When you hear the word groupie, many immediately think of the music world and the infamous female groupies that trailed rock stars around the world. Who doesn’t recognize the iconic image of Kate Hudson as Penny Lane in Almost Famous? However, in this day and age, athletes have attained a celebrity status that is comparable to even the biggest rock stars. There are countless teams that have an endless group of die hard fans who will attend as many games as possible and cheer loudly the entire time for their team.
Given that athletes are somewhat like celebrities, one might assume that their fans consist mainly of regular people – surprisingly, however, this is not the case. Many sports teams have celebrity fans who, while perhaps even more famous than the members of the team, completely geek out and obsess over their team.
Granted, celebrity sports groupies have a lot more options than regular fans, simply due to their celebrity status. First of all, they can easily afford tickets to any game – home or away – that they would like to see. It’s rare that a celebrity sports groupie is sitting anywhere besides the front row, and it’s not rare for them to get up close and personal with the athletes before or after the games. Many celebrity sports groupies are season ticket holders, a designation that often comes with a hefty price tag. Additionally, celebrities have the means to get a chunk of the pie, as many true sports groupies end up purchasing a stake in their beloved team. Regardless, you’ll see them in the front row, clad in their jerseys and rooting on their favorites.
Don’t confuse the celebrity sports groupies on this list with the paparazzi sports fans (meaning the celebrities who attend games and get photographed, but really appear to have no interest in the sport itself or any of the players). These 15 celebrity sports groupies are notoriously obsessed with their team of choice.
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15 Jack Nicholson – Los Angeles Lakers
Jack Nicholson is known for his iconic roles in films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Shining. He’s had many relationships with beautiful actresses and models, but there seems to be one true love in his life – his passion for the Los Angeles Lakers. While the woman in the seat beside him does change, he’s a constant courtside staple. He gets very into the games, studying the game notes, shouting at the referees and more. He’s been a fan for over 30 years, making him one of the most committed celebrity sports groupies on this list.
14 Dyan Cannon – Los Angeles Lakers
Given the overwhelming amount of celebrities who make their home in the Los Angeles area, it’s no surprise that the Los Angeles Lakers have a long list of celebrity fans. However, it takes a special kind of celebrity sports groupie to rise above the countless celebrities who attend games periodically, and Dyan Cannon is one of them. Second perhaps only to Jack Nicholson, she’s been a Lakers regular for over three decades. It’s a toss up whether Cannon is better known for her acting roles or her status as a courtside staple.
13 Will Ferrell – USC Trojans
Before he was lighting up the big screen in comedies, Ferrell was a student at the University of Southern California. He’s no stranger to combining his comedic talent with the sports world, as he’s played roles such as an ice skater and race car driver in his films. However, his true sports passion lies with a certain group of Trojans – the USC Trojans, to be specific. He’s a true blue fan of the USC football team and attends countless games, rooting on his alma mater. This sports groupie has even pulled pranks on the USC football team and led the USC band while in full Trojan attire.
12 Alyssa Milano – Baseball
Milano is a bit different from many on this list, in that she doesn’t particularly care about a certain team. Instead, she’s merely a fan of baseball – and baseball players – in general. Though she is married now, she previously dated several baseball players including Carl Pavano, Barry Zito, and Brad Penny. However, her interest in baseball isn’t merely about the players – she loves the game. She has worked with MLB.com as a playoff correspondent, and even wrote a book entitled Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic. She even used her celebrity style to create baseball themed apparel, also sold on MLB.com.
11 Bill Murray – Chicago Cubs
Murray was raised just outside of Chicago, and started perfecting his comedy chops with Chicago’s infamous improve troupe, The Second City. With his strong connection to the Windy City, it’s no surprise that he’s a Chicago fan when it comes to sports. While Murray is a big sports fan, even going so far as investing in or becoming part owner of several semi-professional teams, his Chicago roots always bring him back to the Cubbies. He’s one of the Cubs’ best known celebrity fans, and has even thrown the first pitch at a Cubs game.
10 Matthew McConaughey – University of Texas Longhorns
While Matthew McConaughey may be closely associated with laid-back California living now, but pay close attention to that hint of a drawl that peeks through in many of his roles – he’s a Texan, through and through. Born in Texas, McConaughey attended the University of Texas at Austin before his Hollywood days, and he has a fierce loyalty to the Longhorns to this day. He’s been photographed at countless Longhorns games, and even around the campus during events. After his Oscar win, he even got congratulatory tweets from Longhorns staff. While many celebrities root on high profile professional teams, this Texan stays true to his college roots and remains a Longhorn for life.
9 Maria Menounos – Boston Celtics
The gorgeous Maria Menounos was born in Massachusetts, so it seems fitting that she would root on a Boston team. Menounos has been spotted countless times clad in her green Celtics apparel, rooting on her favorite team. She’s been to countless games and reports say she’s always a loud cheering, really involved in the game fan as opposed to many celebrities who sit courtside and text. She’s even gotten into it with other celebrity sports fans – most notably the Lakers fan Jack Nicholson, who once got Menounos removed from her seat during a Celtics-Lakers game.
8 Ashley Judd – Kentucky Wildcats
Judd is an alumna of the University of Kentucky, and she takes her Wildcats very, very seriously. You can usually count on seeing Judd at major Wildcats games, cheering loudly in the stands at Kentucky basketball games. However, she doesn’t restrict her love for just one sport at her alma mater – she’s cheered on Wildcats football players as well as hockey players, even helping the hockey team with some promotional materials. She’s even mentioned her die-hard Kentucky fandom to the press, such as in a 2004 edition of Sports Illustrated.
7 Kevin James – Bas Rutten/MMA
Kevin James is known for being the funny, chubby guy in countless comedic films, as well as playing the lead in the sitcom The King Of Queens. He’s also a huge fan of MMA fighting – who knew? James is a huge fan of one fighter in particular, Bas Rutten. His celebrity groupie status once got so huge that he supposedly raced into the ring to congratulate Rutten after a fight. However, his groupie status was solidified in one of his film endeavours. James starred in and produced Here Comes the Boom, a film about a teacher turned fighter in which Rutten himself plays a big role.
6 Spike Lee – New York Knicks
Infamous director Spike Lee is known for two things – his incredible films, and his vibrant knee-length Knicks jersey and hat that he wears to every game he attends (and he attends a lot of games). Though many have questioned whether he’d eventually switch his loyalty to the Brooklyn Nets, Lee is adamant – he bleeds orange and blue, and that will never, ever change, according to him. A true fan.
5 Stephen King – Boston Red Sox
While you may not associate a world famous writer with baseball, author Stephen King is a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox. Though his primary home is in Bangor, Maine, he’s a Boston man when it comes to sports. Alongside Stewart O’Nan, King even published a book entitled Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season. King was even called upon to throw the fictional first pitch at a Red Sox game in Fever Pitch, a film that features a diehard Red Sox fan.
4 Eliza Dushku – Boston Celtics
Born and bred in Massachusetts, it’s only fitting that Eliza Dushku would be a Boston fan. Many argue that her Celtics fandom comes from the period where she dated Rick Fox, who was drafted by and played for the Boston Celtics for several years before moving to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, Dushku still shows up to the arena clad in green to root on her home team.
3 Regis Philbin – Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Way back in the day (class in 1953!), Regis Philbin graduated from the University of Notre Dame, and his alma mater has been a passion ever since. While Kelly Ripa sits alongside former NFL star Michael Strahan nowadays, Philbin used to co-host the morning show with the bubbly blonde. During all his years on the air, he made constant references to the Fighting Irish and is clearly passionate about his alma mater’s team. He’s been involved with many projects tied to the school, including narrating Joe Garner’s audio CD’s about the Fighting Irish entitled Echoes of Notre Dame Football: Great and Memorable Moments of the Fighting Irish.
2 Kendra Wilkinson/Baskett– San Diego Chargers
Kendra Wilkinson/Baskett has been in the public eye since the age of 18, when she became one of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends and starred in the reality series The Girl Next Door. Throughout her career she has been outspoken about her love of sports, but one team in particular has her loyalty – the San Diego Chargers. A San Diego native herself, Kendra is a huge fan and supporter of her hometown team. Anyone who has heard her converse about football knows she isn’t a celebrity who shows up just to fill a seat at games – she knows the roster, the coaching staff, everything about her favorite team.
1 Drake – Toronto Raptors
Lately, rapper Drake has become synonymous with one sports team in particular – the Toronto Raptors. On a humorous note, many have examined pictures of Drake alongside his basketball superstar friends in which he looks like the very definition of a sports groupie. However, Drake has also been hugely influential at rebranding the Raptors. His role isn’t particularly clear – the Toronto Stars reports that his title encompasses host, business partner, and consultant, and the Raptors named him their global ambassador. What is clear is his impact – regardless of what many say about his credentials, he’s been doing a great job appealing to younger fans and transforming the Raptors from a brand perspective.
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