with it's hipness? Or are you so embarrassed at how terrible you look in general? Mind if I forward this little conversation to your boss?
@Brad_Gagnon You're a writer and that's the best you can do? Here, let me walk you through the series of events nice and slow for you and avoid using any big words ok champ?
1. Terrible writer puts together a crap article on football fans.
2. He is roundly insulted by dozens of people including myself.
3. He RESPONDS to the insults (bad move) with the same ham fisted style he wrote the article. (Lol amateur.)
4. He gets mad and name calls during rambling incoherent response.
5. I laugh and point out how mad he is.
6. He gets more mad and plays the ::puppet master card":: "See! You responded! I win!"
7. Shit author declares victory.
8. I laugh my ass off.
The fact that people pay you to write is a crime against humanity.
@FrankPhillips Exactly what I figured you'd come back with. Classic sign of troll surrender. #IWin
Hmm what to class myself ..... English and never been to America .... Have supported the Eagles for close on 25 years ...hey look at my Avi ... this was taken in 1991.... Reason for supporting the Eagles ...Well my name is Phil .... I normally support any team with the nickname The Eagles ...... Hey they drive me to drink .....and Randall Cunningham, Buddy Ryan and the "Vet" And we love our quarterback .... Nick Foles!!!! ;-)
@realmikebazile @jtoepf417 i guess bears game i was a drunk fan lol i was letting out some serious built up anger against the bears #whodat
@PhinsDaniel @ThisGivenSunday I became a Dolphins fan in '73. But I was 6 years old, and we had just moved to Miami. I've been one since.
@awfulannouncing @ThisGivenSunday As a lifelong Eagles fan I admit 2 QB bullying. If u can't take it, GTFO. Earn our devotion. It's forever
@insidej0b I just also realized that every response to your tweet shows in his comments section so boom http://t.co/NQILQjMl
@insidej0b "If you need to drink to fully enjoy watching your team play, you might have a problem" ... We're 0-4. Really?
Easily the worst kind of fan is the one that thinks he gets to decide who is a fan and who is not. You suck.
@AngryWhoDat So clearly we have an example of bad fan No. 10.