Sports ‘superfans’ are the worst

Published 10:29 am Friday, May 8, 2015

By now, you all know that I attended a school that is just as passionate — if not more so — about its athletics than any other fan base in all of sports.

We tailgate for days prior to an event, refuse to say the name of our rival and jump in a freezing cold lake in the middle of November to show how much we despise that school up north. We proudly wear the jersey of our latest star quarterback, chant “OH” and “IO” until our throats are sore and will one day be buried under a headstone engraved with a Block “O.”

I’ve never missed an Ohio State game going back as far as I can remember, but even I draw a line somewhere.

When it comes to sports, there are few things I despise more than grown men with beer bellies, clad in beaded necklaces, face paint or some other hero-like costume, acting as if they are the school’s mascot. These “superfans” stop to take pictures and sign autographs for fans, call into sports talk radio regularly to talk about how “we” are going to win a championship every season and sit in the front row just to get on television. They’re instantly recognizable — many people think that they are the face of the franchise or program — and it sickens me.

Now that I’ve graduated and moved away from the great state of Ohio, I don’t see these characters anymore, save for every college football Saturday afternoon.

This partly because they don’t attend any other sporting events, but also because I live eight hours away and no longer get student tickets.

Recently, I was reminded of my resentment for “superfans” when I attended a local baseball game. Standing beside the dugout, there he was, dressed in school colors from head to toe, chanting “hey batter, batter, batter… swing,” as if he were in the playing field, and making comments to the umpire as if he were the coach. I love that he’s filled with school spirit like nobody I’ve ever seen, but I can’t help but despise everything he stands for.

I watched an excellent duel between two star pitchers, but that’s not what I remember most from the game. Intentionally or not, “superfans” are taking attention away from the players on the field and the students in the stands. If only they had the self-awareness to realize it.

ANDREW LIND is a staff writer at The Tidewater News. He can be reached at 562-3187 or