The Worst Fans

In general terms, sports fans have a tendency to point to a particular team’s fan base and suggest that they are unique in their actions. This is largely inaccurate. People are people no matter where they live. Genuinely considerate individuals and fucking pieces of shit live in both Boston, Massachusetts  and St. Louis, Missouri.

However, unique circumstances arise for individual fan bases in different cities, and we, in our eagerness to judge and classify, falsely label the reactions to those circumstances as being a trait held only by that set of supporters. This occurs frequently in our minds and we express it often.

For instance, we might say that Yankees fans are terrible, but what we really mean is that the Yankees fans who sat in our section while supporting their team on the road were terrible. Again, both nice people and complete jerks are fans of every team in the league.

In passing this type of judgment though we depend on anecdotes of particularly poor behavior. For instance, Philadelphia Phillies fans have a reputation for being the worst because they threw batteries at J.D. Drew or a fan who intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl at a game. These are disgusting and despicable acts. And they, along with the famous Pete Rose quote – “Some of these people would boo the crack in the Liberty Bell.” – will always be brought up as anecdotal evidence when someone suggests that Phillies fans are the worst.

Last night, supporters of the Toronto Blue Jays supplied a brand new anecdote to put them in the running with Philadelphia. As I wrote about earlier today, a man passed away after going into cardiac arrest at last night’s White Sox/Blue Jays game at Rogers Centre in Toronto. The incident occurred in the stands along the third base line and stopped the game for several minutes, as a cart came onto the field and the man was taken to hospital.

It was Chicago third baseman Kevin Youkilis who alerted umpires to the situation, and sadly, it was Kevin Youkilis who received verbal abuse from fans as medics were performing CPR and chest compressions on the dying man. His comments about the incident appear in the National Post.

The guy is getting carted off and fans are yelling crap at me, talking crap. I just sat there and got frustrated. You don’t even know what’s going on. There’s some person over here in serious problems. It puts it in perspective, you know? This is a game, it’s not life or death.

The insults hurled at Youkilis weren’t from fans who were ignorant as to the seriousness of the situation. It was from fans in the very same section where paramedics were attempting to treat an unconscious person. From our own comments section, someone in attendance, seated nearby, shared the following:

What was disgusting was the fans that screamed “Youkilis look what you did.” Even as the situation grew worse and worse, these idiots decided to keep yelling at Youkilis, the only guy on the field who notified the umps. It really shows how stupid and useless some people can be.

I don’t think that Toronto Blue Jays fans are worse than other fan bases. As I wrote in the opening few paragraphs, fucking pieces of shit live in every city. It just so happens that circumstance conspired to allow the fucking pieces of shit in Toronto to be put in the spotlight.

What Blue Jays supporters have to deal with now is the reputation gained by such actions. This is the type of anecdote that people will bring up when describing why the fans in Toronto are the worst. And it makes me physically ill to consider that it’s this scum that will be used to represent an entire fan base not unlike any other.

Update: Just to show the contrast of what I’m writing about here, more than $20,000, largely through the efforts and financial commitment of Blue Jays fans, has been raised for Omar Malave, whose story you can read about here.

Comments (71)

  1. Horrible situation. My thoughts go out to the family.

  2. Well said Parkes.

  3. anyone who thinks those scumbag fans represents the jays fanbase are themselves scum.

  4. I like the article and understand it . it was uncalled for but still you are a professional writer .. maybe you should write something better than swearing

    • No, I think he used the right terminology.

      • yeah that’s probably the most appropriate way to put things, not like the hecklers were any better if they didn’t swear

    • I’m certain that the subject matter of this blog ensures an age at which seeing bad language isn’t shocking. I wouldn’t use words like that very often, anyway, but I believe in this situation, the obscene description is apt.

      • Adding swear words to an article only deminish the article. What the “fans” did was completely uncalled for and these people should be called out, but to call them out for being inappropriate and then use some of the same inappropriate language is also uncalled for. There are plently of other adjectives that can be used. And while the writer thought this article would have an adult audience, it also could have been used as a teaching experience for our youth. I know swear words are every where, but that doesn’t mean they should be.

      • Totally appropriate use of colour. Some folks will never come to terms with freedom of speech.

        • I believe in the freedom of speech 100%. But I also believe in integrity, especially integrity in writing. Adding this “colour” as you refer to it takes away the inteligence of the article. Until recently a professional writer would never use this unaccredited use of language to add to their story. Writers are taught to rely on accepted language to increase the potency of the article. To any one who has studied English Literature and reads this article it shouts amature and unprofessional. There are accepted ways to speack, casually write, and professionally write. When writing on a public forum, one should be professional, if they want a professional audience, if they do not, then by all means swear away, it will only diminish the inteligence of the readers.

          • Anyone who has studied English Lit can probably also spell ‘amateur’ and ‘speak’.

          • I agree with MC. Every one knows that Literature doesn’t use curse words, because this deminishes the message of what’s being written. Any one who doesn’t understand that to professional writing and to speack are not the same thing ought to go back to school and learn the difference. Failing to know how to cater to your message might as well be misspelling words, while they’re at it.

          • That`s some laughable bullshit there, pal.
            I recall there being some pretty great writers who occasionally used a curse word or two.

            • Kurt Vonnegut, anyone? Was he an unprofessional writer because he swore? Maybe, but he was still one of the best damn writers of our age

          • I apologize for not proof reading my response and correcting my spelling errors. And as for Kurt Vonnegut, his work never made any of my syllabi for contemporary Literature. He may be liked and well read in some circles, but now in main circle of Literature.
            It wasn’t until recently that swearing and cursing in Literature became somewhat accepted. The majority of history proves it was unacceptable and it should be. It diminishes the value of the written word, the only reason it is more commonly accepted now is because the world is being dumbed down.

            • First use of ‘fuck’ and ‘cunt’ in literature was in Ane Satyre of the Three Estatis by Sir David Lindsay of the Mount … circa 1530s, in a play written and performed before the queen.

            • Oh, save it! “This is the traditional and right way to do it because that’s how it’s alway been done.” is the lamest possible argument. For a long time in the US women and minorities couldn’t vote. That was the way is was always done and traditional and blah fucking blah. Shit changes, language is a vessel for communication. Parkes communicated his feelings perfectly, and the harshness of the language drove the point home.

              If anything is making the readers stupid is your constant misspellings(DIMINISH) not Parkes’ awesome post.

      • I come to read this blog and DJF party because they are willing throw some bad language around when the situation warrants. I think this qualifies.

    • wah………. there was a curse word written. I’m telling on you!

  5. Other players hear about these things. Players the Jays may want to sign during free agency. The jays already have a hard enough time luring big names. This doesn’t help.

    Brad Lincoln deleted his twitter account the day after his last appearance. Probably because of Jays “fans”.

    I wouldn’t want to play here either….

    • Way to totally miss the point of the article…

    • Unfortunately Twitter brings out the best and worst of the fan bases. I’m sure every time a Phillies player has a bad game they get similar shit from the idiots on Twitter. Same with Yankees players, or Angels players, or whatever team in whatever sport we’re talking about. Before Twitter, athletes just avoided the papers if you didn’t want to hear criticism. Now it’s harder to do that.

      However, I do think many players understand there’s assholes and there are good fans in every city. The good fans far outnumber the assholes, but the assholes are louder and more noticeable.

      And at the end of the day, attracting players comes down to winning teams, not fans. With the reputation Philadelphia sports fans have you’d think no one would ever want to play there. But when their teams win they can get many people to come play there, the Phillies being the best example. They stunk for a few decades, guys were dying to leave there, and then once they made the playoffs and won a World Series Roy Halladay makes Philadelphia his number one choice, as did Cliff Lee. You start winning, the players will come regardless of the city or the fan reputation, and the building will rock, and the asshole fans won’t even be noticed.

  6. Jays fans really kinda are douchebags. Remember the guy who threw beer at the ump after the brett lawrie helmet toss?

    • I was sitting like 10 rows above when he threw the beer. People were reaching out to try and grab the guy as he ran off. Cops never found him, so he got away with assault.

    • Chirping while a man is having CPR performed on him is a lot different than throwing a beer at the ump. I agree a lot of fans are douchebags, but I just don’t think those two incidents are really comparable.

    • Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy seeing that ump get hit with that beer…

      • I, for one, loved it and am not ashamed to say so. Umps get too big for their shoes sometimes and it’s great to see them brought down a peg every once in a while.

        Also, not even close to comparable to behaving boorishly while a man’s life hangs in the balance.

        • Nobody deserves to have objects or beer thrown at them. Yeah it’s hilarious that Mexican fans pepper opposing players on corners in Azteca with bags of “unknown liquid” but those players don’t deserve it.

          • Objects that may cause harm, certainly not. However all he got was wet and embarrassed.

            He went out of his way to humiliate a player by making horrible, horrible calls. On purpose. I don’t think a wet shirt is really that bad, seeing as how he probably wasn’t going to face any other penalty for his imperious ump show routine.

            I’m not saying it should be condoned. If they had caught the guy he should have been punished. I’m just saying I enjoyed watching it ;)

  7. Being from an area that truly has the worst sports fans in the world – Toronto has a long way to go to be the worst fans

    – the sad fact is that a good 50% of our population are total morons. They were probably too busy texting or watching a reality show on their phone to realize someone was dying right next to them

  8. Instead of focusing on the soulless asshole “fans” last night, let’s shine more light on what amazing work the Blue Jays fans have done responding so quickly to the family of Omar Malave. While I’m pretty stunned the Blue Jays haven’t helped out a longtime employee and paid for the surgery (though Wilner did say the Jays are paying for it last night, I haven’t been able to confirm that anywhere else), in one night thanks to Bob Elliott’s story and Mike Wilner on the radio they raised the money. Incredible. That’s true fans, and that’s the true power of sports at all levels. Let’s forget about the idiots who don’t deserve our attention for being soulless sacks of shit and shift focus to an absolutely amazing act of selfelessnes that will hopefully end up saving a life in just one single evening. Well done, Toronto.

    • I would be typing +1 right now, but the comment gods don’t find that to be a sufficient offering, so I am typing that I find your comment to be well thought out and well written. Well played sir.

    • Excellent point that someone raised with me on Twitter. I added a link to the Bob Elliot story at the end of this post.

  9. Hear Hear! (is what I’d say if I wasn’t forced to write more text in order to be allowed to post this)

  10. I like that in this article, you still referred to the hecklers as fans. For some reason, whenever something like this happens (Montreal or Vancouver riots, for example), people are quick to point out that these people are not fans. I understand that fans want to disassociate themselves with these type of fans as much as possible, but just realize that they are fans like you too – they just happen to also be assholes.

  11. Fucking clowns.

  12. I once watched an entire right field bleacher section of Red Sox nation throw beer and laugh at a woman who fell (admittedly while wearing a yankees jersey… and intoxicated… and possibly involved in a fight) down a flight of steep concrete stairs at Fenway. And then taunt and throw beer at the usher who (eventually) went to go see if she was ok. While the crowd ignored her and started chanting Yankees suck. It was a Red Sox-Rangers game.

    Not that this excuses Jays fans, but to suggest that they’re any special kind of douchebag is ridiculous. Fanbases get judged based on the most extreme examples, whether it be Red Sox drunken louts, Phillie Assholes, St. Louis loud and obnoxious, or San Francisco snide, smug and overbearing hipsters.

    • Despite the seriousness of this topic… I chuckled at your last line there.

    • Don’t wear a Yankee’s jersey to a Sox/Rangers game ! But no seriously, that’s actually crazy. Can’t believe they threw shit at the usher ?

      I do agree & I think that was Dustin’s original point, Toronto fans are no better or worse than any where else.

  13. What makes me sick is the man’s wife and kids were there, but the douchebags were completely oblivious and more concerned to get a laugh.

  14. Why aren’t the Jays paying for the operation? I thought they wanted to treat their players and employees like a family?
    I am frankly stunned that with the wealth of players and ownership, this operation has not been paid for.
    The Jays saved a bunch of money in the Wells and Rios deal but have not reinvested that money into the team. Apparently Rogers also can’t be bothered to spend hundredths of a percent of that money to save the life of a coach’s daughter.
    Am I being too harsh? I am just stunned that players and ownership will not cover the bill and they have asked fans for help.
    You would think with all the money saved not signing free agents, Rogers would at least be able to save the life of the daughter of a team employee.

    • Wilner did tweet something about the org covering the cost of the operation, but that the cost of the recovery/rehab might have been he issue? Also (even though it’s cold) an employee’s extended family is not covered by a company’s health plan.

  15. re:Omar Malave

    Dear Rogers CEO, write a fucking cheque NOW!

    • Unfortunately from a business perspective (which we all knows drives Rogers decision-making) it would be an expense with little likelihood in increasing revenue. That is unless this act of Rogers cheapness (with the life of a little girl at stake and not an overpriced free agent) so disgusts the Rogers is Cheap crowd that it results in a boycott. I doubt this will happen and that it probably why Rogers did not pay.

  16. Of course Youkilis goes to the media and whines about being heckled. Somebody just died but he has to get all the attention back to himself.
    Suddenly the story becomes all about Kevin Youkilis and some hammered idiot fans instead of allowing the media to simply focus on the actual tragic death

    • Way to totally miss the point.

    • You probably don’t understand how the press works do you? After the game I’m sure he had the most reporters at his stall and all were asking questions about the before, during and aftermath. Don’t be a tool.

  17. Nobody is ever going to say that Toronto fans are the worst, because the U.S. media influences perception, and nobody here cares about the Jays. (Except me, and some of you.)

    Any Youkilis whining about people heckling him during this event is exactly why people heckle him.

  18. “Chirping”. God, I hate that word.

    Because hockey players can’t simply skate away after a stoppage in play and feel the unstoppable urge to make shitty comments to their fellow competitors in the name of “gamesmanship”, Canadian sports fans have embraced this culture of “chirping”. And as a result, we hear an unending stream of mindless, macho verbal diarrhea at the park, in the comments, on Twitter.

    Just smarten the fuck up.

    • Really? Blaming hockey and what you believe others to consider Canadiana? Stuff like this goes beyond our borders…

      • Canadians say “I was just chirpin’!” because they want to excuse their assholery.

        I’m not saying that we’re the only assholes on the planet. Just the only ones who model our behaviour in civil society after Tie Domi and Darcy Tucker.

        • I get that, I just took offence to the “Canadian sports fans”. I’m sure those whose duty it is to write and comment see the most vocal who are usually the worst of the worst, but just remember that there are sane ones out there and quite a few of them.

    • I don’t think that’s specific to hockey or Canadian culture even in the slightest. Heckling is a part of most spectator sports, always has been and always will be.

    • Tao, I think somebody is on your lawn

  19. Those fans were drunk, most drinkers talk shit simple and plain. Dont matter if your at a game or not, they talk shit that most of them will regret later. So this article is pointless, any sober fan last night did not talk shit. This is a booze issue 100% Im glad to be off the sauce, just weed now. Which never has me talking shit. Some fans years ago in New York i think, told David Wells that they had sex with his dead grandmother, now that is horrible. What happened last night is bad, but not half as bad as the Wells story, or other similar stories of a disgusting nature. I like what Youk did last night, but i know from what other players have said before, that he is an idiot & hard to be around. Just because he was caring last night, dont change that. Regardless R.I.P to that fan last night {:o(

  20. The more I here Youk speak, the more I like him.

  21. If Youk has changed from the jerk he used to be, I wont diss him anymore.

  22. Hate to make the generalization, but Toronto sports fans are a joke, that is why you see all their teams in a constant, decades long rebuild. Players don’t want to be here because one mis-step and they are in the fan’s doghouse. One that quickly came to mind is Alex Rios. A number of NBA players. NHL? can’t even recall a decent player that has played for the Leafs in the past couple of years. I’m a fan of the Jays but no other Toronto sports teams, I would not waste a single second cheering alongside a bunch of worthless hooligans.

  23. To be fair, the guy in Phi intentionally vomited on a grown man and a bit splattered on an 11-year-old. Semantic, perhaps, but true.

  24. That “Youkilis look what you did” line is actually pretty funny.

  25. Ironic that this is written in the same week Parkes can’t stop talking about “moral grandstanding.”

  26. Most of those O.M. donations came from players.

  27. I am a bad person.

  28. Agreed those fans are fuckheads but you’re the last asshole to throw stones at them. You and your boyfriend at DJF made a joke about Pete Zezel’s death not that long ago on your shitty podcast so fuck right off, you pretentious piece of shit.

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