Call me a curmudgeon, but it seems as if every time I watch a ballgame I develop a new pet peeve. There’s a countless number of things in sports which piss me off. I intended to make this a top ten list, but it just kept growing. Ultimately, I capped it at the top 25. Feel free to share your sports pet peeves with me.
This is a list of the top25 things in sports that piss me off.
25) People who wear suits to hockey games
I silently hope for these guys to get pummeled by the blue collar fans.
24) Yankee jerseys with names on the back
Any self-respecting baseball fan knows that the Yankees don’t have names on the back of their uniforms. Yet if you go to a game at Yankee Stadium you’ll see hundreds of fans with Jeter, Posada or Rodriguez on the back of their jerseys. If you don’t know who the jersey belongs to you shouldn’t be wearing it in the first place.
23) Tennis players apologizing after a net ball
Why do tennis players apologize when they hit a shot that clips the top of the net and falls on their opponent’s side of the court? They didn’t do anything wrong. Fortuitous breaks are part of every sport. You don’t see hitters apologize to the pitcher when they mishit a ball, but it bloops in for a hit.
22) Flopping in soccer
Nobody likes a flopper and soccer players have made an art form of it. It disrupts the fluidity of the game and far too often ends up determining the outcome.
21) Politically correct college team names
I grew up a fan of the St. John’s Redmen. About a decade ago the school changed their name to the Red Storm. I support ending the use of racist team names, but what the hell is a red storm? A few years ago Syracuse dropped the “men” from Orangemen. As if Orangemen wasn’t bad enough, they’re now just the Orange.
20) Players that celebrate when their teams are way behind
We’ve all seen these guys in action; the receiver who dances in the end zone when his team is down 28 points in the fourth quarter; the selfish shooting guard who does a little shimmy after dunking the ball with his team trailing by 20. Hand the ball to the referee and get your ass back on defense!
19) The charge-block call in college b-ball
It’s the most difficult and arbitrary call in basketball. A couple of weeks ago I saw a player on Carolina take off a few feet from the basket, dunk the ball and get called for a charge. Why doesn’t the NCAA just add that dotted line the NBA uses?
18) Fans who talk above their knowledge level
I don’t discriminate against non-sports fans. It’s not your thing, that’s cool. However, I will hold it against you if you pretend to know more than you do. When you make comments or argue a point and don’t have a solid grasp on what you’re talking about, the people who do will sniff you out immediately and you’ll look like a fool.
17) Athletes who thank god
If there is a god, he’s got a lot more to worry about than the outcome of a game. Narcissistic athletes who point to the sky after every base hit are trivializing the very god they’re thanking. Keep your religion to yourself pal.
16) Baseball fans who reach onto the field and touch a fair ball
Not only should they be kicked out of the game, they should be banned from the stadium for the rest of the season.
15) When football announcers don’t know anything about the teams they’re covering
The NFL is aired exclusively by major networks so unlike other leagues there aren’t regular home team announcers. There can be a difficult color man doing the game every week. The broadcasters read up on teams before they cover a game, but it’s often apparent that they don’t know the intricacies and patterns of the team and its players as well as hardcore fans do. Some broadcasters fake it better than others. Phil Simms is not one of them.
14) Using correlated statistics to prove causation
For example, an announcer may conclude that since a team has a great record when their running back gets 25 carries, they won those games because the back got 25 carries. To the contrary, very often that back had 25 carries because his team was up big and he just ran out the clock in the fourth quarter. The carries could be a product of the win, not the cause.
13) Calling teams “World Champions”
When the Lakers won the NBA championship last year they weren’t “World Champions.” They were NBA champions. Period. They didn’t compete against any European, Asian or South American teams. The same goes for the league champion of every other major sport in this country.
12) Fraternizing with opponents
If you want to get dinner with your opponent the night before the game or give him a hug during warm-ups that’s your business, but anything more than a quick hello is fraternizing with the enemy. Once the whistle blows I don’t want to see so much as a smile between opponents. Pat Riley had the right idea when he fined his players for helping their opponents up off the floor.
11) The smelly guy in pickup ball
At the end of a long run everybody stinks, but sometimes on the first possession of the first game you find yourself fighting for position with a guy who wreaks before even working up a sweat. As Keyshawn would say, “C’mon man.”
10) Shooting shirts into the crowd
I paid to watch a ballgame, not the circus.
9) Hockey teams get a point when they lose in overtime or a shootout
And people wonder why nobody follows hockey anymore.
8) Timeouts before field goals
I don’t have statistics on this, but I don’t think freezing the kicker by calling a timeout at the last second before he attempts a field goal makes a difference. The pressure on the kicker is the same after the timeout and sometimes the strategy backfires because the kicker misses the first attempt, then makes it after the timeout.
7) Slapping five after free throws
This began in the last ten to fifteen years and I can’t get used to it. What exactly is the purpose of the other four players on the floor slapping a guy five between his foul shots? These are free throws we’re talking; If the shooter makes the first one it’s not a big deal and if he misses he’ll be okay. He doesn’t need encouragement from teammates before shooting the next one.
6) Guys who don’t run out ground balls
What, they don’t get paid enough?
5) The BCS
I know I speak for the whole country on this one. The champion should be decided on the field, not by a computer.
4) People who say “You don’t make that call at that point in the game.”
This one infuriates me. Some people say that certain fouls should not be called late in a basketball game. Their argument is that the refs should leave it up to the players to decide the outcome. I say the player decided the outcome when he committed the foul. The refs would be deciding the outcome if they ignored the rules and swallowed their whistles. The most important aspect of officiating is consistency. If it’s a foul early in the game, it’s a foul in the closing minutes too.
3) Mets fans
There’s no need to elaborate on these goofballs, their inferiority complex, delusional expectations or ridiculous mascot. They speak for themselves. Exhibits A, B and C…
2) Too many men on the field
Jim Bouton said it well…“Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?”
Is there any stronger evidence as to the damage caused by concussions? Kids in Pop Warner know how to count to eleven. I get aggravated whenever one of my teams commit a stupid penalty or foul, but this one makes me ANGRY.
1) “We’re doing this for the fans”
Whenever the owner of a sports team utters this phrase he’s lying through his teeth and dipping deeper into your pocket. It’s condescending and insulting to our intelligence. Using my tax dollars to build a new stadium in order to charge ticket prices I can’t afford and install luxury boxes I’ll never step foot in is not in my best interest.