Top 10 famous sports fans

10. Denis Leary

If Boston Bruins super-fan Denis Leary ever wants to emulate his favorite players, he need not go far.  After lacing up his skates and taping his stick, it’s a short walk out to his backyard, where he has a hockey rink, complete with piping installed under the ice to keep it frozen, a shed full of skates, sticks and Bruins memorabilia, including Bobby Orr autographs and Cam Neely sweaters.  Leary even has a homemade Zamboni.

Leary, 51, still plays hockey regularly, and often has games and benefits for charities.

9. Will Ferrel

It takes an extreme fan to don a costume while attending a sporting event. It takes an even crazier fan to don a costume, make up a character, and act like that character to help motivate your team. Ladies and gentleman, may we introduce you to Captain Compete:

Will Ferrell transformed himself into Captain Compete on Halloween 2008. Ferrell, who is often found on the field at USC games, says his favorite sports memory is the National Championship game of 2005. He got to ride on the team bus, watch the game from the field as the Trojans pounded the Sooners, 55-19, and even was allowed to listen to the post-game speech in the locker room.

8. Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano is a baseball fanatic. Having lived in LA since she landed her job on “Who’s the Boss” at age 11, it’s no surprise the Dodgers are her team. She has a line of team apparel designed for female baseball fans called “Touch,” She has season tickets to the Dodgers and writes a blog hosted on the MLB website. Milano even wrote a book about her fandom, Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic

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Milano likes the Dodgers so much that she dated team members pitcher Brad Penny and catcher Russell Martin.

7.  Stephen King

There is something oddly appropriate in the fact that Stephen King is a fan of the Boston Red Sox, a team with a history of curses and heartbreaking, gut-wrenching losses.  It’s as though the horror novelist himself penned their entire history.

King has long been a fan of the Sox, and can often be spotted in the stands, at both home and away games (and is a near fixture in his second-row field-box seat during the playoffs).  His fandom even makes its way into his writing, notably in his 1999 release, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, a story about a girl who, while lost in the woods, clings to thoughts of her hero, Red Sox closer, Tom Gordon.

During the wild and tumultuous 2004 Sox season, King was seen at Fenway, writing in a notebook.  As it continued into the postseason, many thought he was simply bored with the game –- especially with Boston down 3-0 in the ALCS.  But King was actually working on a book (of course), along with friend Stewart O’Nan.  Faithful tells the story of the historic 2004 season, through the eyes of one of the biggest Sox diehards there is.

6. Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd was born in California, but moved to Kentucky when she was six years old, and quickly fell in love with Kentucky basketball.  Judd went on to attend UK and become a famous actress, and through it all, she maintained the same love for her Wildcats.  She is seen at many of the home basketball games, often in the student section, and seemingly always on camera.  Ashley has written about her passion for UK basketball multiple times, in Sports Illustrated and the Lexington Herald-Leader.

In 2003, Judd had the team over and cooked dinner for them after a first round NCAA tournament game and had the entire team sign her wall.  Then, the next year, on March 7, 2004 Judd was sitting in the front row for senior day, sick with bronchitis and her foot in a cast.  During a timeout, the cheerleaders perform a routine that involves someone from the crowd — that someone was Judd, who was carried to midcourt on a cheerleader’s shoulders to make the ‘Y’ in Kentucky.

With John Calipari on the bench for the Wildcats next season, expect to see more coverage of Kentucky basketball, and more shots of Judd cheering them on.

5. Regis Philbin

Without having seen a single snap on Saturday, you can learn exactly how Notre Dame faired Monday morning, based solely on Regis Philbin’s mood as he greets his audience at “Live with Regis and Kelly.”

An Irish alum (Class of ’53), Philbin makes no secret of his fandom and desire to wake the echoes.  When it came time for Joe Garner’s book, Echoes of Notre Dame Football: Great and Memorable Moments of the Fighting Irish, to be recorded onto accompanying CDs, it was Philbin that was tapped as the voice for the project.

The 77-year old Philbin still makes annual trips to South Bend, and often speaks at pre-game pep rallies and in an interview with Esquire in 2004 said, “I love Notre Dame. I want my ashes scattered there.”

But perhaps the test of a true fan is unabashed loyalty and optimism, which often manifests itself in outrageous wagers.  Regis has that covered, too: just last week he bet ESPN’s John Saunders $1 million that Notre Dame would win 11 games this season

4. Elton John

Sir Elton John has been a lifelong fan of Watford FC, but for the last 30 years, he has been much more.

In 1976, he became the chairman of the club, who was at the time in the Fourth Division. Captain Fantastic pumped money into the club and the team quickly rose to the Top Flight and reached the FA Cup in 1984, where they lost to Everton 2-0 as John sat in the Royal Box with tears covering his face.

John sold the club in 1987, but retained the title of honorary president. He repurchased the club ten years later and re-assumed the title of chairman. In 2002 he stepped down as chairman, but continued as president of the club until November of 2008, when differences with chairman Graham Simpson led to John giving up his title of honorary president. Simpson and Watford parted ways, and Sir Elton John resumed his position as honorary life president and is set to play a concert at the team’s stadium this summer to raise funds for the club.

3.  Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal, who grew up on Long Island, has been a Yankee fan his whole life.  He is almost always seen sitting in Yankee Stadium,  wearing a Yankees cap.  Crystal directed 61*, the HBO movie about Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle’s home run race.

In March 2008, Crystal got the chance of a lifetime, when he signed a minor league contract with the Yankees, and led off for the Bombers as the DH in a Spring Training game against the Pirates.  Crystal fouled a ball down the first-base line before striking out on six pitches.  Crystal called it the “greatest moment of my life.”

2. Spike Lee

What Nicholson is the Lakers, Spike Lee is to the Knicks.

Spike is well-known for his interactions with players and refs, and his most well-known interaction came in Game 5 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals. The Knicks were playing the Pacers and Lee was jawing at Reggie Miller and ramped it up heading into the fourth quarter. Miller went off for 25 points in the 4th to sink the Knicks and the next day’s New York Daily News headline was “Thanks A Lot Spike”. You have to be a pretty famous fan to get blamed for your team’s loss without directly affecting the game.

Spike Lee grew up in Brooklyn and loved the Knicks from an early age. At 14 years-old, he was in the upper deck of the Garden when Willis Reed came back from a knee injury, limped onto the court, and gave the emotional lift to the Knicks that propelled them to a championship-clinching win over the Lakers.

His seats might have improved, but his love for the Knicks has remained, both in good and, most recently, bad years.

1. Jack Nicholson

Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” plays in the background. The cameras get their iso shots on the celebrities. First there’s Leonardo DiCaprio, then Kyra Sedgwick (only there because she’s promoting her TNT show), then maybe David Beckham, followed by director Penny Marshall, but inevitably, no matter how many stars are in attendance at a Lakers game, it always end with the same person: Jack Nicholson.

Los Angeles fans have been criticized for their lack of enthusiasm. The fans at Dodger Stadium don’t show up until the third inning and celebrities who go to Lakers games are staring at their Blackberry more than the game. But Nicholson is a true fan. He’s been a season ticket holder since 1970 and on Sunday during Game 7, he turned around to the crowd and implored them to get on their feet and cheer. But what puts Nicholson above all others is he has actually worked it into his contract for films to be shot around the Lakers schedule.

Thanls to our freinds over at RealClearSports.com for this article

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