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March 17, 2003

Snob Quotient in Sports


On several occasions you’ve indicated that you are a women’s tennis fan. You share this interest with my wife, who is an avid tennis player and spectator. In fact, my wife takes her tennis so seriously that she just spent the weekend in Palm Springs watching a professional tournament and, weather permitting, attending a tennis camp with one of her girlfriends (leaving me with the kids for the weekend, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, owing to the kindness of strangers, my wife, her girlfriend and my in-laws ended up watching the tournament from a “skybox.” While the physical environment was great, when she got home she had to share a dark secret. The tennis fans with whom she shared the skybox were not nice people. “Very snobby and snotty, if you know what I mean.”

In your opinion, did my wife just have poor luck in running into some jerks, or is there something of a systematic phenomenon here? Which sports attract the nicest fans, and which ones the biggest losers? Is there a "likeability" gradient between the cheap seats and the expensive ones?

Eager to get your input.



posted by Friedrich at March 17, 2003


This is how it goes - the skyboxes are full of people who are there to be seen there. The cheap seats are full of people who are there either to see the sports event or to enjoy an affordable outing with their families.

Rich people at expensive dinners and art openings and like that seem okay, it's only in the skyboxes (or the better seats at polo and whathave you) that they are snotty and snobby.

Perhaps at expensive charity dinners and art openings, they rich feel no need to ape a chummy "just folks" attitude and so are more relaxed and natural.

There's a very good Simpsons on this topic.

Posted by: j.c. on March 18, 2003 4:52 AM

Perhaps I should mention that I get into such events throught the magic of knowing people who will take me. Not infrequently a trick called "dating."

Posted by: j.c. on March 18, 2003 4:53 AM

I haven't been to a live sports event in years, if you don't include a few visits to the U.S. Open and the Westminster Kennel Club. And even there I've always been a cheap-seat/cheap-ticket kind of guy, so I'm not qualified to make comparisons, darn it. Tennis is a funny sport, though -- not nearly the country-club hobby it's often made out to be, certainly at the pro level, but, even so, snobbery isn't hard to run into. And the wealthy-housewife/tennis-pro thing is still a common phenom, one tennis pro told me not long ago. It still has some cachet, I guess, though you'd never suspect as much if you attended the US Open in NYC, where the crowds are as rowdy and extraverted as they are at baseball or football games. Come to think of it, I wonder where the snobs hang out at the US Open. Do they have skyboxes?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on March 20, 2003 12:57 AM

What in the world does that mean?

Posted by: Mark McGreevy on March 30, 2004 5:59 PM

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