No matter the sport, no matter the venue, they will be there.
"They," of course, being awful, no-good, rotten and incorrigible sports fans hellbent on ruining everything for everyone.
Their existence is almost a natural law, and wherever sports are played, at least one species of bad fan will be in attendance, doing their best to give everyone who has ever paid money to watch organized athletics a bad name via their sheer numbskullery.
The following is an updated ranking of the 10 worst varieties of fan you can encounter in American sports in the Year of Our Lord 2017.
Just remember: being able to identify a bad sports fan is the surest way to avoid becoming one yourself, and knowledge is half the battle.
Heckling is a fine and delicate art between fan and athlete. A dance, if you will.
A good heckler knows his targets are partners in this dance. He knows when to lead and when to acquiesce, and most importantly, when to shut up and not say anything.
The bad heckler is the opposite of all these qualities. They badger, bully and swear loudly for attention while offering zero original lines and eliciting only nervous, silence-filling laughter from those around them.
Throw ice at them.
Real-life Job: “Sales."
You’ll find this genus of Terribulus Fansia adjusting their CopperFit armband and exiting the game with four minutes left in the contest—regardless of the score or stakes.
They cannot stomach the idea of finishing out the product they paid to watch or dealing with the five additional minutes of traffic they’d face by sticking around to the conclusion.
Real-life Job: Early retiree who “made a mint on YouTube."
Hat Trick Hat Throwers
“But it’s a tradition!"
Yeah. A dumb one. You just lost your hat forever, idiot.
Real-life Job: #Actuallying people online.
NHLINHLI via Getty Images
Courtside Lakers guy
This dude is a whole species to himself.
Real-life Job: Vegas pit boss / direct-to-TV movie producer.
They stick close to their dark, murky refuge and attend games only to hammer the opposing team’s players with disproportionately aggressive barbs.
When roused to action by an in-game ejection, they will secrete a spray of $8 beer onto players as they pass into the tunnel. You are legally allowed to smack their beverages from their hands.
Real-life Job: Tow truck driver, trust-fund baby.
He’s the first to tailgate and the first to drool on his own shirt around disappointed loved ones.
Real-life Job: Fraternity headquarters liaison
B582158035Z.1Toronto Star via Getty Images
The Kobestani are a proud tribe that hunt in packs and can be dangerous to humans when encountered one on one. They can twist any conversation on any subject into an NBA legacy debate. Approach them with caution.
Real-life Job: Club promoter, Uber driver who “only does this on the side."
Face paint guy
Face paint guy isn’t just a type of fan, it is a lifestyle decision. The moment you put paint to cheekbone and enter a sporting arena, you are forever changed in the public’s eye.
There’s no coming back from being Face Paint Guy. You are doomed to a life of backing into parking spaces and putting A1 sauce on steaks, and any respect you sense emanating from others is, in fact, a wary and calculated decision to give you and your life choices as wide a berth as possible.
Real-life Job: Assistant to the regional manager.
His natural habitat is grainy, vertically-shot video taken inside the men’s rooms at New Era Field (he still calls it Ralph Wilson Stadium) and his prey are lone fans urinating while garbed in the opposing team’s jersey.
He is as opportunistic as he is drunk, and he does not mind scrapping on knees and elbows over wee-coated tiling to defend his team’s honor. Report him immediately to the nearest authorities as soon as you encounter this person.
Real-life Job: Tire salesman.
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP
Boston sports fans
I tried to keep this civil. I tried to keep it from being too specific. But facts are facts, and 70 percent of Boston sports fans you’ll meet are, categorically, the worst.
To be fair, I’d be the worst, too, if my teams had been proven incapable of losing at anything but basketball for the past seventeen years and change.
Real-life Job: Bartender / psychiatrist who tells you it’s not your fault.