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Lithuania's Fans Are Balling

Having seen four groups of men's basketball fans, as well as assorted women's handball fans, I'm ready to declare the Lithuanians the gold-medal fan favorites. For this guy above alone. Add in the fact that the Lithuanians just won their first game on a last-second shot from Montrose Christian's Linas Kleiza, on an assist from Maryland's Sarunas Jasikevicius, and it's not hard to figure out who the sentimental favorites are in Group A. Who needs Gilbert when you've got Sarunas?

Anyhow, the four fan bases at the gymnasium's second session were quite distinct, although it's worth pointing out that the vast majority of the gym was filled with media members and silent, seated, placid Chinese fans. You know those NCAA tournament games, where there are four slivers of color-coordinated intensity, surrounded by a lot of neutral observers eating nachos and corporate types exchanging guffaws? This is worse.

In order of awesomeness:

The Lithuanians have the best t-shirts, the best color coordination, the most tie-dye and the most flags. They also whistle incessantly and blow air horns that that provide the aural equivalent of smog. They also scream "$%&$ you, Referee!" in unison, in heavily accented English. They also sway in unison, and go crazy when skinny blond Lithuanian dancers perform "Three Million," an homage to the motherland.

The Greeks banged bass drums and clapped rhythmically, without any regard whatsoever for the score or the most recent events. At one point, they got the entire gymnasium clapping with them, at some drab third-quarter point of a 15-point game. On the other hand, they do that wiggle-your-fingers thing when the Greeks are on the free-throw line. Even the grown adults. Then they throw up their hands in the air if the ball goes in. It's not very dignified.

The Spaniards favor the traditional "Ole" soccer chant, plus variations thereof. Their players, meantime, spin around in a group circle both before and after their games. Also not dignified. But I'll give the Spaniards credit for large number of Spanish-themed temporary tattoos. Also, my boss is a fan.

The Argentines were by far the weakest in massed group attention-grabbing. Their team deserved to have its heart gnawed out with that last-second shot.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 10, 2008; 7:11 AM ET
Categories:  NBA , Olympics  
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Next: USA-China Approaches


Lucky Charms are cereal of devil.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

That guy looks like my brother. Like, exactly like my brother.


Posted by: Dan Levy | August 10, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Lindemann | August 10, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Lithuanian fans are the best,always with their team! ;]

Posted by: LT fan | August 14, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

raškit lietuviškai

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

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