I’ve covered a number of different events in my three years as a freelance sports writer.
While covering games, I’ve written down some of the craziest things I’ve heard and seen from fans.
Here is the best of these, plus a few from events I’ve attended as a fan that I have remembered since:
-After a baserunner was caught stealing: “She might have to spend a night in jail… because she got caught.”
-From the ‘Ma’am, I don’t think that’s what you meant’ department: “Y’all better shut #24 down… make him foul you out.”
-“Forget a foul…that’s abuse!”
-As a fan is accusing the both the officials and the scorekeepers of helping the home team: “There’s no reason y’all shouldn’t be undefeated at home.”
-A man at a girl’s event: “She has a mustache. She’s a man. She has more facial hair than I do.”
-After a basketball player traveled: “He kicked him!” Sure, but he still walked.
-“He hit the ball right out of his hand!” Yeah, in basketball that’s called a steal.
-“If you’re gonna lie, at least tell a good one!”
-In basketball: “Are they not calling three seconds tonight?” Sir, I’ve seen three seconds called about five times the last five years.
-“They’re just making up calls down there!”
-“Is that a new rule I haven’t heard of?”
-I always find it humorous when players, coaches, or fans yell and fuss at officials, yet still say “Mr. Ref.”
-A fan at Anderson Motor Speedway threw a beer can at a car (under caution)… and actually hit it. After the man was escorted from the premises, the public address announcer said “Any fans who throw things on the track or are a public disturbance in any way will earn a night’s stay in the graybar motel, courtesy of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department.”
-At the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship, a fan climbed down into a creek (and may have gone under the ropes in the process) to pick up a random golf ball in the creek.
-At a Clemson at Wake Forest football game in 2005, a Wake Forest fan behind me spelled “D-E-A-C-O-N-S” at the end of Tiger Rag. I was 10 and unfamiliar with Tiger Rag (and couldn’t hear the Wake Forest fan particularly well either), so for a few minutes I couldn’t figure out what Clemson fans were spelling that was seven letters and ended in “S.” (For those who are unfamiliar with Tiger Rag, Clemson fans spell “C-L-E-M-S-O-N” over the song’s final beats.)
-At a football game, a fan yelled “Fumble…. Fumble….” every play, trying to implore the opponent to turn the ball over. Said opponent did not fumble in this particular game, but threw two interceptions.
-I’m a Wake Forest fan, and went to a Wake Forest-Clemson basketball game at Littlejohn with Garrett, a diehard Clemson fan. When Clemson won at the buzzer, he cheered “Yeaaah! Yeaaah! (turns to me) Sorry. (turns back to the court) Yeaaah!”
-A public address announcer after multiple penalties: “Holding on Mullins. Personal foul on Mullins. Shot in the foot on Mullins.”
-A public address announcer during a lengthy game with a lot of penalties: “We’re starting our 50th season of football tonight, and we’ll be in the 51st season by the time this game is over with.”
-“Check your phone, ref, because you’ve got some more missed calls.”
-As an opposing coach argues: “Cry me a river”
-The saddest group of people I’ve ever been in (excluding funerals) was actually at a sporting event. At the 2011 Coca-Cola 600, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was stuck in a long winless streak, but led on the final lap until running out of fuel, allowing Kevin Harvick to win. The stands were loud while Earnhardt Jr. led, but after he lost the race it was as if you could hear the silence over the roar of the engines.
On the field/court:
-In the third quarter of a three-point game in basketball, a coach told his team, “We’re still in it.” Well, I’d hope you feel that way.
-A big celebration on a ordinary “And-1” play in basketball that put the team up by 31 points.
-A player in an off-field conversation: “Football is tough. The refs cheat.”
-A conversation an official and a coach after the other team called timeout:
Referee: “Full timeout”
Coach: “You said it was a 30-second”
Referee: “He doesn’t have one”
Coach: “Well, that’s his fault”
Stiles on Sports Fans Week:
Tuesday: Fans Roundtable, Part I: Gratifying Wins and Gut-Wrenching Losses
Wednesday: Fans Roundtable Part II: Sports Heroes and Hysteria
Thursday: Creatures in the Bleachers
Friday: Fast Five: Famous Fans