Ah, the ballpark. Or football stadium. Or soccer pitch. Wherever it is you go to celebrate the athletic feats which you once aspired to, but eventually gave up on, it’s a place rife with memories of triumph and defeat. Unfortunately, you usually share it with upwards of 100,000 other people, most of which seem intent on ruining your three hour break from the distractions of the outside world. Although we can’t help you avoid them, we’ve put together a list of the five most egregiously irritating types of sporting event attendees to at the very least assist you with their identification. And we did hear there are a ton of empty seats in the upper deck…
The Always Getting Up Guy
“Excuse me, coming through!” Those are the words that you’ll hear the most if you wind up seated in the same row as this major annoyance. He’ll spend more of his time walking past you than he will in his seat. And the reason for his constant movement? He might just have an extremely small bladder and requires frequent trips to the park’s urinal trough. Alternatively, he may have come to the game simply to do laps around the stadium, with short breathers at his seat (those bratwurst aren’t going to walk themselves off.) Then again, it’s more likely that his presence is merely a front for all the drug deals he’s making with the folks in the luxury boxes. Whatever the case, it doesn’t excuse the fact that you’ll miss every noteworthy moment thanks to his incessant intrusions into your field of view. Band together with equally disgruntled row-mates and tip over some nachos on his seat— maybe he’ll get the message.
The Constant Naysayer
Ever since you didn’t get that athletic scholarship, you’ve secretly aspired to taking the field as a championship-winning coach. The naysayer has taken this dream to heart, except he finds himself stuck in the stands where the embittered wannabe has no choice but to criticize every decision made by the people getting paid to do so. “You can’t do that!” he’ll exclaim as the offense runs a play much different than the ones he’s been filling notebooks with for the past five years. The problem is only compounded when his team is behind, at which point his disapproval will escalate until he’s trying to start a crowd chant calling for the resignation of the entire coaching staff. You can’t tell him to pipe down as it will only send him off on an equally annoying self-righteous rant concerning his true-fandom and intense dedication. He only wants the best, and like it or not, you’ll be left to endure his painfully futile three hour critique.
The Over-Friendly Neighbor
Going to a game usually means being put in close proximity to people with whom your only shared interest may be the sport at hand. And sometimes these fleeting acquaintances have a predilection towards treating you more like an old friend than the stranger you truly are. While there’s nothing wrong with a little hospitality among seat-mates, forceful congratulatory pats on the back that spill $5-worth of your $10 beer aren’t the most welcome occurrence. Neither are the one-sided hugs that result from late-inning home runs that leave you with unexplained nacho cheese spots on your favorite jersey. You’d love to tell him to keep to himself, but you’ll just end up hoping the next person you sit next has a better grip on social norms.
The Ever-Hopeful Supporter
It ain’t over ’til it’s over. Except for when the opposing team is up by four times your team’s score and the players have essentially thrown in the towel. But that won’t stop the eternally optimistic fan from standing up and screaming his entire collection of encouraging slogans. What’s worse, he’ll take it upon himself to get anyone close to him involved, insisting that they don’t give up just yet. Ever wonder why people stream out of games once it becomes clear the opposing squad has got it in the bag? Chances are, it’s because they got fed up with the naive ramblings of this relentlessly optimistic fellow.
The Feasting Fan
$8.00 for a hotdog? This fan won’t be dissuaded by the rapidly inflating prices of a stadium’s sub-par cuisine. He took out a second mortgage to pay for all those soft pretzels and he’s not leaving until he’s had his fill. The vendors know him by name, hovering around his row, waiting for him to pony up for his next box of Cracker Jacks. His lap looks like world’s saddest excuse for a buffet and he’ll inevitably ask you to hold his soda for him while he devours his second hamburger in a cloud of crumbs. Sadly, the venue really appreciates his continued patronage (seriously, this guy may single-handedly be paying that new pitcher’s salary), and your only hope is that he slips into a food coma or eats some undercooked meat.