We're one week into the NFL season and from what's been seen so far, there are some folks who don't understand the culture of fandom. There are also some who can use a refresher. With that said, these are my particulars; the things that, no matter what someone tries to raise to the contrary, will never change for me.
There are plenty more as well, but for the sake of time, this is a condensed version of the official Ed the Sports Fan Handbook. The official release of the handbook will be coming…someday.
Never fight at the game.
This is something that Ed and I 100% agree on. As much as I love the game, I’ll never fight at the game. For starters, you can forget about ever getting back in the stadium, because if you’re caught, you’re done. Personally, this really ties in with making sure you go to the game with the right people. I have some boys who love football, but we’ll never go to a game together live, because they’re the kind of fans who will throw hands if someone disrespects the Cowboys. Don’t get me wrong; I love the Cowboys, but I’m not fighting for them. Hell no.
Never leave a game early.
No matter how bad it gets (whether your team is blowing the other out, or if they’re getting their butts kicked), you ride it out. As fans, we’ve seen too many examples of teams coming back and making games interesting and turning a potential dud into an instant classic.
Never go with someone who doesn’t care about the game. You will be miserable.
For the life of me, I don’t understand how and why people go to the game with someone who doesn’t care about the game. Well, let me take that back; I understand why, but it’s not something I will ever engage in. Hell, I already don’t like when someone asks me a bunch of questions during the game. The last thing I want is to be there with someone who doesn’t care about the game or respect the culture of fandom.
Yes, people go out in the cold and cheer with no shirt on. Yes, grown men put on pads, face paint, and full uniform, even if they haven’t played organized football in 25 years. Yes, women go out there and cheer, talk crazy, and curse at referees and know all about football. It happens, and the game is not the time or place for me to explain why that is. It just is.
Never get to a game late.
This one can be tricky. If you’re on a date, and you’re with someone who doesn’t respect the concept of time, then you’re gonna be out of luck. Under no circumstances is it okay to be late to a game, unless there is traffic, or some other unforeseen circumstance. As much as Ed wants to make sure he can do his part to enhance the dating experience at times, he’s not about to co-sign on a woman making him late to a game. As for me, if she causes me to be late for kickoff, it’ll be the last time we go to a game (and probably a date, altogether) ever again.
Never wear a jersey of a player who doesn’t play for your team anymore*
Wearing a jersey of someone who doesn’t play anymore is a personal pet peeve of mine. Spend a little bit of bread and get you a current one. There’s no reason for a Cowboys fan to be wearing an Eldorado Owens jersey since he hasn’t been here in three years, or for a Packers fan to wear a Lorenzo Favre jersey (I love Lorenzo as much as anyone, but damn; get you a Rodgers or a Heisman jersey.)
Know that it’s okay to watch the game alone
There are sometimes that I just want to watch the game alone, and that’s perfectly fine. Being a fan is extremely taxing. There are times when you feel like the only ones who understand you are others who share a similar situation. A fan knows themselves better than anyone and when the situation calls for it, or if you just feel like it, stay home, drink, eat, break your own stuff, cheer as loud as you can, and act a fool all by yourself. It’s perfectly okay.
The asterisk is in the event that said player retired from the team, or if they built their legend with that team. Then it’s all good.