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"Luckiest fan in America"
January 29, 2009 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Lionel Rodia: Superfan
posted by JVA (32 comments total)

 
That wasn't luck. That was being a jackass.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:14 PM on January 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


That was surprisingly unsatisfying.
posted by cashman at 12:17 PM on January 29, 2009


Lucking fovely man, he is.
posted by gman at 12:18 PM on January 29, 2009


I thought it was a cute story.
posted by Mister_A at 12:23 PM on January 29, 2009


that's pretty awesome. good for him.
posted by shmegegge at 12:25 PM on January 29, 2009


This sports fan doesn't have as much going for him.
posted by kalimotxero at 12:29 PM on January 29, 2009


In context of sports fandom, this is not jackassery but chutzpah. As a fellow sports' fan, I am filled with envy and admiration for his chutzpah. Were I a general manager of a Phillie sports team, I would probably try and make sure that Lionel was at every game and claim he was some sort of good luck charm.

The bigger problem is that now that Lionel's story has been brought to public attention, its going to be a lot harder for him to be a successful superfan.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:33 PM on January 29, 2009


Philadelphia sports fanSneaking into restricted areas? Sounds like a terr'ist to me. Lock him up.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:36 PM on January 29, 2009


See also this fella who pulled off a similar feat at the Giants SuperBowl parade last year.
posted by christonabike at 12:44 PM on January 29, 2009


I clicked the link expecting some guy in face paint, maybe painted belly, foam fingers, the business. You know, the type who really makes people remember that the etymology of "fan" is "fanatic."

Instead I get a story about a sociopath who obsessively researches shit to maneuver his way around into sports circles. That's not being a fan, that's being a stalker. It's the difference between being at the front of the crowd at a concert, versus sneaking your way into the singer's dressing room.

It's just creepy, and while it gets a pass because it makes a good story and no one gets hurt, it still indicates to me that this guy has a few screws loose, at the very least because he doesn't understand or respect social boundaries.
posted by explosion at 1:00 PM on January 29, 2009


That's not being a fan, that's being a stalker.

No. That's being resourceful.
posted by chillmost at 1:10 PM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wha? Stalker? Being a "super fan" of sports means knowing an obsessive amount of trivia about the teams, the sports, etc. It's all public info, thrown around in various forms and not really requiring a whole lot of investigative journalism.

Following a crowd into a locker room for a post-game celebration takes more than just knowing facts, but it helps. Sneaking into a singer's dressing room is invading a more personal space. A locker room? There are camera crews, reporters, family and friends following a major win. You can go a lot of places by looking like you know what you're doing, and not being shy about it. He wasn't going in there to steal some pop idol's underwear, he's there to celebrate with a crowd.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:11 PM on January 29, 2009


That wasn't luck. That was being a jackass.

Jeannie Bueller? Is that you?
posted by GeekAnimator at 1:21 PM on January 29, 2009


He wasn't going in there to steal some pop idol's underwear, he's there to celebrate with a crowd.

So it was more like crashing a wedding or an office Christmas party. Got it.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:25 PM on January 29, 2009


uncleozzy - how many weddings and office parties are attended by reporters? And the celebration isn't an annual office shin-dig, it's the culmination of an annual sporting competition, so emotions are a bit higher. He's not just there for the booze, he's a fan. I don't think you'll find anyone to label a "super fan" of Christmas parties or other people's weddings.

Yeah, he was going where he wasn't invited, but he's not being a stalker, or an obsessive fan. It seems like he wanted to be part of the celebration, which wasn't precisely invite-only or BYOB.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:35 PM on January 29, 2009


You say potato, I say incredible douche.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:46 PM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as a fan but not a sports fan, I say: Douchebaggery at its finest. "Watch me prove how much I admire these people by butting in where I'm not invited and taking personal liberties with them and their relatives! I'm living the American Dream!"
posted by marginaliana at 1:49 PM on January 29, 2009


Say whatever you want about this guy...but NOBODY can say he wasn't welcome at the party once he got in. He even recognized the players moms...how happy do you think he made THEM!

Dude is awesome, the rest of you haters can go back to your gated communities and suck it.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:57 PM on January 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


You say potato, I say incredible douche.

Presumably you believe he was being an incredible douche to the players and staff of the team. Have we heard from them what they think about the whole thing? If they're sketched out, alarmed or offended by his behavior, I suppose that would be douchey of him. I suspect, though, that they think it's kind of funny and they probably think pretty well of the guy. Further, I suspect you're getting offended by him on their behalf, which is just really weird.
posted by shmegegge at 2:03 PM on January 29, 2009


Presumably you believe he was being an incredible douche to the players and staff of the team [...] I suspect you're getting offended by him on their behalf

No, and no. Obsessive people creep me the fuck out. "Hey, I'm so cool, I'm gonna sneak into the locker room! I can go wherever I want because I loooooove this team so much!"
posted by uncleozzy at 2:08 PM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


To the defenders: Is it acceptable for all fans whose love for the team equals or exceeds that of Mr. Rioda to do the same thing that Mr. Rioda has done here? Should it be acceptable? Why or why not?
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:12 PM on January 29, 2009


In this particular circumstance it isn't really obsessive behavior, though. Going to every game, sure maybe. Knowing all the stats, or the parents' names, sure. Following a crowd to crash a party? Not so much. You sure it's the obsessive behavior that bothers you? It's not, for instance, some combination of jealousy and judgment?
posted by shmegegge at 2:15 PM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it acceptable for all fans whose love for the team equals or exceeds that of Mr. Rioda to do the same thing that Mr. Rioda has done here? Should it be acceptable? Why or why not?

ooh, you got us. he's a scumbag, you're right. I bet you cheer for Boss Hog and boo the Duke boys, too.
posted by shmegegge at 2:16 PM on January 29, 2009


You sure it's the obsessive behavior that bothers you? It's not, for instance, some combination of jealousy and judgment?

Yes.
posted by uncleozzy at 2:17 PM on January 29, 2009


I bet you cheer for Boss Hog and boo the Duke boys, too.

The brothers Duke appear to be criminals, certainly, but Hogg appears to use illegal methods in his pursuit. All should be tried in a fair court of law.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:20 PM on January 29, 2009


Say whatever you want about this guy...but NOBODY can say he wasn't welcome at the party once he got in. He even recognized the players moms...how happy do you think he made THEM!

He wasn't welcome. He simply avoided giving away the fact that he was unwelcome. The article never makes it apparent that he outed himself as a fan, so I'm guessing the reality is that the players probably assumed he was staff, and the staff probably all assumed he was either a new guy, or from another department.

It's pretty much the same as wedding crashers, where everyone assumes the crasher is from the other side of the guest list, and the happy couple is too busy to notice. Sure, the wedding crasher might be a nice guy and not ruin the whole thing, but you can't say he was welcome.

It really is an incredibly douchey thing to do. They have public parades (at least here in Boston) for the fans. Crashing the private organizational party is an asshole thing to do, and the team isn't going to decry it only because it'd be a bad PR move and make them look like a bunch of humorless jerks.

As far as recognizing the players' mothers? WAY fucking creepy. Past douchey, and firmly in West Creeperton, Population: Lionel Rodia
posted by explosion at 2:21 PM on January 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


I could write this off as a guy who got caught up in the moment and joined in the celebration, but the article makes it seem like it's a pattern of behavior:

I've never been to a Springsteen concert with him where he didn't say, 'Follow me,' and we didn't end up in the front row

...

That is when Lionel somehow sneaked into the swanky Diamond Club section behind the plate, where Tush has season tickets.


I personally don't have any problem with him doing this kind of crap if he gets away with it, just like I don't care if people sneak into movies without paying or cut in line at an amusement park. But it's not something I would describe as awesome or being a superfan.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:26 PM on January 29, 2009


Rick Reilly is writing for ESPN now? He was always my favorite thing about SI.
posted by paisley henosis at 2:37 PM on January 29, 2009


Geekanimator beat me to it -- this is Ferris Bueller 30 years later. Not all of his adventure was preplanned. He saw possible opportunities ("notices a 6'8" guy in a suit), got lucky, and followed each triumph up by betting it all again. Progression: free seat in left field, free seat in Diamond Club, Tampa dugout, on-field celebration with free shirt and lei, locker-room celebration. If he had hesitated or been caught at any stage, it would have been over. He didn't steal anyone's underwear or pull out a gun, he just rode a lucky streak all the way.
posted by joaquim at 4:42 PM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lionel Richie: Superman
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:19 PM on January 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's pretty much the same as wedding crashers, where everyone assumes the crasher is from the other side of the guest list, and the happy couple is too busy to notice.

I disagree. Almost entirely. A wedding crasher is taking advantage of the celebration for his own gains. He doesn't care about the actual wedding, he just wants the free booze and chicks. It's all about the motives, and Lionel's motives are much better.

I'm curious what triggers such a visceral response to this guy.
posted by smackfu at 12:49 PM on January 30, 2009


I'm curious what triggers such a visceral response to this guy.

Because there are few things more plentiful on MetaFilter than indignation.
posted by GeekAnimator at 4:27 PM on January 30, 2009


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