The 15 Worst Sports Fandoms, Power Ranked For Terribleness
Pro sports wouldn't exist without its fans. The whole reason these silly children's games have the power to “galvanize cities” or predict Presidential elections is because of fans. Bummer though: sports fans are assholes. They'll yell all of George Carlin's seven words without even realizing they're talking about themselves. Today we celebrate (?) those most insufferable jerks who are considered adults in age only. Don't worry, if you don't see your team on this list, rest assured it was cut for space or author bias. Your team deserves to be on this list.
One last caveat: no college sports. The answer to the worst college sports fandom is “all of them.”
WNBA Haters Are So Tired At This Point
If you like basketball, you like the WNBA. Sure, there are fewer dunks. But the offenses are beautiful and intricate, with pass-and-cut sets that bend spectators' brains as much as defenses. The players are skilled on the court and unapologetically cool off the court. How many sports leagues can say they overthrew a sitting Senator? The league is getting more media attention as late, with personalities like Tom Ziller and the Spinsters podcast covering the women's game with the same regularity as the NBA. So everyone tweeting “back in the kitchen” jokes can take their retrograde sexism back to a time before Bill Simmons had women coworkers. The WNBA is here to stay.
Oakland Raiders (RIP)
Somehow one of the worst and also best fanbases ever. They're so violent they fight each other when they win. But there's something about their loyalty to a franchise that's always moving away and association with gangsta rap that makes us love them. So while they definitely deserve a spot on this list, any fanbase that committed to garish gameday getups gets an asterisk of thumbs up.
Semi-apologies to this group of formerly-long-suffering die-hards. Especially cool people like Nick Offerman or Chicago historian Bill Savage. But to be around the combination of cookie-cutter suburbanites and drunk-since-noon fratty Cubs fans is to hate them, as Old Town Ale House tavernkeep Bruce Elliot famously said.
New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans is a wonderful, walkable city with endless culture and nightlife. While the Pelicans' tenure in New Orleans hasn't been marked by deep playoff runs, they've had some interesting teams, from the Chris Paul years on through the Anthony Davis/DeMarcus Cousins experiment. Tickets to Pelicans games are pretty cheap, and the Smoothie King arena sells alligator po boys and giant frozen Hurricanes. So why is attendance consistently among the lowest in the NBA? Go see a basketball game, New Orleans!
Tie: New York Knicks/Los Angeles Lakers
Two smart, passionate fanbases only here because of their entitlement. Any time the Knicks or Lakers finish November above .500 every talking head drones on about how “the league is better when the Knicks/Lakers are good.” Hogwash. The Lakers sucked in the 90s and the Knicks have sucked the entire 21st century. The league has been in great shape that entire time, with possible exception of 1999-2004, post-Michael Jordan malaise years coincidentally marked by a Knicks Finals appearance and Lakers three-peat.
In the early aughts, the Blackhawks routinely averaged some of the lowest attendance numbers in the NHL. On-ice competency arrived in 2009, and attendance numbers nearly doubled as the team won Stanley Cups in 2010, ‘13, and ’15. You know you're not a bandwagon fandom when people write articles about how you're not a bandwagon fandom. It doesn't help to have those championships tainted by organizational cover-up of sexual assault, either.
Y'all are trying to make a towel menacing. A towel. The thing children wear to play superhero. A towel.
Apologies to the entire United States southeast, whom the Braves have a strangehold on thanks to some
rad 90s teams Ted Turner's cable television prowess. But the tomahawk chop is unconscionable. It should've been stopped years ago. Braves fans buckle down, though. Even after the summer of 2020, aka the summer when white people ran out of excuses.
New York Yankees
Slightly unfair because Yankees fans are generally knowledgeable about both baseball and their team's rich history. The problem is cheering for unabashed, unrestrained capitalism. To root for the Yankees is to root for the very forces that are fragmenting our world into haves and have-nots. No amount of folksy Yogi Berra quotes or inspirational Lou Gehrig speeches changes the fact that you're rooting for the boot you're licking to taste worse. The only way for the Yankees to get off this list is to broker a peace treaty between Desus and Mero.
Leaving a winnable NBA Finals game before the buzzer sounds gets you on this list, sorry. Especially if one of the greatest moments in Finals history happened after you were trying to beat the traffic back to sip Red Bull vodkas with other fame-thirsty lackeys at Bongo's.
Booing and throwing snowballs at Santa Claus gets you on this list, sorry.
Intentionally puking on an 11-year-old girls gets your on this list, sorry. Seriously, what the actual hell, Philly? Oh wait, those jagoffs were from New Jersey.
Boston, Just, Like, All Of It
How does one city win six Super Bowls, four World Series, an NBA championship, a Stanley Cup championship, all in the span of a short 22 years, and still claim whiny, insufferable underdog status? By controlling all of sports media, of course (we kid, Bill Simmons, we kid). Jokes aside, never forget what they did to Bill Russell.