It's Waxing Off, the Internet feature that was planted in the ground by God to test our faith. This week's topic: The scourge of celebrity sports fans.
At Texas our "Ashley Judd" is Matthew McConaughey. It sucks to have your most visible celebrity alum be hokey rom-com actor whose personal hygiene can best be described as questionable. Then again, "Fools Gold" was kind of awesome. In college, Matty's suite was behind our seats, so we caught glimpses of him regularly, and I found it pleasing that he served as sort of a Texas Longhorn football ambassador to Hollywood. During my four years we saw a regular stream of celebs breaking bread with him back there, and he was always happy to engage the crowd in chants and cheers. The infamous bongo incident occurred during my freshman year, and I never quite knew what the big fuss was. I mean, we beat Nebraska on a last-second touchdown for Christ's sake; playing the bongos high and nude is probably the tamest thing anyone in a 50-mile radius of Austin did.
But what pisses me off about him, and any other celebrity fan, is the unfettered access they get. Matty regularly shows up on the sideline (once in a full length fur coat). He attends closed practices. He was hugging Vince at midfield after the Rose Bowl while picking confetti out of his hair. It's like, "Dude. Get off the field." It's not just that I'm jealous, which I am, it's that it's a huge distraction for the team, and it only feeds their over-inflated egos. A friend dated a wide receiver who told us they'd often get "Hook ‘em boys!" text messages before big games. WHY DO YOU HAVE THEIR CELL PHONE NUMBERS AND I DON'T!?
Okay, maybe I'm just jealous.
And not to be a tease (for once) but I have the most amazing celebrity-sighting-at-a-sporting-event story you will ever hear. The problem is she's not so much a celebrity, but a former first daughter, and I live in D.C. where few people have senses of humor beyond bailout jokes, so I must resist. But it's really important to me that you know how awesome this story is, even though you'll never hear it.
— Steezy is a Texas Longhorn fan living in Washington D.C. who wonders how things might have been different if they had served sake at the Last Supper.
My sport is hockey. My team is the Islanders. Celebrity fans are an anomaly for me. Oh, okay, not completely. I have been witness to at least three celebrities in attendance at the Coliseum.
Teen idol Hillary Duff would sit in the second row to watch her boyfriend Mike Comrie toe-drag across the Coliseum ice. She was always pleasant and smiled sweetly. But I don't think anyone ever got close to her. She would sit with a friend and have security around her. It was always interesting to see her walk hand in hand with Comrie through the corridor past all the other hockey players that towered over both of them. Sometimes they were just out of the showers. She would coyly look at the floor while Mike navigated the corridor. It was sweet. She now graces the halls in Ottawa.
Then there's game show host Pat Sajak who would have to deal with fans yelling "Hey! Where's Vanna?" But he dealt with them with grace sitting behind the penalty box and enjoying the game. He also didn't have a problem with being interviewed in between periods and even got the crowd going with a big "Rangers Suck!" cry. Yep, the Coliseum loves Pat Sajak.
From the world of Cable TV, Long Islanders Kevin Connolly is a frequent guest. He is a lifelong fan and one of the most affable celebrities you could meet. Although I don't know how much of the game he could actually watch as he was also accommodating to the fans, signing autographs, taking photos and walking around the concourse. When Mike Bossy asks him for help with an IBC charity event, Kevin is there for him. He is one of the good guys.
Then there's the story I only HEARD about regarding ex-super model Carol Alt during her days of being Alexi Yashin's significant other. (Wife, girlfriend, we have no idea. The story changed so many times I couldn't' keep up.) But she would sit behind the bench, two rows up, quietly watching the game and eating popcorn.
I know many fans found this behavior fascinatingly upsetting. Do you have any idea how long it takes to eat a bag of popcorn that way? No. Because no human in their right mind does that.
— Dee Karl 7th Woman NYI Blog Box Crew
Celebrity superfans are part of a larger phenomenon that tells us what Tom Cruise has in his closet and what Angelina Jolie eats for lunch whether we care or not, simply because some people are too lazy to become stalkers. Most of us have no interest in the sports loyalties of famous people, but we know about them because you can't watch your team play the Lakers without them showing every single remotely recognizable person in the crowd. Oh look, it's some douchebag from Survivor. Awesome. NOW SHOW THE FUCKING GAME.
Some famous people are normal human beings who happen to be lifelong fans of a team and are rich enough to afford the seats that you would be sitting in if you were rich and famous. I once watched a Chiefs game in the same box as Paul Rudd, and he acted exactly like every other fan would in the same situation – excitement over free beer, requisite yelling while we're on defense, Tony Gonzalez jersey. He's been to plenty of games, but he hasn't made himself synonymous with the team, he doesn't bring up his loyalty in every interview, and I've only seen him on television once. To my knowledge, he did not hold a press conference to discuss his views on the hiring of Todd Haley. This is because he's a normal person who happens to be famous.
Some famous people, unfortunately, are not. These are the superfans who single-handedly inspire you to hate entire sports franchises. I'm fairly certain I had nothing against Kentucky until Ashley Judd came along, and she's just one example. I suffer from the terrible fate of being a fan of Notre Dame, who practically invented this shit. Our celebrifans are so bad even WE hate them. Trust me, every time Regis Philbin says anything on the subject, my immediate reaction is: "God, what a bunch of assholes. Oh, wait…"
— Alison Tepsic is always happy to share her box with Paul Rudd. Feel free to tell her she sucks personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The famous people who try to escape their tragic, empty lives by mixing with the common folks at stadiums and sports bars are not the ones most deserving of our loathing. It's probably part of their expensive cognitive behavioral therapy for an anxiety disorder or narcissistic personality to pop some Xanax, throw on some Ed Hardy shirt they were gifted and venture out into the real world from time to time.
That guy from Rural, Flyover retains his enthusiasm for his favorite sports teams long after his Golden Globe award and runner-up status for People's Sexiest Man Alive. Only these days the team invites him in to the locker room and the owner shakes him down for photo-ops and autographs for his kids and his mistress. Instead of tailgating with his bros and wearing a stupid hat, as he was accustomed, he sits nervously courtside with cameras in his face and some douchebag bankers yelling at him from five rows back. From the hot dog vendor to the security goons, every damn person fawns and fakes and wants a piece of him. He longs for the days of sitting in the nosebleeds and simply enjoying the game, hoping the little blimp camera puts him on the JumboTron kissing his girl.
Ashley Judd is a famous actress, perhaps even more famous for her passionate activism. She's a sports fan, too, and not the boob flashing, "lookit me!" variety of female sports fan. It's unfortunate that her bellowing commentary became some sort of problem for the team and I'm more sorry for her diminished capacity to fully enjoy college ball than for the team or the sport or the general fucking public. However, she ought to know better by now and rage on the inside like a true lady, right?
What bothers me more than any celebrity in the sweaty fray are the lawyers, CPAs, and CEOs who delude themselves into believing they are actual VIPs beyond the doors of their stupid firms. It's best they stay in their luxury boxes with their orange-skinned, blonde, plasticene clone-women and revel in their desperate striving apart from the normal, drunk, hollering hordes of face-painted and team spirited fans. Let loose from those stadium gerbil cages they tend to ruin everyone else's good time by commandeering the beer guy, working their Blackberry and loudly congratulating themselves via a cyborg Bluetooth goober on their ear. They are the jerks who whine for security when the legacy savant fan in the seat behind them precisely identifies the ref's error and announces it with a few well-placed expletives about said referee's mental state and the purity of the ref's mother.
Famous people are generally not the problem. Delusional fuckheads of all income brackets and levels of celebrity who need you to believe they are VIPs are the buzzkill of live sporting events.
— Trouble had enough unfortunate encounters with actual famous people and real live asshat "VIPs" in her long media career to offer truly expert opinion on this topic. So cram that with walnuts, ugly Deadspin commenters. See you in the nosebleeds!