Sports are great. I absolutely love them. The competition, the strategies and the athleticism are fascinating. Even the elements of human error are exciting. If I had to choose one characteristic about sports that bugs me, it’s definitely the fans.
Nothing ruins an exciting game like the fans. As a group, I think fans need to raise their standards of behavior. We need to stop being the worst part about attending a sporting event or watching one on TV. To help get us off to a good start, here are the top five most annoying things that we, as fans, do.
1. Chanting “MVP” for a player who isn’t the MVP.
This offense happens most frequently in the NBA. Any time a player who happens to be the best player on a team steps to the free-throw line, you will undoubtedly hear a raucous group of fans chanting “M-V-P, M-V-P…” Don’t get me wrong. This chant definitely has its place, but that place isn’t in every game or for any player. The MVP chant should be reserved for players who are actually in contention for the MVP award and only for the three or so weeks leading up to a player receiving the award.
Hearing the MVP chant two weeks into the season makes me want to shout obscenities at my TV.
Moreover, once a player has been named MVP, the MVP chant should only be used in relation to the actual MVP. If LeBron James wins the MVP award, it makes no sense to chant MVP for Kobe Bryant the next day. Just don’t do it.
2. Changing seats at halftime.
I know this is a common practice. In fact, I wouldn’t even have a problem with it if the fans who changed seats didn’t so frequently engage in the other four irritating traits listed here. But when I pay the extra money to sit in the lower bowl, nothing is worse than two drunk fans sneaking down from the nosebleed, sitting in empty seats they scouted out during the first half and ruining the game for everyone around them.
In my experience, these seat-changing fans are the most obnoxious fans of all. If you’re going to steal, at least be dignified about it. Don’t act like, through the simple act of walking down some steps, you’ve defied the laws of nature. It makes you look stupid.
3. Blaming referees.
All of us get after the refs. It happens in every game, and it’s part of the experience. I like to make fun of the refs in every game I watch, but there’s a line that too many fans cross too often.
Usually, a team doesn’t lose because of the refs or umpires. It loses because the other team played better. Get over it. Personal attacks against refs are amateur. They don’t suck, and they aren’t biased. In fact, they know more about the sport in which they are officiating than virtually every single fan in the stands. Make fun of the refs, but don’t resort to attacking them or blaming them for your favorite team’s performance.
4. Getting hostile.
A few years ago, I was at a Utah Jazz game that was delayed because a couple of guys decided to start throwing punches at each other with 30 seconds left on the clock. I hope they felt good about themselves because no one else in the arena thought they were smart or tough or admirable.
I love the fact that people get emotional about their favorite teams. Sports wouldn’t be the same if nobody cared. People getting excited about their favorite teams and caring about the outcomes of the games fuels the entire sports industry. It’s no excuse for getting personal or physically violent. Try to keep things in perspective.
5. “(Insert location here) sucks” chants.
This is, without a doubt, the most rookie thing fans do. How does chanting “Denver sucks,” or “Utah sucks,” or “New York sucks,” or “Boston sucks” affect the players? How does that make your team look better than the other team? “You suck” is the insult you use in elementary school when you don’t have a comeback for someone making fun of you.
Why not attack losing records or poor statistics or failed plays? Why do fans have to rely on “you suck?” If you can’t come up with a better insult than that, you shouldn’t be tossing around insults at all.
I know these might seem trivial, but if every fan works to eliminate these behaviors, sports will become a better experience for everyone involved.