Things You Shouldn’t Do When You Go to an NFL Game
The stands at a football game are a world of their own. Often more energetic but almost always less productive than the action on-field, they are home to banter, competitive chants and a whole lot of beer. While most spectators are in it for the game, not everyone is at the edge of their seats all the time. Many have been dragged there by partners, spouses, friends or siblings and begrudgingly wile their time away at a corn dog. And let’s face it, majority of the under-21s are there for the unmonitored booze.
It’s a fascinating world which one could sit and observe on their own. However, any public event can reek of unpleasantness now and again, and that’s okay if it’s nothing too serious. The NFL has never professed to be the classiest environment does it really aspire to be. However, even in this delinquent world there are some major no-no’s everyone attending the game should steer clear of. Now, mind you, many of these are not too obvious, so it’s okay if you weren’t aware of them before reading this. For what it’s worth, here’s what not to do at an NFL game.
1. Boo your own team
Come on, show some camaraderie! Everyone on that field is a human being working with ten others and struggling against eleven more. They’re going to put up a bad performance at some point in their career, and they can do without your vote of disapproval. Your team doesn’t need your support when they’re at the top of their game; they need it while picking up any slacking energy. So never ever under any circumstances discourage the team you have set out to support. True fans stick with their team, for better or for worst!
2. Yell at a player whose name you don’t know
Not only does this bring your authenticity as a fan of your team into question, it’s also extremely annoying. The beer and heat can get to the best of us, but just splash some water on your face and have a bit of a sit-down. But when you decide to play coach and chief critic, do not refer to the lack of agility in “number 11” or how “number 43” is keeping up his pace. It is vague and causes embarrassment for other fans of your team, in front of fans of the opponent.
3. Swear Incessantly
Look, we’ve already established refinement isn’t a must for admittance to the NFL stands. And swearing works; completely. However, swearing for the sake of swearing just ends up getting on people’s nerves. It’s like you’re a child who has just discovered their parents aren’t around and are seizing the opportunity to insert the few cusswords you know into every sentence. Yelling “****ing take the ball!” is completely redundant, grammatically incorrect and lacking in creativity. Plus, it’s also completely useless as it’s probably too late to take the ball anyway. So, try coming up with a variety of expressions without cursing being an absolute criteria for them. No one likes a foul mouth, especially an unproductive one.
4. Go to a rival’s game just to boo them
We’re all for a classic battle-ready rivalry, but really, how much time do you have to waste? Take your rivalry online, not to a game where your team isn’t playing. You’re probably the only person wearing the jersey of a team that isn’t even playing and booing constantly in one corner. It’s not good sporting spirit, cut it out. It’s okay to be competitive, but hatred gains no one any leads. Plus, it’s disrespectful to the other team on the field, you know; the one you don’t hate.
5. Wear a Jersey of a team that isn’t playing
There is no memo that goes “You must wear a jersey to an NFL game”. Sure, many people do wear a jersey but it’s usually in support of one of the teams playing in that game. Occasionally, you’ll come by a person who is wearing a Jersey of another team, which is just supremely odd. I mean, you can just wear your regular clothes if you don’t own a jersey of the teams playing that day. Peyton Manning is a great player and his jersey is a great buy. But wearing it to a Panthers vs. Vikings’ game is a statement which has no place in the ranks of football etiquette (cough) or fashion. Honestly, you’re just a great big question mark in a sea of purposeful fans.
6. Wear a Jersey from another sport
Okay so, if adorning another team’s Jersey is a no, then a jersey from another sport is an absolute no. It’s equivalent to bringing a harp or bass guitar to a football game. Yes, exactly; that pointless. Just wear whatever clothes you have and save that Lebron James jersey for the next Cavaliers’ face-off. Otherwise, honestly, the only thing you are projecting is that you’d rather be at a basketball game than here, which is probably not the case (since, you know, you’re here).
7. Drink yourself silly
While it’s okay to not be fully present, don’t get so drunk that you’re just ranting out loud for the whole game. There is always a lot of beer to go ‘round at a football game, but you should make sure that you do not drink to the point where your words are indecipherable but you cannot help them from coming out of your mouth. It just brings the wrong energy to tense moments in the game or results in people laughing at you rather than with. As for everyone under twenty one who bought a ticket just to be able to drink beer; rethink your priorities.
8. Leave before the game ends
We’ve already talked about sticking up for your team in rough patches and leaving early is the worst thing you could do for them. Don’t be a fair-weather fan; be there when it counts. We sympathize with the fact that NFL games are long and can seem particularly tedious, especially when the game isn’t at all exciting. Besides, you have ample things to distract you if the game gets boring. Like the guy in a basketball jersey, or people spilling their drinks, or beer, or hotdogs, or crude chants— the list goes on! Don’t be a spoil sport. Join in the fun and make the most of this moment (and your expensive ticket too).
There are many more things you should probably steer clear of at an NFL game but they mostly have to do with being an individual in a public setting. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t start fights, for example. If caught up in one, you should try to get out of it as soon as you can. A harp was mentioned earlier in this article, which should obviously not be brought to a football game. And while there are numerous such “don’ts” in the fine-print, we’re guessing you get the picture and so we rest our case.