Many moons ago I wrote a column for our local paper entitled “The Idiot at the Game” that was inspired by a particularly stupid fan at one of our high school basketball contests. Unfortunately he is only one in a long line of clowns who for varying reasons feel they must loudly impart their knowledge of the game or go into their showoff routine to all those who can hear or see them.

It seems that these types are on the increase.

Two recent examples come to mind. At Madison Square Garden a New York Knicks fan spit on Atlanta Hawk star guard Trae Young and Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook had popcorn dumped on him after a game in Philadelphia. Obviously these two perpetrators qualify as ultra-idiots but maybe we just need to classify these offenders to try to figure out what their motivation might be.

The Know-it-All Idiot – This guy wants everyone to be aware that he is the smartest person in the building (or field) when it comes to strategy. He bellows out such clever bits of advice like “What are you doing coach?” or sarcastically hollers “Great job coach” and we can instantly tell that he is a savvy expert in the game based on these tidbits of particularly astute advice. The know-it-all idiot has great stamina and keeps this up for the entire game. (Note: Hall of Fame coaches are not exempt from the Know-it-all Idiot.)

The Drunken Idiot – This is the guy no one wants to sit next to because of the absurdity / profanity of his remarks, the decibel level which he consistently uses and of course because of the puke / spill factor. You may not like his word choices or his high pitched screaming but you sure don’t want to be sitting in front of a person who may dump beer on you or worst of all barf at some point during the game.

The “Watch This” Idiot – These types love to perform feats of bravery for their friends and others seated nearby (see spitters and popcorn tossers as examples.) They don’t really go the game for the excitement of watching athletes perform or to cheer on their favorite team but rather attend in order to find ways to impress those around them that they are willing to go to any lengths to get attention.

The “Stand Up Idiot” – This guy never sits down for the entire game while he screams at the refs, the coaches or the players. He of course creates a domino effect that extends to every row behind him forcing them to stand in order to see the contest.

The PO’d Parent Idiot – These people cannot be reasoned with. They believe that their son or daughter is going to be a collegiate standout prior to becoming the next big thing in professional sports. They do not care about the team aspect of sports nor do they even understand it. They only thing they care about is that their child is starting in the exact position that they deem necessary to move them onto stardom. They will endlessly gripe in the stands and on occasion will go down to the field / court to accost the coach. Truly high ranking idiots.

Is there anything we can do about these buffoons? Here are a few suggestions. In dealing with a Know-it-all idiot a worthwhile idea might be to find the nearest lumberjack type (a marine in uniform might do just as well) who is also tired of the braying. Convince them that no one can enjoy the game listening to this garbage. The lumberjack / marine can then go over and offer to beat his behind if he doesn’t shut up. That usually works because Know-it-alls are typically cowards. (Note: This strategy might work with “Stand Up Idiots” as well.

As for Drunken Idiots there are probably only two options. Move to another seat (especially if you are sitting right in front of him) or call security. If neither of those is a workable solution put on a rain coat because it’s just a matter of time before you get some type of fluid on you.

When it comes to “Watch This” idiots please don’t encourage them with any sort of attention – which is what they seek most. Ultimately these guys will wind up spending the night in jail where they will likely continue their routine with some of the “Drunken Idiots” as spectators.

There is no cure for the “PO’d Parent Idiot” so just stand clear.

So be warned that fools abound at most sporting events and there’s always that guy – he’ll fall into one of these categories – who can make the experience one you will want to forget.

(E-mail comments or questions to dar8589@bellsouth.net)

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