Have you ever been in an intriguing conversation with a couple of your friends talking about sports, and when you bring up a particular team...those individuals who are fans of that team turn all red and get real sensitive about whatever you're going to say? Like, almost in a Ralph Tresvant-esque type fashion? You all know who I'm talking about, but if you don't I'm going to lay it all on the table for you today.
Oh, and if I don't list your favorite team on here, don't get all Ralph Tresvant-esque on me okay? Thanks.
The Honorable Mentions: First off a disclaimer, after I truly thought about it any of these teams could've made the top 5 except for the fact that they are much more regional in their fan base and not nationwide. Oh yeah, if you're fanbase likes to include "Nation" in their allegiance, they're probably REAL sensitive.
The Ohio State Buckeyes Football Team aka Buckeye Nation - My dentist, Dr. Glenn aka JAG, is going to kill me for this but he knows that I am telling the truth. Let me say this, if more fans were like JAG then life would be SUPREMELY more entertaining. However...they simply aren't. I can understand why folks of "Buckeye Nation" are sensitive to their team in Columbus,
Texas/Oklahoma Football Fans aka The Red River Ridiculous - We're nuts, I'm going to openly admit this. Its not totally our fault, as we have to constantly defend the Big 12 (Can we get some help! Jeez!) and the supreme lack of defense
The Red Army aka Manchester United Fans - When you read the #3 team on this list, just replace that team name with "ManU" and you'll understand why they are hated so much in the English Premier League, The Champions League, UEFA, and any other professional soccer league. (GO ARSENAL! EFF MAN U!)
Chicago Cubs Fans - To their credit, their sensitivity has now panned out and they just languish in their losing. Have you seen a Cubs game? The place is jam-packed and fans numb themselves of the pain with plenty of beer and brats. I truly believe no Cubs fan in Wrigley actually watches the game
Okay...on to the final five.
#5. Duke Basketball Fans aka Krzyzewskiville - I almost put Tar Heel Nation on here at #5 but I realized pretty quickly that more people actually LIKE North Carolina more than folks genuinely HATE Duke. Without question. (However I will say this, I've never been a Roy Williams fan because he coached at effKU. Nothing personal, but he's at UNC now. 3-4 more years and I might be a UNC-Hater. There I said it.) Duke has a lot going against them; private-elite school, cookie-cutter program, the greatest crowd in sports history, and players that do annoying stuff like pounding the floor, taking charges, and playing fundamentally sound basketball. All the type of stuff that annoys me lol. Duke fans are highly defensive because they've never had that iconic player play in the NBA, and they have to defend a specific brand of basketball. Truth be told, almost every basketball program would LOVE to be like Duke. However...they've also had some players that Duke fans HAVE TO love and we EASILY hate. Shane Battier, J.J. Redick, Wojo, Kyle Singler, Bobby Hurley, Christian Laettner, etc. People HATED those guys. Duke fans love them. Ergo the sensitivity.
#4. Notre Dame Football Fans - I have never in my life heard a football program make up more excuses as to why their team is not good than The Fighting Irish Faithful. Our admission standards are too high, we've had bad coaches, our schedule is too difficult, its hard to recruit people to South Bend, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah...I didn't even have to try hard to bring up those excuses, that was off the top of my head. Plus they are totally willing to punch out their own starting quarterback! WTF! Notre Dame fans are all across the world, and their crown jewel is Touchdown Jesus and the 80 players that suit up on that football field. Their team has not been able to sustain excellence in the last 20 years and haven't been able to figure it out. Plus, they have all of their games televised nationally on NBC every single Saturday afternoon. The whole world gets to see their demise on a weekly basis. This will make you real Ralph Tresvant-esque.
#3. The Bronx Bombers Fanbase - The most storied franchise in all of sports history have some of the most cocky and arrogant fans ever. Well deserved, they have 27 World Series championships and some of the greatest players of all-time in their past history. Moreover, they have a current ownership that spends money like cats put hot sauce on fried chicken. They go all in all the time. They've had the league's highest payroll year-over-year for the last 20 years. They are demise of every other fanbase in baseball, and because of that the Yankees fanbase keep their defense mechanism up at all times, and usually with a venomous response ready to go. Go ahead, try and say ANYTHING about Derek Jeter...I dare you. You'll wish you didn't.
#1B. Fans of "The Boys" aka The Dallas Cowboys Fans - I'm going to tread lightly on this one...The Dallas Cowboys run an organization EXACTLY the way we would love to see our teams run. Their owner lays it all on the line, they have the greatest stadium in sports history, they will spend money to get the best players on their team, and they play an exciting brand of football. However, their sensitivity stems from the fact that they have ALL of these things going for them. They've been dubbed "America's Team" which brings as much hate to them as anything else, plus they have fanbases that have been accused of jumping on them when they were winners (1970's, 1990's) as well. Moreover, for all the good things the Cowboys do for their franchise, they haven't won anything of significance in the last 14 years. There are Cowboys fans everywhere in the world, and some of them don't even know why they are fans. Sensitivity isn't the best word for Dallas fans, its more like highly defensive or highly arrogant...there's no in between.
#1A. Fans of The Lake Show - The Los Angeles Lakers have probably been the coolest franchise in the NBA ever, (not best, that'd be Boston) and have as large a fanbase as any in sports. Also like the Yankees and Cowboys, the Lakers have continually put a product on the floor that has the best talent in the league and play an exciting brand of basketball. They have a fanbase that includes all of Hollywood, and that is as much of a turnoff to other folks more than anything. However, what makes their fanbase as sensitive as ever? Well, they have this guy...he wears #24...you heard of him? Kobe? That's his name. Yeah. Again, there's no in between...I know folks that like the Lakers and HATE Kobe. I know folks that dislike the Lakers and LOVE Kobe. I don't know many folks that are in the middle on this. As a matter of fact I'm making an amendment to this list right now.
#1. Kobe Stans - There is no debate, its over. Kobe Stans are THE MOST SENSITIVE fans of all-time. From their desire to blasphemously say that Kobe's better than Jordan, to making up any and every excuse in the world for all the dastardly deeds the man has done in the past can make Kobe's fanbase as truculent as they come. Its hard to be a fan of Kobe's, but if you are a fan you've got to go all in. Because its people like Kenny and myself who have a major dislike for Kobe that will pounce at every chance we can on Kobe. We shouldn't, but we do. Would Kobe Stans be as sensitive if Kobe wasn't THAT damned good? Of course not, but it comes with the territory. However, you don't see that sensitivity when it comes to LeBron fans do you?
The point is this with all of these teams (and player) that I've listed, they are damned good. There's a sense of envy, hate, jealously, and ignorance that is exchanged between folks when they speak ill will against your favorite team. Thus the defense mechanisms come up and the sensitivity eeks out.
Truth is...we as sports fans need your sensitivity, its what keeps sports fun.