The great thing about sports is there are so many compelling reasons to get together with friends and family. Maybe it’s to catch up, drink your weight in beer, or shove down a giant sub in your talk-hole. But one thing is for sure- there will always be the following nine people at your gathering. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they make up the sports atmosphere that is your living room.
1. “Lack-of-effort” Guy
“Put in more hustle!” is a great complaint coming from the guy that is sitting on a leather couch downing his 8th Coors Light with ranch slathered around his chin. The only type of hustle this fan will put in today will require the run to the bathroom and the earth shaking push to rid himself of all the finger foods absorbed that could fill out a laundry hamper or ½ of Gabourey Sidibe.
2. The Fan-GM
Just because your buddy is a manager at JP Morgan or a trader on Wall St, they now know the intricacies of running a multimillion dollar team. They are always the ones that call out a player when their contract or signing bonus is too extravagant. They will make awful comparisons like comparing their intern to a star athlete that is holding out for a new contract. “Guys, it’s like what I said to my intern, if you don’t like your entry level wage, you can go work at Dunkin’ Donuts.” It’s very rare that they don’t realize their comparisons are nothing like a highly skilled running back.
3. Reverse-Fortune Teller guy
Hindsight is 20/20. Quite possibly the most common complaint is second guessing a player or coach when their strategy failed. “He should have passed the ball, he was wide open” or “we should have gone for it on fourth down.” I really wish this ‘shoulda, woulda’ mindset could be made for every day observations. “You’re wife, the gold digging, no job, butterface has driven an asshole into our friendship. You should have stuck with Jenny.”
4. The Chatty-Chad
This person always shows up late and empty handed. This person isn’t into sports, but more so to hang out with friends. This is completely fine during a commercial, halftime, or a timeout. During the game, all conversation, shouting, and celebrating will be in the name of what the hell happened a second ago. This person is usually a woman.
One thing opposing fans can agree on is that the referees are all out to get us. If something unfavorable happens to our team, we all become a unit of crooked cops looking to place a foul on somebody, no matter how ridiculous. The refs have probably the most thankless jobs in all jobs ever. If they do something right, it is business as usual. But if the call is incorrect, referees become figurative striped George Zimmerman’s.
6. The “It’s Over” Guy
This is the guy that calls the game when anything bad happens to his team. Time is irrelevant because this guy’s negative outlook probably started when his parents divorced when he was in third grade. Whether it’s a turnover in the 2nd quarter, or if his team is down by 6 with ten minutes to go, one thing is sure to this guy. It’s over.
7. The Overcompensating Guy
This is the person that is positive no matter what. This happens to be the polar opposite of the “It’s Over Guy.” When the other team scores, this guy will usually say things like, “This is great, this will get our offense pumped up” or “Don’t worry guys, we are just figuring out our adjustments.” Sadly, this guy will use the same attitude in life to deal with every misfortune. When his girlfriend leaves him for another guy he will say things like “Hey man, it’s cool! Single and ready to mingle!” When really, it’s “Single and ready to Pringle” after he gains 65 lbs and assures everyone it was for the best. This person will never get out of stage one in the five stages of grief.
8. The Prediction Guy
This guy will make a few hundred predictions before and during the game. When 1 out of 70 of the predictions is right, he will not waste a second to collect audibly. “What did I tell you? When a guy swings for the fences every at bat, he’s bound to strike out.” He might possibly be the most irritating person at your game-watch because he’s more concerned about being right than what the play means for your team.
9. The Ignorant Girlfriend
Girlfriends are very tricky when it comes to sports. You have three possible outcomes:
a. You have a girlfriend that was raised in sports, and therefore becomes one of the guys in all sports-hangout situations. This girl is generally loved by all your friends.
b. You have a girlfriend that wasn’t really exposed to sports, but she learns the game and cheers for your team because they make you happy. This girl has loyalty and heart.
c. You have a girlfriend that hates sports and openly doesn’t understand why you and your friends are riled up.
If you chose outcome “c” BREAK UP WITH THAT KARDASHIAN-LOVING BITCH RIGHT NOW! This girl will read a People magazine and roll her eyes when you and your friends high-five/chest bump/dougie when your team scores. She will say things like “Why are you getting upset? It’s not like you are the one out there.” This girl will ruin your relationships with other people because she only sees opposing players battling for the same goal. But to you, the sports fan, it is something more. It is good to put your faith and loyalty into people that sacrifice their time, bodies, and relationships all into the effort of making a city happy. Between the traditions and fan participation there is something about sports that makes us poor out our soul for everyone to see. If she can’t see that then she can go shopping or tanning, or whatever the fuck girls do on Sunday afternoons.
Photography Courtesy of Heather Kipper