I’ve missed sports fans.
This morning, a spectator was ejected from the Australian Open after cursing out Rafael Nadal and giving him the ol’ bird.
The fan starts by calling Rafa some sort of inaudible insult ending in “fuck.” Then, moves on to yelling “wanker” before getting escorted out by security. You can watch the hilarious episode and the very proper Australian play-by-play below.
As one commentator describes, this fan “made a complete goose of themselves.” Oh, those Aussies!
As she leaves her seat with her facemask around her chin, she gives one final “fuck you” to the world’s No. 2... which was immediately met with a chorus of boos. I don’t think you’ll see anything funnier all day.
By the end of the clip, Rafa was laughing at the gestures and comments. Clearly, he was unfazed by the event. He’d go on to win the second-round match against American Michael Mmoh, 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.
If you’re like me wondering how Australia could host fans in a pandemic, take a look at their COVID numbers. The entire country averaged six cases over the past week. Six cases — that’s not a typo. The land down under is controlling the spread of COVID and, in turn, they get to have nice things. But as you saw from the clip, attendance is still limited and masks are worn inside the arena.
Back here in the U.S., we’re beginning to see more fans attend sporting events, and they’re getting back in the heckling game. How will we ever forget “courtside Karen” and LeBron James calling her 100-year-old husband an “old steroid ass.”
The gates of American fan hell could swing open even further after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proclamation that the state’s pro stadiums, and arenas over 10,000-seats, will reopen at 10-percent capacity on Feb. 23. New York fans have been waiting a year to scream at their teams live and in-person. And the guy who wrote a book on “Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic” during the pandemic, will let that happen sooner rather than later.
Someday, when it’s actually appropriate to allow thousands of spectators into an arena, we’ll all be able to curse out our least favorite athletes in person. May we recall the classic The New Yorker article “At The Wide-Open Open” by Martin Amis on the 1993 U.S. Open, and Andrei Medvedev reveling in the antics of Gotham’s denizens:
Q: How much did the debris bother you that was falling on the court?
Q: The debris, the garbage.
A: It was fun … The people are just crazy. It is nice. They are crazy. They are nice … Since you don’t get shot, it is loads of fun, seriously.
Won’t that, indeed, be fun?