Sportress of Blogitude

Female Miami Heat fan who flipped off Joakim Noah identified (UPDATE)


The Internet is a powerful thing, and once the South Florida Sun-Sentinel asked for help identifying the woman who gave Joakim Noah the finger after his ejection during Wednesday’s Chicago Bulls-Miami Heat tilt at AmericanAirlines Arena, it didn’t take long for someone to come forward and provide the identity of the now-famous bird-flipper.

Her name is Filomena Tobias, and according the Sun-Sentinel report, is “the widow of former CNBC commentator and financial wizard Seth Tobias.”

Tobias’ daughter, Victoria Racanati, came forward and conceded that the middle-finger-flipping fan is indeed her mother. She told the Sun-Sentinel when reached by phone: “Yes, it’s my mom. She’s embarrassed, but she is being a good sport,” said her daughter on Thursday. “She was having fun just like any other fan. All she has to say is that people need to get a life.”

Racanati said she is proud of her mom and that the family consists of passionate Miami Heat fans and season ticket holders who attend every game.

While Tobias is unwilling to comment on her newfound fame on the Internet, her daughter is a little perturbed about all the negative commentary being directed at her mother online, but paid her mom a compliment about the infamous photo, saying, “I have to say she still looks really hot.”

There you go.

UPDATE: Ms. Tobias has quite the interesting backstory. In a February 2008 New York Magazine story entitled, Dead Man’s Float,” the 2007 drowning death of Seth Tobias is placed under heavy scrutiny by writer Stephen Rodrick. Some of the juicier details, as highlighted in a recent post from For the Win:

Here are a few key passages from that story, which is certainly a fascinating read.

Seth and Phyllis’s relationship was insane, even in the early days. Phyllis blasted Seth about his coke habit, but they both were heavy drinkers, especially of Champagne. A former Circle T employee says he personally saw Phyllis give Seth coke and use the drug herself on many occasions. (Jacknin denies those claims.) Seth questioned Phyllis’s emotional stability. They each accused one another of infidelity. It went back and forth like that.

Seth and Phyllis split up for a while, with Seth returning to New York. The former Circle T employee says that Seth told him that Sam Tobias was concerned, warning his brother, “That woman is going to kill you or bankrupt you.”

Tobias didn’t listen. “He was addicted,” says the former Circle T employee, “to Phyllis’s ups and downs.”

The story continues to detail various chaotic episodes between the married couple.

Tobias’s marriage was also tanking. Phyllis would often appear at the office and demand cash. “Give me 15,000 [expletive] dollars. Give me 15,000 [expletive] dollars,” she hissed on one visit, according to the former Circle T staffer. Tobias had promised Phyllis that he would stop using cocaine, but she didn’t believe him. In the fall of 2005, the couple was having dinner at Bice, a Palm Beach restaurant, with six other people. Just after sitting down, Phyllis jumped from her seat and placed her lips over Tobias’s nose and began sucking. She was searching for cocaine residue.

According to the New York story, after Seth Tobias’ death, a very questionable psychic named Billy Ash claimed that Phyllis “had lured Seth into the pool with promises she would arrange a sexual liaison with a gay porn star–exotic dancer who went by the name Tiger because of the tiger stripes he had tattooed on his body.”

Holy schnikies! Now that’s some sordid stuff. It makes the middle finger she gave Joakim Noah seem like child’s play. Which, in all honesty, it is in the first place.