Different sports have different customs and cultures but one thing is always the same: there will be some over-boozed donkey who makes things uncomfortable for the folks near by. Don’t be that donkey. Here is the ScoreBoredSports Guide to Being a Good Fan.
Some will argue that you must be a true die-hard and only support the teams from your home town. Others will go where the action is. These people are often branded as “fair weather fans” and new writer Phred did a great piece on this very phenomenon. I’m a home team only kinda of guy but I can’t deny anyone who really loves any team. I say to each their own. But no matter who you cheer for there are a few universal rules.
Don’t be a jerk
The first and most important rule. Sports arenas (and local bars for that matter) are supposed to be safe places. Nothing ruins it faster than violence. I haven’t always been my best at sporting events but I don’t provoke people. I will however respond if you get in my face. I’m trying to be a better fan and person and we can all learn this lesson. Everyone is at the game because they care enough to pay money and travel to the site. Let’s all appreciate that level of enthusiasm and not hurt anyone. I’m looking at you, Boston and Philly.
Show your support
Doesn’t have to be an official jersey. Rock some team colors, make a clever sign, maybe even a tattoo if you’re crazy. Find your thing. At the least, show up and cheer. But carve out some space in your brain for a little obsession. Season tickets. Taking Monday off during football season. Dying your hair or beard to match the home squad’s uniforms. It’s fun to get involved.
Let go and enjoy
The above GIF shows my Detroit Tigers losing but I see this and can’t help but smile. Sports can tap a vein of joy unlike anything else. That lady is rocking out and her happiness is truly contagious. Be a good fan, make friends. High five some stranger after the next big play. It’s an awesome feeling of bonding. You are now sports buds. A deep and weird connection only rivaled by siamese twins and psychic sorority sisters.
The real takeaway is that your fandom shouldn’t cancel out or encroach on someone else’s good time. I’m not saying the competitive nature of the game can’t bleed into the stands but chants are the only things you should ever be throwing. Adults, please set positive examples for our little ones. The game is still precious to them. Don’t let too many Bud Lights ruin that. Stay safe and have fun.
Go Team Go!