The Worst Fans in Professional Sports
* – Edited: 8.19.2013
I could write my first book, 563 pages, abridged and all on this topic — and that’s just the Philadelphia Eagles. If I were to go down the list, I could have a Tolstoy-esque epic on my hands. There are two types of “Worst Fans”: 1) Fanbases of a particular team and/or city as a whole and then 2) the comportment of fans as winning teams come and go. I’ll tackle the latter first and the former as a closing.
The Fairweather Fan.
You know that winning and losing is cyclical over years and decades in professional sports. That’s just how it is. Regimes change, coaches come and go, general managers leave and others come in and bring their “own” guys. Players play and retire, others get injured and alter the fortunes of a team for years. This fairweather fan is only around when life is good, but is either at the stadium with a bag over his/her head when the team’s fortunes slide, or they’re home alone like Kevin and remain there until their team is suddenly “good” again.
Examples of recent Fairweather Fans: San Francisco 49ers (NFL — 2011), New Orleans Saints (NFL — 2009-Present), New England Patriots (NFL — fans are suffering high ankle sprains, torn ACLs and pulled groins jumping off their bandwagon, and expect more of it going into 2012).
Everyone knows at least 3-5 of these. They’re from Ohio, but are somehow fans of the Yankees, Lakers, Patriots, Duke (basketball) and Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma or USC, depending on their mood. The absolute worst person to be around when a team wins a championship, because they’ll act like they were there during the lean years when all you have to do is quiz them about some obscure fact — yet one that a real fan of a particular team would know — and weed them out.
With each passing year that the Dallas Cowboys do absolutely nothing in the playoffs… when they make them… the more we find out who was fans of theirs during those lean years in the mid-late 80s until 1991.
They always think their team is going to do whatever there is in the team’s power to blow leads and, in the once-a-century chance that the team has a championship-calibre team, they STILL think the team is going to blow it.
Examples of perpetual woebegone fans: Arizona Cardinals (NFL), Detroit Lions (NFL), Sacramento Kings (NBA), Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB).
Examples of developing woebegone fans (since 2000): New York Mets (MLB), Washington Redskins (NFL).
TOP (BOTTOM?) 5 WORST FANS IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS — in no particular order:
1. Philadelphia Eagles.
And it’s not close. They cheer when players on opposing teams appear to be paralyzed, don’t appreciate their best players, stick up for guys who don’t deserve it, and have the worst inferiority complex (in relation to New York) than any other team with a rivalry. They pelt players with batteries, gang up on fans that dare to go to Lincoln Financial Field (and previously, Veterans Memorial Stadium) 50 to 1, instead of shooting the fair one.
Every year they brag about winning the Super Bowl they’ve never (never will) won, spew vitriol at Giants and Cowboys fans — fans of teams that have won EIGHT Super Bowls, while the Eagles have NEVER won even ONE — about their free agent signings and how it’s going to finally make them champions. The thing is, they just love to bloviate and stir the pot because of the pent up angst due to never witnessing a winning team in three generations.
53 years and waiting, paaaal.
The biggest bunch of fakes, frontrunners and fairweathered non-biodegradable clowns out there. I am eager to see how they will show their true colors when Kobe Bryant retires.
3. Boston Red Sox.
Talk about inferiority complexes. The (supposed) rivals of the Red Sox, the New York Yankees — have won four times more of EVERYTHING: division titles, pennants, World Series championships — than Boston, yet what is just massive insecurity is somehow construed as a “rivalry” for marketing purposes (?) They gloat about everything, especially meaningless offseason moves during Hot Stove. In 2011, they wrote themselves into the World Series solely based upon acquiring (and overpaying) two guys, neither of whom the Yankees wanted and the Sox acquired solely out of spite (while the Yankees resorted to gamesmanship by acting as if they were interested in Carl Crawford in order to persuade the Red Sox to overpay for him — which they did).
Oh by the way, the Red Sox DIDN’T EVEN MAKE THE PLAYOFFS IN 2011. Much less win the World Series.
Not only did the Los Angeles Dodgers bail them out by taking on contracts that should have sunk the Red Sox for another 4-5 years, but they are primed and ready to repeat exactly what happened in 1978 (had the same exact lead on the Yankees with the same exact number of games to go — and then Bucky F. Dent occurred) and don’t even realize it.
Add to everything their pious, self-righteous hypocrisy about PED usage, and, well, they may be the worst fans in all of sports in the Western Hemisphere.
4. New York Yankees.
Yankee fans, true-blue, diehard Yankee fans know baseball better than anyone. And it’s not close.
Bandwagoners (i.e. since 1996) are the absolute scum of the earth. These are probably the unequivocal worst fans in all of sports. They berate fans of other teams (save for Boston). The REAL fans do not engage in the following practice, unless provoked: Bragging about “27 Championships” whenever they can — something else that is reserved for when Red Sox fans begin chirping and spit on players’ wives in the stands.
Not all Yankee fans are loud, slack-jawed, whiny-voiced, nasal-accented douchebags. Some are, but the majority are random hicks from the hills of northeast Arkansas or podunk Indiana, with absolutely no connection to New York and the Yankees whatsoever.
5. New England Patriots.
I already know by default that Patriots fans are previously Woebegones for 25+ years — i.e. chumps like that whiny-voiced Bill Simmons — or frontrunners who suddenly “began watching football in 2001, so they’ve been my team since, even though I’ve never been within 300 miles of Foxborough”.
And the thing is, you can tell the two apart rather easily, regardless if they’re 24 or 54. It is certainly more embarrassing for the 54 year old to be a frontrunner, especially if he/she was a fan of another team for half their lives beforehand, but all in all, the common denominator between the frontrunners and the woebegone fans from 1960-2000 are that they are the most condescending, in-denial (about the team cheating to win their three Super Bowls*) bunch of ass hats out there.
Pittsburgh Steelers Fans.
Washington Capitals Fans.
Pittsburgh Penguins Fans.
Detroit Red Wings Fans.
Philadelphia Flyers Fans.
Chicago Bears Fans.
New Jersey Devils Fans.
Boston Celtics Fans.
Los Angeles Dodgers Fans.
Miami Heat Fans*.