We live in an incredible time when it comes to technology. With the push of a button (or the swipe of a finger), you can find out pretty much anything, which is especially useful if you’re obsessed with sports. Not only does social media give you the latest information on your team the second it happens, it gives you a glimpse into players’ lives. Through Twitter and Instagram, players share what they want to with the masses, who, in turn, can respond to them, for better and for worse…mostly for worse.
Everyone says Kentucky fans are crazy — and we are — but I’d argue the worst of that crazy has been magnified by social media. From sports to politics, social media has become a microphone for the extreme, and just in the past month, I’ve seen countless examples of fans who have gone overboard. With that in mind, here’s my ranking of the 10 creepiest types of sports fans:
Creepiest of the Creepers
Catfish Fan (AKA Fan That Pretends To Be A Player On Social Media)
In the week following Kentucky’s loss to North Carolina, someone running a Facebook account pretending to be Bam Adebayo posted a picture of Bam, Malik Monk, and Isaiah Briscoe with a caption reading, “Round 2?”, which people immediately started sharing in hopes it meant they were returning to Kentucky. I was immediately suspicious and asked UK if that was Bam’s real account, and of course, it wasn’t. That means someone, presumably a Kentucky fan, set up a Facebook account pretending to be Bam (and a number of other players), and for the past year or so, has posted on it as though he/she was the 19-year-old basketball star. I don’t get this on many levels:
- First of all, it is creepy as hell
- Second, where’s the glory in it? I understand doing things for attention, but no one knows who set the account up, so what’s the point? Does the person just get a kick out of fooling people and seeing the number of likes/comments they can get?
- Third, who has the time to do this?
The same goes for the countless fake Jeff Goodman and Seth Greenberg accounts that trolled fans last week with false news about players returning/staying in the draft. Like I said before, what must your life be like if you pretend to be Jeff Goodman?
Fan That Tweets Mean Things To Players/Recruits
At some point in your life, you’ve probably yelled a bad thing about a player in your living room while watching a game. As passionate fans, that’s human nature; however, yelling about something in the privacy of your own home and tweeting it to the player on Twitter are two different things entirely. Want to see the dregs of our society? Look up a player’s mentions after they have a bad game. While the good in our fanbase far outweighs the bad, the bad does exist, mostly in the form of “eggs” (anonymous social accounts that harass people because they have no life), or, occasionally, people who have no problem attaching their name, picture, and righteous Twitter bio to insults directed at kids playing a game.
What the heck, man?
Fan Who Sends Death Threats
I hate that I had to list this, but unfortunately, I do. Just, no.
Grown Man That Waits For Autographs To Sell On eBay
People wanting autographs from players is fine, but a few months ago, I saw the ugly side of it when I went to watch PJ Washington play in Marshall County. Several UK fans waited patiently for PJ to sign autographs, which he did, but there was one guy there who didn’t seem like a fan (didn’t engage PJ in talk about next year, wasn’t wearing UK gear), but had an entire garbage bag full of balls and memorabilia for PJ and a few of the other top recruits to sign. PJ’s dad/coach watched the guy like a hawk, and after PJ signed one ball for him, stepped in and said that was probably enough. Most people would back off at that point, right? Wrong. The man went over to a little girl in the lobby and asked her if she would ask PJ to sign his ball. Then, after the game was over, he lingered around the locker room area to attempt to get more autographs before security shooed him away. After talking to some people there, apparently, this happens a lot, and the balls inevitably end up on eBay the next day. Sad.
Fans Who Approach Players While They’re Eating/In The Bathroom
The two times you definitely don’t bother someone? When they’re eating or when they’re doing their business. Don’t make the interaction any more awkward that it already is.
Grown Fan Who Kisses Players on the Cheek
The trend of players doing autograph tours before they go to the NBA Draft is great because it gives fans a way to say thank you and good luck, but inevitably, some fans take it a bit too far, such as this woman, who smooched Skal Labissiere, De’Aaron Fox, and Malik Monk on the cheek, as captured by KSTV:
Before anyone tries to justify this, what if it was a female basketball player and a grown man kissing her on the cheek? It’s weird.
Fan Who Takes Pictures of Players Without Asking
De’Aaron Fox told a story about how a fan waited outside the Lodge for some of the players to come out, and when they did, ran up, took a picture of them, then ran back to his car and drove off, all without saying a word. I get being nervous to ask a player for a picture, but running up, taking one, then running away? That’s just scary. Be brave and ask for the pic; nine times out of ten, you’ll get it, and the one time you don’t, well, you probably won’t want it anymore anyways.
Fans Who Lick Players’ Cars
— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) April 20, 2015
I’m sure Devin Booker keeps his car clean, but eww.
Weird, But (Probably) Harmless
Fan That Makes Photoshops of Players
Somewhere right now, someone is hunched over the computer working on a photoshop of Mohamed Bamba in a Kentucky jersey. Spending that much time editing a picture of another person is a little odd, but hey, anything to get Bamba to Kentucky, right?
Fans That Make Twitter Accounts Pretending To Be Kentucky Basketball
Nary a day goes by that I don’t see a Twitter account pretending to be the official Kentucky Basketball account. These accounts are rarely tied to an actual website and pretty much only retweet or straight up copy tweets from the media that follow the team. One of them probably still has Doron Lamb fooled into thinking they’re the real thing.