Video Roundup: The Greatest Player-Fan Interactions in Sports

Cheering, booing, screaming and crying, from sadness or happiness — sports fans have experienced these emotions since the days of the Roman coliseum. We see fans interact with players on occasion, and these interactions can be bad (see: Bartman), they can be great (see: fans rounding the bases with Hank Aaron). For better or worse, here are the most memorable player-fan interactions in recent memory.

Ichiro's Twin...

We've all worn jerseys of our favorite players. However 99 percent of time, we don't resemble the athletes in the slightest bit. But when one man donned an Ichiro jersey at a Mariners-A's game in 2011, he was the 1 percent. Spotted by the broadcasters, they joked on air about the Ichiro look-a-like who was sitting in the first row. It took a turn for the worse in the third inning though, when "Ichiro" interfered with a play by picking up a life ball and turning a Mariner's should-be triple into a double. The fan was promptly escorted out and immortalized on YouTube.

... And His Biggest Fan

A year before, Ichiro's biggest fan had nearly the same seat as the look-a-like. When Ichiro bumped her chasing a fly ball and apologized, the young lady's excitement reached an indescribable level — including her exclaiming, "I have to call my mom!" Baseball is known for "Here-for-the-Beer" and "Talking Statistic" fan types but it also attracts some females who idolize the stars - as this video shows. We've all had a starstruck moment, just not quite like that.

Lookalike Honorable Mention: Ottawa Senators Coach Paul MacLean

It would be a shame to discuss player-fan resemblances without covering Paul MacLean's lookalike at a game in 2013. The similarity was so striking that sports sites like Yahoo and SB Nation wrote about it.

Chris Rock Gets the Silent Treatment

Courtside seats at NBA games are often filled by celebrities and public figures. Usually this means nothing but a jumbotron cameo and maybe a quick interview. However when Chris Rock was seated next to Kobe Bryant during Game 1 of the 2010 Finals, the situation became comedic gold. Kobe gave Rock the cold shoulder and it apparently worked, as the Lakers defeated the Celtics and Kobe earned his fifth championship.

Shaqtus Jumps Into Crowd, Team Learns

Standing 7'1" and weighing in at more than 300 pounds, Shaquille O'Neal is one of the most imposing forces to ever play the game. Fans usually observe the strength of Shaq from afar but in 2008, when Shaq was the Big Shaqtus in Phoenix, a section of fans got an up-close view. Shaq's teammates were apparently spooked by the incident, the very next game the entire bench frantically cleared the way in anticipation of a Shaq collision.

Niedermayer Stick Toss

Unfortunately, fan-player interactions sometimes showcase the ugly side of fans. Scott Niedermayer witnessed that when he attempted to give his stick to a girl following a game in 2009. We can only hope the stick ended up with the girl and the thief had to wear a bruise of shame.

The Greatest Paper Plane in History

At an England-Peru soccer game in 2014, the simplest of inventions caused an unforgettable moment. A paper plane is caught on video soaring over the pitch and hitting a Peru player directly. The eruption of the crowd is a feel-good moment only stadiums and beers can create. The video was analyzed (yes, analyzed) by the folks at Buzzfeed, who determined the plane that hit the player is likely a different one launched at the same time. Regardless, it's an astonishing feat for any humble paper plane.
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