It’s arguably the dirtiest and most terrifying word within the sports fan community. It induces spit-flying reactions, incoherent debates and creates long-lasting negative feelings. Similarly to Hamilton Porter’s “You play ball like a girl!” proclamation in the legendary 1993 movie The Sandlot, tabbing a fellow or opposing fan as fair-weather is about as bad as it gets.
With millions of sports fans and hundreds of games each year, we’re bound to come across fair-weather fans for every team, but which professional team has the worst fair-weather fans? Scroll through to see the seven biggest fair-weather fan bases in sports, included in no particular order.
Yes, we know their stadium sucks but the dramatic range in fan interest between April-August and September/October games is embarrassing for Athletics fans. Despite remaining competitive for the last 15-plus years, they’ve ranked among the worst in MLB attendance during a period in which they won six AL West titles and grabbed two more Wild Card berths.
Kansas City Royals
KC’s World Series run two years back captured the interest of the nation and was great for baseball. The electric Kauffman Stadium atmosphere was second to none over the course of the playoffs but it led many to forget that manager Ned Yost ripped the fans just weeks before the postseason for their lack of support.
Enduring a 30-year playoff drought is brutal, thus allowing us to loft a smidgen of sympathy in their direction but it’s not enough to dismiss their poor support for a playoff-contending team during the entire 2014 regular season.
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The rapid decline in attendance between their success in the early to mid-1990’s until the dynamic duo of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews arrived is all we need to know about Blackhawks fans.
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No explanation necessary.
You know it’s bad when an academic study found your fans provide the worst team support and is the biggest fair-weather fan base in sports. A 2014 Emory University study confirmed what many claimed for the last two decades: Phillies fans are intense, but only when they win. In analyzing market and consumer demands and behavior from 1998-2014, researchers found that Phillies fans don’t care to show up, watch on TV or buy team products when the team is struggling, but come out in droves during the good times.
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Tabbing Seahawks fans as fair-weather is far from new. The folks in the Pacific Northwest remain among the most notorious far-weather fan bases in sports and people have started taking notice. The noise and chaos of CenturyLink Field is undeniable but, until Pete Carroll’s arrival and Seattle’s rise to the top as a flashy, loud-mouthed and controversial bunch, the level of fan support wasn’t half of what it is now.
Miami Heat fans were already trending toward fair-weather territory before LeBron arrived, but things got out of control during and after King James brought two titles to Miami. Their biggest indiscretion came during the infamous 2011 NBA Finals Game 3 in which hundreds of fans departed American Airlines Arena well before the final buzzer, only to be turned away by security when attempting to re-enter.