Americans as a general rule love sports. It could be the atmosphere, the players, or the air of competition, but there is something about sports that connects everyone. They serve as the great unifier. For the few hours during a sporting event everyone is united. Blue collar, white collar, it doesn’t matter. We’re all doing the same: yelling and hoping our team comes out victorious.
Now since my recent come-outtance as a sports fan I’ve noticed that there are about 5 basic schools of fan-hood at sporting events: (particularly Nashville Predators hockey games) There’s the shouter, the mutterer, the questioner, the crowd-coach and the groupie.
They are very passionate about the game. They are also very passionate about beer, drinking one every 15 minutes. They yell everything they say. However, it seems that the shouters don’t actually know how the game works. They just shout whatever is on their mind at the time. They yell at players like they’ll actually be heard. They yell at the referees as if they could do a better job. As the evening goes in their shouting becomes less coherent. Some people might even refer to the shouters as the ‘obnoxious drunks’ (some people = Amanda) .
Unlike the shouters, most mutterers are actually knowledgeable about the game. They know the players and all their statistics. They know when a penalty needs to be called. They’re not boisterous about this information however. They just mumble things like, “Nope. Bad call”, “Guys, come on” or “Toots is on the ice” as if they have secret knowledge that they don’t want to share with anyone other than the person directly next to them. They might be more obnoxious than the shouters simply because when I want to eavesdrop on them it’s really hard.
Often attending the game with mutterers, the questioners do just as their name suggests; they ask lots of questions. Questions about how the game works and who the players are, often they are very stupid questions. For instance at the last game I attended the questioner behind me asked their mutterer friend what all the black things (they were hockey pucks) on the ice were and when the best time to go to the bathroom would be. (clearly the best time would be at the end of a period) They have a thirst for knowledge but a complete lack of logical reasoning. They also seem to have a case of voice immodulation disorder because they ask their stupid questions really loud, causing me to laugh at them.
The “Crowd Coach”
This is the person giving really intelligent advice to the players, unfortunately the players cannot hear them because they are up really high. They give helpful advice like, “GUYS! Defend the goal!”, “Shoot the puck!” or “Get a goal!” (FYI this is not actually helpful advice as the players know how to play and that’s why they are in the NHL) The crowd coach population tends to be mostly women, I assume because they feel like they should be mothering the players.
The groupies are solely teenage/college age females. They know absolutely nothing about sports. They don’t care to know anything about them either. But they like to look at the players and have chosen their particular love target. They come to the games armed with plenty of neon colored signs proposing marriage to their favorite players. They also get up a lot during the games as if the players will see them amongst the 17,000 other people and fall in love immediately. (this does not appear to be working for them) I find these ones highly obnoxious.
I reluctantly have to admit that I tend to float a little into each of these schools. I mutter things to my neighbors, but also shout at the players. I sometimes coach from my seat, saying things like “Come on Sergei! What are you doing? You need to score!” and “What are you doing Kevin Klein? Why do you always shoot from the blue line!” I’ve been known to ask a stupid question a time or two as well. I even have a players I would be willing to marry if they asked. (Hey Colin Wilson! I’m waiting) But I DO NOT make signs. I draw the line there. (Sidenote: If I made a sign it would not propose marriage. It would say “Hey Brandon Yip! We Want a Yip-Check!!”)
I’m willing to admit that I’m pretty obnoxious. But luckily for me I’m an American. It’s natural for me to do these things at sporting events. In fact I might even say it’s expected. I’ll just be okay with being a shouting, mumbling, questioning, crowd-coach who would marry a player if they asked.
Plus this is the only social setting in which it’s okay for me to shout, “Hey, you suck!” at someone. So I’m not going to argue with the rules.