A Pacers fan unleashed the ultimate insult Tuesday night when he held aloft a sign proclaiming that Heat fans "heart" America's most detested (though seemingly self-aware) rock band, Nickelback. The statement appeared prominently behind the set of TNT's pre-game show in the lead-up to Indiana's Game 4 win.
Nickelback has long had a special relationship with sports: Lions fans fought unsuccessfully to banish the band from the halftime show of the 2011 Thanksgiving game. Aaron Rodgers once wondered on Twitter if forcing children to listen to Nickelback constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Former Braves reliever Peter Moylan ripped Nickelback on Twitter, too, prompting the band to rip right back.
But as these examples prove, stealthily deployed Nickelback insult signs have ascended into a category all their own:
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The irony, of course, is that the signs, while funny, are rapidly becoming unoriginal: they're turning into the very thing they mock.
We'll end with a public service announcement for the Heat, Nerlens Noel, Will Muschamp and all the other rumored Nickelbacolytes (but not Rahm Emanuel):