Thereâ€™s always that one guy that winds up sitting next to me whenever I go out to a game. The guy is screaming his head off, acting like everyone on the field can hear him, not thinking about the eardrums of anyone sitting next to him. You know who Iâ€™m talking about, right?
Now imagine that guy is Cameron Hughes, who gets paid by the team to be obnoxious, and is making a six-figure living doing it.
â€śIâ€™m that guyâ€”the funny, happy, dancing, possibly very drunk guy youâ€™ve seen at the ballpark at least once,â€ť says Hughes, adding that he himself never drinks on the job unless you count the three Red Bulls he downs as a pre-game ritual.
Baseball teams like the Toronto Blue Jays and the Los Angeles Dodgers pay him an average of $2,000 a game to do his thing, as do N.B.A. teams like the L.A. Lakers and New Orleans Hornets and N.H.L. teams like the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. All told, he works about 80 to 90 major- and minor-league games a year, and difficult as it may be to believe, Hughes makes a comfortable six-figure salary just by being a crazy sports fan.
â€śI basically just play myself,â€ť says the 36-year-old Ottawa native. â€śItâ€™s just amazing when you put on a team jersey that people are loyal to, how much theyâ€™ll cheer you and how much theyâ€™ll support you.â€ť
This seems to fly in the face of some recent policies that teams are implementing that fans should be considerate of others.
And now theyâ€™re dropping two grand for a guy that reinforces my desire to stay home and watch the game on TV?
Granted, many of his venues are untelevised minor league games, but with the vast number of entertainment options available other than live sports, that question still applies.
Some of these sports leagues, while trying to create a high-energy fan experience, might simply be annoying the actual fans that just want to watch the game. As a true fan, thereâ€™s nothing more annoying than scoreboard operators calling for NOISE or to CLAP YOUR HANDS! Someone just tell the guy next to me to STFU and maybe Iâ€™ll come back for the next game.