You’re Ruining it for the Rest of Us!: 9 Douchebags You See at NBA Games
Basketball (and hockey) games are a slightly different affair to their baseball and football brethren. These games take place indoors, during the winter, and generally in urban environments that makes everyone act about 19% more “Sex and the City” than they should. As such, you aren’t so much scared about getting puked on or stabbed like at a Raiders’ game as you are worried about just being annoyed by people who suck in a more general and loathsome way. These attendees will push your buttons through almost exclusively psychological avenues. Are you man enough to take it? Read on.
9. The Texter
These guys manage to piss everyone off solely by minding their own business, which is something of an anomaly. It just so happens that their business is playing with their damn smartphone for two-and-a-half hours when someone (their dad, probably) paid $168 per seat so they could watch the highest level of basketball in the world. They aren’t overtly obnoxious, but their ingratitude wafts over every person within a ten-seat radius, which tapers everyone’s enthusiasm a little more than it should. You can’t ask them to stop texting, cause then you’ll look like an asshole. You should probably just get pretty drunk and try and forget about them. Actually, that’s step 1 in dealing with every person on this list.
8. The Rich Guy
This guy is the easiest to spot in the whole crowd. Look for the dinner-plate sized watch on an over-dressed 45 year-old man directly adjacent to a bored-looking 27 year-old blonde. If those traits don’t give away about 40 guys sitting in a radius of about three to six rows back from courtside, you’re going to need to keep looking. Did he get there on time? If so, you’re barking up the wrong tree. The Rich Guy adheres to no one’s schedule but his own, and he will show up when he pleases, if at all. Cause fuck it! He’s rich! He will also lavish more attention on his blackberry than on any other aspect of the whole arena experience, including his date and the game. If you miss him during the game, you can catch this guy and his arm candy eating a late dinner at the bar of a douchey steakhouse. But you wouldn’t want to.
7. The Family
Yes, I’m collectively referring to a family as one douchebag. The dad will be overprotective, the mom will probably be oblivious, and their personal strife will leave them wound up tighter than something that is wound up incredibly tight. A top will suffice in this instance. Their kids WILL spill a soda. They WILL have to pee every three seconds. The entire family WILL stare daggers at you if you scream the f-bomb. They WILL leave during the most important part of the game because their kids have school tomorrow. The only thing you can do with the family is start talking to the children. This will freak the hell out of the parents, even if you’re asking them who their favorite player is. They won’t permit you to talk to their children, and since they don’t have a good reason, they will probably just shun you and leave you to your beer and profanity. They will still pee a lot though. Hopefully in the bathroom.
6. The Suburban Warrior
This guy is easy to spot. Get to the arena an hour early. Look at the guys in their seats. Those are Suburban Warriors. They live about 45 minutes outside of the city, so when they’re coming in to the big city, dammit, they’re gonna make a night of it. They grabbed some apps and beers at whatever sports restaurant is close to the arena, and got a parking pass from their boss, so these guys are good to go. They will spend approximately $5k on souvenirs, beers, and they are the only guys that buy programs. Their seats are good but not great (upper lower bowl), and their lives are boring enough that they are just hoping that something extraordinary happens to them, just this once. The guy that got cold-cocked by Ron Artest was almost certainly a Suburban Warrior. He WANTED to get punched. Just so he could feel SOMETHING. If you don’t find these guys in their seats, you can find them locked in bathroom stalls sitting on the toilet with their pants up, fighting the tears caused by the crushing weight of suburban life.
5. The Trash Talker
Despite being total losers in real life, these guys always have exceptionally good seats. Good seats are a prerequisite for the Trash Talker, cause they paid their money for the tickets and the opposing team is going to hear every unfiltered thought that ricochets through their angry-white-guy mind. If you try to make sense of their musings, your ears will bleed, and your brain will swell. These men have hate. And thank God they can jettison that hate 41 times per year, cause if not, their loved ones and neighbors could be looking at the business end of a Michael-Douglas-in-Falling-Down-type scenario that ends with a low speed chase and death by cop. Let them vent. Change seats if necessary. But never confront them. It’s like trying to reason with a murderous panda. Don’t laugh. That’s exactly what it’s like.
4. The Drunk
This guy doesn’t really have an archetype. He can be from any walk of life, but the common thread is that all the Drunks are drunk. They can also match the characteristics of anyone on this list (Except the perennial season ticket holder. They don’t drink.) or they could be totally normal and defy classification. They don’t have behavior patterns, which makes them so dangerous. Is drunk guy reaching to you for a hug or is he try to stand up or is he trying to poor beer on you? You won’t know until it’s way too late. If you’re in the company of a Drunk, you have two roads to go down. You can be pissed at everything he does, or you can laugh at him and enjoy him. However, you can’t laugh too hard or he will think you hate him. This can be dealt with, though. If you consistently feed the drunk guy high fives, he’ll be your best friend. If you thin think there is a situation that might merit a high five, just do it. Bust out high ten sporadically to show him how cool you and yours are and you will have an ally for 48 minutes. It’s science.
3. The Dancer
The demographics that generally comprise the “Dancer” subset are a)girls of any age, b)30-45 year-old gentlemen that have not touched a breast, c)stupid teenage boys that think they’re being pretty ironic, but they’re just acting out cause they’re insecure like every other teenager. Now, you can’t yell at kids. I mean, you can, but you really shouldn’t, so you’ve got to find another way to deal with these buggers. Here’s how: elbows out. Don’t get aggressive with it. Take a cue from the players on the court. If your elbows are out, you’re just protecting your space. If you’re throwing elbows, it’s a foul. And trust me, tossing an elbow at a dancing child is a pretty big foul. If that fails to work, do the “accidental drink spill” on them. The feel of a stranger’s spilled beer on their sleeve or neck will haunt them for the rest of the game. It has to be a measured physical response. Dancers know they’re being obnoxious, so telling them will accomplish nothing. It’s like training a puppy.
2. The Perennial Season Ticket Holder
These guys operate on the other end of the spectrum. They treat the game like Catholic mass and any expression of joy or amusement will be met with a sneer that will cause the Perennial Season Ticket Holder’s wife to go, “Now Ted, they’re just having fun,” while holding his white-knuckled hand. These guys are all bark and no bite. As long as you aren’t antagonizing these curmudgeons too much, you can simply ignore them. Also, it’s fun to try and get them to join in the revelry and have them refuse you. To do this, offer up a high five every five minutes or so, if only so you can be amused by his reluctance or refusal. Their douchiness can come in handy though. These guys know everything about every player on the court, and love to be asked so they can share their knowledge. You can ingratiate yourself to them by periodically asking questions to which you don’t are about answer. Easy, right?
1. The Guy That Has a “Thing”
This one isn’t very clear, so allow me to elaborate. Some people have lives so empty that they take on a persona at basketball games to increase their profile. For instance, I’m a Mavericks fan. There was a gentleman with 3rd-row baseline seats that had all the symptoms of a Category 5 douchenozzle. He wore blue tinted sunglasses, he wore those short-sleeve shirts like the guys in “Swingers” did about a billion years ago, and he had nasty spiked hair. He was about 40. His “thing” was, every time in the 4th quarter they played AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”, he would mouth the words and do a dance in front of a baseline camera that over time would be dedicated to chronicling this asshat’s buffoonery. Fine. Whatever. I get it. He’s lonely. But he took it to the next level. My ex-GF ran a sushi restaurant right by AAC that this dude would frequent. She knew of his exploits at games and was about as amused by him as I was. Well, he would call up the restaurant and demand that he get a table for 2 at 10 PM after the game under the name “Thunder Man” (Full disclosure: It may have been “Thunderman”.) As a self-respecting person, she refused to enter into even a reservation agreement with someone who referred himself as “Thunder Man.” He responded by asking if she knew he was. She said that she DID know who he was, and that’s why he was receiving such shitty treatment from her. He vowed never to return to the restaurant again and was back after the next game.
That’s my first/secondhand experience with guys who have a “thing” at sporting events, namely NBA games. They are the worst. The only thing you can do to cope with them is exhibit mafia-like patience and know that, on their deathbed, they will take inventory of their lives and it will be like staring into the abyss.
Actually, screw that. Run them over with your car if you see them.