David Bruce: The Funniest People in Sports: 250 Anecdotes — Fans

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• A 10-year-old girl, nicknamed Stuffy, lived in Boonton, New Jersey, where she was a fan of the New York Giants football team. She was especially a fan of Y.A. Tittle and was a member of his fan club. At a party she gave for some of the other young members of the fan club, she became so excited that she called Giants Stadium and asked to speak to Mr. Tittle. Sure enough, she was connected with a man who said that he was Y.A. Tittle and talked to her for a while. But later, she wondered whether the man was really Mr. Tittle. A few days later, Stuffy’s father took her and her younger sister to a department store where Mr. Tittle was appearing. The younger sister asked Mr. Tittle, “Did you really talk on the phone to Stuffy, my sister?” Mr. Tittle winked and asked, “You mean Stuffy of the Boonton Fan Club?”

• Young figure skaters are naturally awed when they find themselves in the presence of the current world champions. Ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean were certainly awed when they first competed against the world champions, and after Torvill and Dean became world champions, a young Paul Duchesnay, who skated with Isabelle, his sister, was awed to find himself rooming with Mr. Dean in Oberstdorf, Germany. The morning after discovering he was rooming with the current world champion, Mr. Duchesnay heard Mr. Dean arise, but he stayed in bed. Later, he admitted to Mr. Dean, “I just didn’t dare move until you’d gone!”

• Auburn University football player Bo Jackson once rear-ended a car, an accident that made the driver of the other car very irate. She told Mr. Jackson that the accident was his fault and that he was a terrible driver. However, as soon as she heard his name, she asked, “Are you the Bo Jackson who plays for Auburn?” He admitted that he was, and she immediately asked, “Are you all right?” As an Auburn football fan, she wanted to make sure that Mr. Jackson could play against the University of Texas. In fact, before the game, she sent Mr. Jackson a note: “Smash Texas like you smashed my car.”

• Some of the most popular men’s gymnasts have little teenage fans asking for their autographs. After a gymnastics meet, some young girls were waiting around, hoping that Kurt Thomas would sign their autograph books for them. One asked a young woman, “Do you think Kurt will sign my book?” She replied, “Well, I don’t know. He’s awfully tired and would probably like to get going.” The fan then asked, “How do you know so much? Who do you think you are, his mother or something?” The young woman, named Beth, replied, “No, I’m his wife.”

• Visiting instructor Rabbi Henry E. Kagan played baseball at a Methodist school in West Virginia in a game pitting the faculty versus the students. With his faculty team one run behind, he was on third. The batter hit a single, and Rabbi Kagan ran for home plate. As he ran, he heard an excited fan shouting, “Come on, Rabbi! Bring home the bacon!” Everyone enjoyed a laugh, and Rabbi Kagan said, “The incident did more than teaching or preaching to instill the idea of brotherhood.”

• Some people don’t think that Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Shannon Miller is really Shannon Miller when they unexpectedly see her at the airport or some place other than a gymnasium. One guy asked her, “If you’re really Shannon Miller, what was your score on the balance beam at the Olympics finals?” Since she doesn’t pay any attention to her scores (and seldom watches programs featuring her performing gymnastics), she was forced to say, “I don’t have a clue.”

• Michael Jordan was an amazingly popular basketball player for the Chicago Bulls. At home games, attendance rose by 87 percent the first year he played for the Bulls. He was also popular in other cities. Sometimes, fans of other teams would boo their own players when they fouled Mr. Jordan as he drove to the basket — a foul meant that the fans missed seeing Mr. Jordan dunk the basketball.

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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