A guide to fans of ‘Nova basketball

Amy Durazo

Now that the basketball season is – and I regret saying this – over, I think it’s appropriate to congratulate the team as well as all the great Villanova fans out there.

Since most of us are busy remembering the greatest moments of the season, I am going to take the liberty to point out the worst.

No, not the team’s worst moments, but the fans’. Sure, we’ve all been at a bar or even in the Pavilion or the Wachovia Center watching our Wildcats dunk, block and rebound in the peace and sanity of our personal space.

Unfortunately, standing next to us at these locales is likely one of the following five worst categories of fans one can possibly be.

How ’bout a collective round of applause for these winners?

The would-be coach: This is the totally awesome dude who thinks he’s Jay Wright. Of course, this particular fan couldn’t look less like him, usually sporting dirty basketball shirts with sweet zip-ups and hair carefully and expertly spiked to look like one big mess.

But he sure acts like Wright.

“That play is terrible, get into zone defense!” he screams at the television screen. “Don’t dribble the ball like that, Dante, jeez!”

One, you are nowhere near good-looking enough to ever think about coaching this team. Two, Dante Cunningham would probably palm your skull and throw you across the court if you ever dared say that to his face.

A “shoot the ball!” is acceptable if the shot clock is ticking away. A “give the ball to ARay; he’s wide open!” is great if it is true. But don’t, under any circumstances, pretend that you know the secrets to the team’s success and that if you were calling the plays, they’d be undefeated.

The negative Nelly: Nothing is more annoying than this kind of fan, the one who claims to love the team but belittles the players every time one of them makes a mistake.

Guess what? The players are only human. Some of them are barely 19, the same age you were when you realized you were horrible at sports and could never go pro in anything, leaving you to live vicariously through Randy Foye.

When someone has an off-night, these fans become similar to critical parents who drive children to suicide by demanding nothing less than perfection.

“Don’t give the ball to Nardi!” someone yelled during the UConn game, forgetting about his tonsillitis and three-point shooting statistic and huge basket down the stretch. “Get him off the court and kick him off the team. He sucks!”

He sucks? No, my friend, you suck – as a fan and probably at basketball too.

The know-it-all: Also known as the fan who believes that he/she is an ESPN analyst. This is the fan who pretends to know all there is to know in terms of basketball stats and won’t hesitate to word-vomit nonsense, hoping to impress anyone who knows next-to-nothing about the game.

A semi-drunk girl coyly asked the boy next to her at Kelly’s where Jason Fraser is from, pretending to be curious and interested in something other than her manicure.

“New York City,” he replied matter-of-factly, positive that he seemed macho and informed.

Um, no. Uh-uh. Long Island, Suffolk County, Amityville. Not exactly the same thing.

If you’re not sure, don’t say it. Someone within earshot will hear you and easily put you in your place without blinking an eye. Just admit that you jumped on the bandwagon when they became somewhat of a Cinderella story last season. Yes, it is semi-inexcusable, but at least you are not the only one.

The fake fan: More often than not, this type of fan is a girl hoping to attract one of Villanova’s numerous charming, eligible bachelors. You can pick her out because she is the one who has cut and sewn her Villanova basketball shirt to make it tight and form-fitting as if wearing a baggy article of clothing might either kill her or ruin her reputation. She doesn’t know which is worse.

“Let’s walk around,” she turned and said to her friend during the Big East semi-finals, sipping her cranberry-vodka. “I’m bored.”

Really? Because it seems like everyone is bored of you, especially the uninterested guy whom you keep tapping on the shoulder every time a whistle blows to ask what happened. These girls know nothing about basketball and actually think they are more important to the opposite sex than March Madness.

Go home. You will have better luck with guys later, when they are drunk and on an adrenaline high from the big W. They still won’t notice that cute thing you did with your shirt though.

The jerk: There is a very fine line between fans who have had a few drinks and fans who are belligerent and annoying.

These are the ones who usually encompass all aspects of a horrible fan as a result of the negative effects of alcohol. They will instruct the team because they obviously know what is best. They will yell at the players because they are clearly the best athletes in the world, but missed the Olympics because they were out binge drinking somewhere. They will spout out statistics that couldn’t be more wrong because they are slurring their speech and are trying to act impressive. They will lose interest in the game because they are in search of more drinks and trying to hook up with the girl in the stupid t-shirt.

Finally, they will be sloshing beer all over everyone in the near vicinity because they are too important to be concerned with anyone but themselves.

If you feel that you are any of these types of fans and would like to save yourself from the possible beating of a lifetime by agitated bystanders and at the same time mask your secret identity as a huge tool, here is some advice:

Next season, watch the games at home. Alone. We’ll see you out at the bars later to celebrate.