Drake and the rest who have mastered the art of being a pest at the game

These pests are doing their best for their preferred team, by distracting opponents and driving them crazy.

On the sidelines, in the stands or in the game themselves, they all know how to torment opponents

Drake, seen celebrating a three-point basket during the Raptors' Eastern Conference Finals win, has been getting under the skin of opposing teams. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Drake is a man of many talents — he makes music, he's done some acting, he's founded a record company, etc.

In addition to these pursuits, he's also the global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors, on top of being a dedicated fan of his home team.

That role has put him on the sidelines of games during the Raptors' current playoff run, a vantage point from which he has mocked their opponents with gusto.

His courtside antics, however, haven't been so popular with everyone — including, most definitely, Raptors opponents and some members of the U.S. media.

The Toronto fans, on the other hand? They're loving it.

Toronto fans seem OK with Drake's antics during Raptors games. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

In a way, the Toronto rapper has shown off a talent of being a pest — in the best possible sense, of course, as he is supporting his team by doing so.

It's part of a tradition in sports. Some pests do their best work from the sidelines or the stands. Others are athletes themselves.

Here's a look at some of the most skilled pests in the world of sports.

Brad Marchand gets his licks in — literally

In this May 2, 2018 photo, Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) is escorted to the penalty box. Marchand licked Lightning forward Ryan Callahan during Game 4 of their second-round series after appearing to do the same to Toronto's Leo Komarov earlier in the playoffs. (Charles Krupa/The Associated Press)

Nova Scotia's Brad Marchand, who plays left wing with the Boston Bruins, distinguished himself in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs for pioneering a new form of torment for his opponents.

Not by punching, or tripping, or trash-talking them, but by licking them.

The action, when used against the Toronto Maple Leafs' Leo Komarov, was #2 on ESPN UK's list of Marchand's "Top 25 heel moments." 

Even on Marchand's home turf in Nova Scotia, hockey fans were lukewarm at best back in 2013.

"Brad Marchand: do you love him or hate him?" CBC Halifax reporter Michael Dick asked in a streeter.

"Hate him!" shouted a passing cyclist before the woman being asked the question conceded that Marchand was "OK." 

Also in 2013, CBC cameras captured a queue of kids in Dartmouth waiting patiently, hockey cards and Sharpies in hand, for autographs from visiting hockey stars, as seen in the video below.

Dartmouth hockey fans line up for autographs

10 years ago
Duration 1:01
Brad Marchand drives by in his black Lamborghini as fans wait for their hockey favourites.

"I'm looking for [Pittsburgh Penguin Sidney] Crosby, definitely Crosby, [Nathan] McKinnon and [Matt] Duchene, probably," said a boy in a Penguins T-shirt.

Conspicuously absent from his list was Marchand, who shortly thereafter drove by in his black Lamborghini. Unlike Crosby, the CBC camera did not capture Marchand signing autographs.

Sean Avery and the rule he created

Sean Avery on the Brodeur incident

15 years ago
Duration 0:41
Sean Avery talked to The Hour about the 2008 playoff incident that led to the NHL making a new rule.

Sean Avery spent a decade in the NHL and he got under the skin of a lot of his opponents — for things he said, or things he did on the ice.

Like the time he got in the face of goalie Martin Brodeur during the 2008 NHL playoffs in a way that made the NHL expand its definition of unsportsmanlike conduct.

Then, playing for the New York Rangers, Avery essentially screened the New Jersey Devils' netminder face to face. And he waved his stick in Brodeur's face to make that happen.

Martin Brodeur (with a goalie mask flipped up) and Sean Avery skate past each other as their teammates shake hands at the end of the 2008 NHL Eastern Conference semifinals. (Bill Kostroun/Associated Press)

According to Avery, the bit with Brodeur wasn't something he planned out ahead of time.

"I went towards the net and I thought: 'Well, if I look at him, then I'll be able to see where I'm standing and where he is," Avery told CBC's The Hour in 2008.

"And then it kind of evolved into a minor face wash," Avery said, miming the action on The Hour, about six months after the incident.

He also scored a goal on Brodeur almost immediately after that happened in a series that saw Avery and the Rangers push the Devils out of the playoffs in just five games.

In 2011, Sports Illustrated put Avery on a list of "notable pests of the NHL." He was also once referred to as "the most hated man in the NHL" on the cover of The Hockey News.

Any fans wearing disguises, ever

A Winnipeg Jets fan is seen wearing a paper bag mask at a game in 1980. (CBC News/CBC Archives)

Any fan who has worn a paper bag mask or similar disguise to a professional sports game is, unquestionably, a pest of the highest order.

Why? Because that fan understands the iconography of the disgruntled fan and they choose to wave that in the face of other fans of their own home team.

The paper bag mask has long been a go-to for disgruntled hockey fans, including those who otherwise support the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

And they also have a high degree of media literacy, as they know they are likely to help spread their upset on TV and social media by donning such disguises at the game.

Fans who have caused curses

In this Oct. 2, 1984 file photo, Sam Sianis, nephew of William Sianis and the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago, acknowledges the crowd along with his goat prior to a National League playoff game. (The Associated Press)

Similarly, any fan who is said to have put a curse on a team is clearly a pest to the fans of the team being targeted.

One such famous example is that of William Sianis and the curse the bar owner put on the Chicago Cubs after the team didn't allow him to have his pet goat Murphy at a 1945 playoff game.

"They kicked him out of the ballpark and he got outside and he placed a hex on the Cubs saying that they would never again win the World Series until they apologized to both him and to his goat," said Tom Wiles, a lifelong Cubs fan and former director of research at the Baseball Hall of Fame, when explaining the curse to CBC Radio's Day 6 in 2016.

The Chicago Cubs are the only team in baseball to hit the 100 win plateau this year. The team is young, talented, confident and forcing some to wonder if this is the roster that might just break the 71-year-old curse of the goat.

Efforts were made to break the curse, but the Cubs would not appear in another World Series for another 71 years. But when they did, they won the championship.

Drake has also been accused of association with a curse on teams. The worrisome part of this for Raptors fans is that it is alleged that the teams he cheers for go on to lose.