1. The Jock Sniffer
This fan lives in a world where teams don’t matter or even exist. They are fans of the individual. When LeBron left Cleveland for Miami, they were most upset about the fact that they had to buy a new jersey. Though some of these people can be intelligent and bring a unique perspective to sports (see: the late FreeDarko), many of them are trolls you can find in the comments section of most ESPN articles. And if you thought YouTube comments are annoying, you haven’t spent enough time in the ESPN comment sections.
Alternatively, they could have grown up in a place without a team.
2. The Nerd
(Photo by Randy Stewart, blog.stewtopia.com.)
this fan tells you that his group is called “The Stat Head” but you and I know better. Though advanced statistics are an amazing tool that allow us to know more about the games we love than ever before, these guys also have a tendency to suck the fun out of everything. Is your favorite baseball player kicking ass every time he comes to the plate? That BABIP looks inflated. Regression is coming. A pitcher you like playing well? Check out that xFIP. Regression is coming. Your team on a magical run? Regression is coming.
If you’ve ever wondered why Tim Tebow is a thing, I think it’s at least partially because he is a walking middle finger to advanced stats. Also because he’s Jesus.
3. The Veteran
This guy was all-conference in high school, and might have even had a shot at playing D1 ball if his knee didn’t give. So sure he’s an insurance salesman now, but that doesn’t mean that his experience doesn’t make him way more knowledgeable than you. It must be true, he keeps saying it over and over and over and over and…
4. The Local Jingoist
The other day, I wrote a story about Andrew Bynum’s recently haggard appearance, jokingly attributing the hangover eyes and suddenly gray hair to his move from LA to Philadelphia. You know how you know I was joking? Because it’s nonsensical to believe that the city of Philadelphia turned Andrew Bynum into a homeless guy over the summer. That didn’t stop the Philly fans from flooding my inbox with vitriol about how it was just a bad picture of him, and that their city was innocent. I actually had to write the phrase, “Obviously, Philadelphia didn’t make him ugly” multiple times. The lesson? Don’t make jokes about The Local Jingoist’s city. He loves his town, and he’s sensitive.
5. The Depressed Dude
Often aligned with the Local Jingoist, the Depressed Dude has been through it all. He’s around to argue on every message board how his teams have it the worst and you don’t even begin to understand his pain. Any column on tortured sports cities becomes the site of an epic battle for inferiority. Often from Buffalo, Chicago, Minnesota, Seattle, or in my case, Cleveland.
6. The Contrarian
This guy can’t believe you think Michael Jordan is the best basketball player to ever live. And how can you possibly say that the Texans are the best team in football this year? The sky was blue? Fuck you, it was aqua. The Contrarian rarely (though occasionally) has actual evidence to support his argument, but who needs that when he has enough pure anger to fuel the robot that pretends to be Rush Limbaugh for an entire fortnight?
7. The Ironic Fan
The Ironic Fan spends long hours making YouTube mixtapes and image macros centered around “cult heroes.” No one likes these guys because they’re good. They like them because they suck, and isn’t it funny to cheer for the goofy, sucky guy? (Yes it is.) They have Tumblrs dedicated to Brian Scalabrine, Jason Kapono, and (insert random white NBA player here). Yeah there is probably a little racism involved with this fandom when it comes to the NBA, but other sports keep it diverse. I’d still feel better about it if we can get an ironic DJ Mbenga Twitter account. That would be great.
8. The Fantasy First Fan
The Fantasy First Fan is a cousin of the Jock Sniffer. He cares less about the Cleveland Browns in the NFL than he does the Cleveland Bernie Blast in the Bob’s Best Fantasy Football League #2 (Bob’s Best Fantasy Football League #1 was an unmitigated disaster). He watches every game religiously but his affection is a mercenary. And unless he finishes in the money, he ends every year hating sports. He can be a sad, sad man.
9. The Football (Real Football!) Is Better Fan
“It’s not called soccer! It’s football. And your American football is shitty. And your NBA players don’t dive as well as our players do! And promotion and relegation is the greatest…”
Okay, truthfully, more and more as the Premiership grows popular in America (as it should, because it’s awesome), this guy is also a fan of American pro sports. But there is still the rare commenter, angry tweeter, or message board troll who accuses American sports fans of not paying enough attention to international sports. This archetype serves as a memorial to that troll.
10. The Message Board Czar
The Message Board Czar rules his kingdom with an iron fist. He wields the banhammer with all the delicacy and subtlety of the acting in porn movies. If you disagree with him, you better be ready to break out the statistics like you’re John Hollinger (one of the greatest nerds of our generation), because if you can’t convince the masses to follow you, they will attack to please their leader. Message boards are like cults, except without the cool sneakers or cruise ship.