The sports experience can be an exhilarating one. Sitting in the stands and watching your favorite team can’t be enjoyed as much as sitting in your living room with (free) food and drinks.
But, sometimes the experience is just a little too up close and personal. Like fans falling on fields, losing their snacks to foul balls and flying pucks, terribly made signs, awkward marriage proposals and “Kiss-Cam” episodes gone terribly awry.
Or, put another way, just another Sunday afternoon tailgate before a Buffalo Bills home game.
Cameramen take great pleasure in capturing the foibles that befall those in the stands, saving their disgraceful moments for posterity. Most times, it’s laughable stuff and those captured on film can laugh it off with their friends.
Here are 15 sports fan fails we think are laugh-out-loud funny, in no particular order.
15. Detroit Lions ‘0-16’ Tattoo
Immortalizing your love for your team in a tattoo is a time-honored tradition. Team logos are all in good fun and taste as are the odd mug of a sports superstar adorning some skin. However, when the tattoo celebrates an ignominious sports failure, it’s just wrong and very funny. The 2007 Detroit Lions weren’t a bad squad, posting a 7-9 record and looking like they might turn a corner. Only problem was, they went the wrong way in 2008. This sad sack squad became the first team since the equally bad 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers to lose every single game in a season. The final, scary tally? 0-for-16. One guy, probably in a drunken haze, decided he’d adorn his chest with the infamous feat. It hurt him way more than it hurts us to laugh at it.
14. Packer Fan High 5 Fail
Being a publicly owned team, the Green Bay Packers have never shown a shyness for interacting with their fans. And what better way to do it, than with the famous “Lambeau Leap.” Former player Leroy Lambert was the first to turn the trick, and he was a defensive player. It happened in 1983, after all-pro linebacker Reggie White recovered a fumble and before getting tackled on the way to the end zone, flipped the pigskin to Lambert, who completed the broken play by rambling for a TD. He raced through the end zone and then launched his significant girth into the stands for a big fan hug. But, what happens when the fans get a little too exuberant atop that high wall? The person in the video found out you can’t lean too far.
13. Bad Boston Bruins Fan Sign
Bringing a sign to a game is a fan’s right and most times, they are in good taste and capture the spirit of just what it is to follow a team, for better and for worse. Sometimes, they’re good tongue-in-cheek fun, like a sign that reads “The Guy Behind Me Can’t See!” Or, yet another disgruntled Detroit Lions fan putting his spin on the horrible, horrible 2008 season with a sign that said “0-16…Living The Dream.” There have been marriage proposals and fans telling referees exactly what they think of them, to say the least. Some girls in Boston, pictured below, threw all decorum out the window at a Boston Bruins game and got a good chuckle out of former star forward Tyler Seguin for their trouble. Bwahahaha.
12. New England Patriots Horrible Tattoo
Like the “0-16” guy, another fan thought it would be a great idea to actually commemorate a good team like the New England Patriots. Too bad he got the worst tattoo artist on the planet to do it. The original “Minuteman” logo is now an alternate uniform for the Pats, but is still a classic any way you look at it. The red-hatted, blue-coated mean looking freedom fighter poised to snap a football is a cool look and done the right way, would be great bicep candy. The “Minuteman” in this tattoo, though, looks like a cross between a man and a dog, and is wearing what looks to be dirty bandages on his left arm. Yikes.
11. Chicago Cubs Fan Beer Fail
Wrigley Field is a cool place to take in a ball game, even when renovations force fans to pee in concourse areas. The ivy covered walls, the fans atop buildings outside the stadium and the old school feel of the venerable ball field is the real deal. The fans in the bleachers are among the most knowledgeable, and the most boisterous anywhere in Major League Baseball. A favorite sport there is to throw opponents’ home run balls back onto the field. Early in 2011, one amped up fan went a little too far in his quest to toss one back. Los Angeles’ Dodgers Matt Kemp had just launched one into the stands, where it was caught by a jersey-wearing Cubbies fan. In the process of heaving the orb, his arm action spills the beer of a guy coming down the stairs, and all over that guy’s girlfriend. True alcohol abuse.
10. Marriage Proposal Gone Whack
A sporting event isn’t the most romantic place to ask someone to marry you. Especially for the person being proposed to. It’s all too public and doomed to be caught on camera for the world to see. One poor sap at a Minnesota Twins’ game in 2009 decided to get on bended knee and ask his girlfriend to marry him. The guy looks like he is doing OK and his girlfriend seems duly surprised. But, out of the blue, she rears back, slaps him in the face and storms out of the stands. Poor guy is left sitting there, about to cry in his expensive beer. To add insult to injury, somewhere in the background a vendor, oblivious to the scene around him, starts yelling “hot dogs, get your hot dogs!”
9. Massive Popcorn Fail
Popcorn is, without doubt, the most popular fan food out there. One goofy guy at a Washington State Cougars football game in 2013 decided he’d get up close and intimate with a bag of the stuff, to uproarious laughter from TV commentators. The Cougars were getting blown out by Stanford 55-17, when the cameras caught this dude lounging in mostly empty stands, as others around him had had bailed long before. As he is enjoying his freedom of movement, he takes a plastic bag of buttery goodness and dumps it in his mouth and all over his prone frame. His head is thrown back in popcorn-eating ecstasy, until he snaps it forward, revealing a face absolutely full of it. The stuff of legend.
8. Nacho Cheese Explosion
Next to popcorn, salty, crunchy nachos and cheese-like substance is the fan food of choice. A box of the triangular snack food and a bowl of the gooey orange sauce is a great way to carbo-load your game experience. One unfortunate fan at a Chicago Cubs – St. Louis Cardinals game this past season ended up seeing his big ol’ plate o’ nachos all over the field, courtesy of Cubs SS Addison Russell, who was attempting to chase down a foul ball. Initially the guy looks shocked at the mess, but once he figures out that he got a sound byte on TV all was well in the world. And, later, in a gesture of goodwill and gamesmanship, Russell delivers a fresh order to the happy fan.
7. Hockey Fans Scrap Over Souvenir Stick
Fights in hockey have become more rare in recent years, but there is still the odd lively scrap to keep the few remaining neanderthals in the seats entertained. Even rarer still are fights in the stands. In late 2009, future Hall of Fame defenceman Scott Niedermayer was in his last season with the Anaheim Ducks and in a game on Nov. 19, 2009, he scored a goal in overtime against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning to win it 4-3. In a nice gesture, Niedermayer skated over to the glass with a game stick and tried to hand it to a little girl. Well, one guy standing nearby tried to grab it from her, only to draw the ire of another fan seated nearby. Next thing anyone knows, and with a stunned Niedermayer looking on, the two trade punches over the stick. Sheesh.
6. “Boogie Man” Drops Hapless Girl
Darren “Boogie Man” Moscoe is a legend at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. The Wildcats basketball superfan, who is likely a retiree, has been known to get up and dance at all UK home games, to the delight of those in his section. However, the self-professed dancer took things a bit too far during a game in early 2016 and got himself banned from the aisleways at Rupp (not the stadium itself) for a horrid looking mishap. Dressed in Wildcats blue and sporting a fedora and sunglasses, Moscoe started his schtick and was joined soon after by 10-year-old Aubrey Derrickson. In a moment of inspiration, Moscoe picked her up and then attempted to boogie while straddling a handrail. He got a little ways down when gravity took over, spilling him and the little girl onto the stairs. It looked nastier than it actually was and Aubrey was a good sport about it, saying, “I think it hurt him more than it hurt me.”
5. Baseball Fan Gets Down And Dirty With His Armpits
Sometimes, bad fan behavior can be taken just a little too far. During a Miami Marlins – Washington Nationals game a few years back, one unidentified fan probably forgot to put on deodorant that day. As the cameras zoom in on a Nationals player in the batter’s box preparing for the next pitch, the fan can be seen in the blurry background, sticking his left hand under his right arm pit. Then, the clown takes it out and gives his fingers a good sniff to savor the likely ripe aroma. If that wasn’t bad enough, he then reaches over and sticks his disgusting digits right under the nose of his companion, who likely couldn’t get far enough away. File this one under “things that make you go, hmmmm.”
4. New York Yankees Fan Has The Dropsies
Great seats along the third base line at Yankee Stadium: check. Snazzy clothes and decent eyewear: check. Girlfriend seated beside you to enjoy game with: check. Drinking a couple too many beers and missing easy souvenir foul balls: check, check and check. Will Smith, no relation to the Hollywood rapper/actor, was sitting in great seats along the third base line during a game in 2015, when a combination of too much alcohol and terrible hands caused him untold embarrassment, all caught on live TV. The Yanks were hosting the hated Boston Red Sox and during that contest, Smith missed, in succession, an easy foul ball hit right at him, an even easier ground ball foul and then the coup de grace, a ball underhanded to him by a Yankees ball boy as a souvenir. He did take it all in stride, appearing on local broadcasts after to explain himself.
3. Heckling Fan Gets Her Comeuppance
Brendan Shanahan is now the president of the Toronto Maple Leafs and former director of NHL discipline, both very serious jobs. However, during his playing days, he was known as much for being a card as he was a talented playmaker and sometime fighter. In 2002, he and the Detroit Red Wings were embroiled in the Stanley Cup final series with the Carolina Hurricanes. With the series tied 1-1 and the ‘Canes hosting, things got chippy. Shanahan, never one to shy away from the rough going, took a pair of roughing penalties in the third period of a game the Wings would win 3-2 in triple overtime. One Hurricanes fan, who was quite vocal, took her proximity to the penalty box to let Wings players know exactly what she thought of them. During one of Shanny’s trips to the sin bin, the lady — wearing a tank top — ripped into him. Without missing a beat, he looked over and pantomimed shaving his armpits and mouthing to her something like “that isn’t a good look, you ought to shave those nasty pits.”
2. Raptors Fan Gets Denied Going In For A Smooch
Talk about a total, embarrassing and nationally televised burn. During the first round of the 2014 playoffs, the Toronto Raptors squared off in a heated seven-game series with the Brooklyn Nets, who had famously sold the farm to load up that season for a run (getting Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce at great cost). The series was knotted at 2-2 with game 5 in Toronto and the Raptors were holding a 111-108 lead (late in a game they would win 115-113). Kyle Lowry had just hit a big bucket to give Toronto that lead, when the camera panned to the crowd, many adorned in ‘We The North’ t-shirts. One fan, obviously elated at Lowry’s huge play, leaned in on his girlfriend to get a kiss. But, she was having no part, denying the poor schlep in front of a huge TV audience.
1. Muscular Fan Loses Fight With Bottled Water
We’re not sure if weightlifting actually helps build strong arms, but one unfortunate muscle head at a New York Mets game proved that it doesn’t. Early in the game between the Mets and Kansas City Royals a big dude in a tight blue t-shirt — naturally! — buys a bottle of water to sip on. Over the course of what seems like hours, he tries and tries and tries again to twist the cap off. The cameraman even cuts away to capture some of the on field action, and when he returns to the bodybuilding bloke, he is still wrestling with the drink. Eventually, he just gives up and hands it back meekly to the vendor while supplying some sort of excuse to his companion. Weak, we say, weak.