The word “fan” is derived from the Latin word, “fanaticus” which means “insanely but divinely inspired.”
That phrase seems to ring true with die-hard sports fans, who are loyal enough to do just about anything for their team.
When someone becomes a sports fanatic, they become a part of the team and take on the emotions of the players. They suffer during the hard losses and energetically celebrate the victories. You’ve probably experienced this. With super fandom comes ridiculous spirit wear (or none at all), seemingly random superstitions, and sometimes sad and unfortunate outcomes. Some might say that these fans took things a little (or a lot) too far.
Click on to see just how crazy these sports fans got and how far they went to cheer on their teams. You’ll be amazed at #3! I can’t believe he’s still alive!
Protest at the Goal Post
This sports fan handcuffed himself to the goal post in an attempt to gain the attention of big European airline RyanAir. Evidently, the company did not give his daughter a job and he thought the best way to protest was to run down into the field and take action. Though others tried to convince him to uncuff himself and allow the soccer teams to play, he was stubborn and the police were called to remove him. Now just what RyanAir has to do with English Premier League Soccer, I haven’t figured out yet.
Sometimes sports fanaticism goes too far and unfortunately, poor judgement and tragic outcomes can ensue. This terrible event took place in 2014 when a rioting fan decided to throw a toilet bowl during a 1-1 match between second-division clubs Santa Cruz and Parana. The bowl hit a 26-year-old fan named Paulo Ricardo Gomes da Silva, killing him instantly.
Biggest Catch Of His Life, Dropped
Tom Brady had a chance to keep a drive alive in Super Bowl 52 but he dropped the ball no cliche. On a trick play that sent Brady out as a receiver, the ball popped off the tip of his fingers bringing their drive to an end and giving the Eagles the ball. That turned out to be the biggest what if of the game. Losing turned out to be detrimental to the Patriots as far as memes go. The one you see pictured above is just the frosting on the cake. Crying Jordan faces were planted on the heads of Brady, Bill Belichick and somehow, Chip Kelly.
Hockey Takes a Violent Turn
Emotions took over when hockey fans rioted during a 1955 game between the and the Detroit Red Wings. It all started after NHL commissioner Clarence Campbell had suspended Montreal Canadiens player Maurice Richard for the remainder of the season and the play-offs because of an incident where he hit a referee during a fight on the ice. It was so intense that tear gas bombs were set off in the complex, leading 15,000-16,000 fans onto the streets where they continued rioting for many hours.
Usually, when a sports fan runs through the field, they’re naked or just wanting their five seconds of fame before being tackled by security. However, Jimmy Jump, a fully-clothed man from Sabadell, Spain, has been consistently finding his way onto fields of various sports games since 2004. The point of his escapade is to stand up against racial inequality and he always sports a homemade shirt that says “Jimmy Jump Against Racism.”
The Wembley Stadium Siege
When a hardcore sports fan’s team wins, it’s like they themselves made the winning goal. If you’re a crazy sports fan, you’ve probably experienced this. You become more than just a fan. You are a part of that team, sharing in the victory and excitement when they win. And that’s just what happened here, at Wembley Stadium in London in 1977. Scottish fans celebrated victory over the Brits by dashing onto the field, climbing the goal posts, and bonding with each other.
Trees Meeting Their Unfortunate End
When rivalries are taken too far, innocent trees can become the victims. At least, that’s what happened when Alabama Crimson Tide fan Harvey Updyke, Jr. decided to make a statement for his team and against the rival team, The Auburn Tigers. He poured poison over all of the school’s 130-year-old beloved oak trees at Toomer’s Corner, the site where Auburn fans traditionally celebrate after games. Updyke was arrested and ordered to pay $800,000 in restitution. As of 2015, Updyke was behind on his payments.
Legendary NBA Heckler
Robin Ficker is a legendary heckler who takes his fandom to the next level. This man goes to games and sits on the opposing team’s side, heckling them with posters and a megaphone. He actually held season tickets to Bulls games for twelve years, sitting directly within earshot of coaches and players.
Leaving A Message
When beloved Chicago Cubs baseball star, Ron Santo, passed away, one of his fans decided to leave a message for the player in the way he thought most suitable: by vandalizing a train station with a Sharpie. Of course, the distraught fan was arrested, though he said he was just “trying to do the right thing.” Too bad his message was full of misspelled words.
He wrote, “Good! Buy! Ron Santo! Cubs Best Cub Thirt-Baseman Forever Love Always, God.”
It’s the worst when your favorite player on your favorite team goes Benedict Arnold on you and plays for the team you hate. Like when Red Sox fans saw Johnny Damon playing for the Yankees? Or when Packers fans watched when Brett Favre became a Minnesota Viking?
One Barcelona fan decided to display his feelings about Luis Figo’s playing for Real Madrid by throwing a severed pig’s head onto the field. The fan was fined 4,000 Euros for the stunt.
Some fans are just hardcore enough to emblazon themselves permanently with tattoos of their fave players. Others do it because they lost a bet, which is what happened to Juan Contreras, who bet that Tim Tebow couldn’t win five or more games. When it happened and Tebow helped take the Broncos to the playoffs for the 2011 season, Contreras kept up his side of the bet. However, instead of a simple watch that said “Tebow Time,” he got a majestic centaur with Tebow in a helmet.
When Things Flare Up
A.C. Milan and Inter Milan, two of Italy’s best teams, have been intense rivals for many years. Up until 2005, though, tensions were kept pretty calm. But at the 2005 Champions League Match, emotions were charged from the beginning and finally exploded when A.C. was already ahead 3-0 and then was awarded a free kick. Fans lit up the field with flares, one of them hitting an A.C. Milan goalkeeper.
When Octopuses Take The Ice
Who ever heard of an octopus being a team’s mascot and strange superstition? Well, if you’re a Detroit Red Wings fan, you have. This tradition began way back in 1952, when Jerry and Pete Cusimano brought a dead octopus to the playoffs and coincidentally (or maybe not) Detroit won the NHL title.
Ever since that stunt, the octopus has been one very specific way in which fans show their team spirit and perhaps the tradition has helped to make the Red Wings one of the most successful teams in hockey today.
Just Kick The Ball Already
Sometimes, anticipation is just too much to bear. In 2009, at a Spartak Moscow game, this die-hard fan couldn’t take the waiting and decided to just finish the play himself. After running onto the field, he kicked the ball right past the goalkeeper and was met with cheers and screaming from the stands.
Help Each Other Out
You know you’re a huge fan when you sacrifice time you could have been sleeping to shovel snow off the bleachers at 4:30 a.m. In January 2012, the Packers and Giants were ready to fight for a place in the NFC Championship, except that the stadium was covered in a massive amount of snow and needed to removed before game day. So what did loyal Packer fans do? They stepped in to help, of course. All 850 of them.
When Your Child Suffers For Your Fandom
One enthusiastic sports fan went too far when she named her son Spurrier Urban. Of course, his first name comes from former Florida Gators star/coach Steve Spurrier while his middle name was taken from Gators coach Urban Meyer. Unfortunately, things change and Meyer became head coach for Ohio state in 2011. Mom Jennifer Wiley had to consider a name change. Poor kid.
Tattoos All Around
Nothing tells the world that you are a fan of the Raiders more than a bald head covered in Raiders tattoos, am I right? Well, that’s evidently what this super-fan thought. This photo, posted in 2011 from Larry Brown Sports, shows just how far this man went to show his team spirit. Across his eyebrows are the words, “Looks are deceiving.” Oh my.
Back Hair and Nascar
Like peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese and tomato soup, nothing goes together more sweetly than back hair and Nascar. At least, that’s what this crazy fan thought when he decided to shave his back hair into the ultimate sign of his fandom to driver Dale Earnhardt. Though, to be honest, I’m going to guess that the lady sitting next to him did all the work.
When A Fan Saves A Life
During a match between Tottenham Hotspurs and Bolton Wanderers, one of the Wanderers collapsed, leaving the game halted and the crowd stunned. Thankfully, Dr. Andrew Deaner, a consulting cardiologist and Hotspurs fan, was in the crowd and decided to provide his expertise. Muamba’s heart actually stopped beating for an incredible 78 minutes and was miraculously brought back to life by the cardiologist and the rest of the stadium’s medical team.
For 30 seasons these enthusiastic men have followed their Redskins team around the US cheering them on in dresses, tea party hats, and pig noses. Though they recently decided to hang up their frocks for good, these fans not only supported their team, they also raised money for many charities including the Children’s Miracle Network, Ronald McDonald House, and March of Dimes. Nice work, Hogettes.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up About It
You know that you’re a die-hard fan when your team loses and you feel like it was you who missed that crucial play. Sometimes you just have to feel that pain and suffer along with the team. And that’s exactly what this uber-fan did about Clemson losing to Georgia Tech. Poor kid just couldn’t keep his wits about him and remember that it was, in fact, just a game.
Philly Gets Crazy After First Super Bowl Victory
Feb. 4, 2018, marked a historic day for the fans, players, and people of Philadelphia. The Philidelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl and the city had some fun that turned violent. “Everything is free,” is what could be heard in the streets as looting and trashing gas stations took place. Beating Tom Brady and the New England Patriots is a huge deal. But for the city to act out like this is uncalled for. Police horses were stolen, fires were set, bottles were thrown and an off-duty cop was arrested.