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Dan Bickley

My 2019 pet peeves, from courtside fans to timeouts in basketball

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) and Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Johnson, right, react during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

We all love sports. Even the stuff we hate.


Timeouts in basketball. There are way too many. A good team doesn’t need them. A bad team is only prolonging the inevitable. The last thing we need is more power in the hands of control-freak coaches.

Slow play in golf. It’s not calculus. Hit the ball. While we’re young.

Not taking some kind of risk on 2nd-and-short.

Pitchers who can’t throw strikes.

Twitchy offensive linemen who flinch and draw flags and kill drives.

Batters who call timeout when nothing is happening in the first place.

Basketball players who don’t make free throws and couldn’t care less.

Golf announcers describing shots as “heroic,” even though the competitors are anything but, wearing belts out of necessity, allowed to strike stationary balls in complete silence, while paying other men to carry their clubs.

Bandwagon fans who cherry-pick their favorite teams from different markets. It’s bad enough dealing with the transience of Arizona sports fans. But, no, you can’t be a Cowboys fan and a Yankees fan. Or a Steelers fan and a Lakers fan. Only Snoop Dogg can pull that off.

Shortening a team name to sound connected, like ‘Zona, ‘Zaga, Chi-Town and ‘Bama.

Adults who steamroll children for foul balls and in-game souvenirs.

Tennis players who grunt.

Soccer divas who brought flopping to the NBA.

Fans from behind who want you to sit down and shut up, as if you’re impeding their experience.

Grown people engaging in drunken fights at NFL games, swimming in the sewer of human frailty.

Pandering to big money that prevents day games during the World Series. That inserts television timeouts into the NCAA Tournament. That subjects us all to in-game interviews with uncompliant head coaches and managers.

Teams sincerely referring to their customers as “the best fans” in that particular sport. You hear it all the time. The falsehood is especially ridiculous and nauseating in Phoenix, where sports bars don’t even bother with the home teams.

Athletes who’ve become too rich and too cool for All-Star games, home run derbies and slam dunk contests.

Fans who use their courtside access to engage and enrage a highly combustible athlete. With their lawyer in tow.

Scoreboards imploring fans to scream and shout and get LOUDEST during crucial junctures of the game. If your franchise is doing its job, that’s already happening.

A hockey team that keeps passing the puck on a power play.

Replays that distort the truth and defy the very spirit of the rule.

Great seats to an NHL game when a fight doesn’t break out.

The foul ball that drops in your section, your row and your general vicinity. And you’re in the bathroom.

Reach Bickley at Listen to Bickley & Marotta weekdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Reach Bickley at Listen to Bickley & Marotta weekdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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Dan Bickley bio
Dan Bickley is the most influential sports media member in Arizona sports history, having spent over 20 years as the award-winning lead sports columnist for The Arizona Republic and and almost two decades as a Valley sports radio talk show host. In spring 2018, Bickley made the decision to leave the newspaper to join the Arizona Sports team as host of the entertaining and informative midday show Bickley and Marotta, as well as bring his opinionated and provocative column exclusively to
Bickley’s journalism career began in his hometown of Chicago, where he was part of a star-studded staff at the Chicago Sun-Times. He chronicled Michael Jordan’s six NBA championships; covered the Olympics in eight different countries and attended 14 Super Bowls; spent three weeks in an Indianapolis courthouse writing about Mike Tyson’s rape trial; and once left his laptop in an Edmonton bar after the Blackhawks reached the Stanley Cup Finals.
He has won multiple awards, written two books, formed a rock band, fathered three children, and once turned down an offer to work at the New York Times.  His passions include sports, music, the alphabet, good beer and great radio. After joining Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, he couldn’t be happier