The Rules for Being a Sports Fan: What Every Good Fan Should Know

Brad ZakSenior Analyst IJuly 22, 2008

There have been certain things I've noticed as I've started attending more sporting events upon entering college.

Besides noticing that I'm an overenthusiastic heckler (come on who doesn't love a good heckle now and again?), I've also noticed that there is some proper etiquette that comes with being a fan.

On the court, playing field, and obviously the golf course, there is always proper etiquette to be adhered to, therefore the fans should be held to no lesser standard.

You may have paid good money for that seat, but you're letting everyone down, including yourself, if you fail to live up to a standard set of viewing rules.

That is why I'm here to set these rules in stone and also will keep adding on to them as I attend more and more events and experience all sorts of new and exciting feelings, like a sports puberty if you will.

I've always been a late bloomer.

1. If you show up late in the second quarter, after the fourth inning, or after the first period and someone is in your seat, too bad. Barring a 10-car pile-up or just rush hour traffic on your way to Dodgers stadium, arrangements should be made that you make it to the game at least close to on time.

If someone still tries to claim their seat, the person now sitting in it should point to the scoreboard, inform them of my rule and maybe give them a swift tap to the genital region. That should suffice as a fair punishment.

It may be a little extreme to get hit in your man bags for being late to a game, but you're collectively slapping your favorite team in the face by not showing up on time.

2. When the Noise meter appears on the Jumbotron, it must be defeated. No questions asked.

3. A fan must make at least one heckle a game in order to fully get their money's worth. Like I said before, everybody enjoys a good heckle, whether it's telling a player how unfavorable they think they are or how ugly their mother is.

Unless of course it's Dorothy Mantooth, you don't ridicule her because that woman is a saint.

*Style points awarded for creativity.

4. Unless it's an NHL game or an extended period of an MLB game, if the person in front of you is standing up, stand up as well. There is nothing wrong with rising to your feet to show support for your beloved team.

If the person in front of you is standing up longer than you take it as a challenge to your fanhood and reply with a standing match longer and more drawn out than the de la Hoya-Mayweather fight. It would probably have more hitting too.

5. Thunder sticks should always be used with caution. On a related note, always avoid Bat Day, and the not as commonly known Machete Night.

6. Never cheer when a player is hurt. You stand up and clap when he gets back up and walks off. It doesn't matter if it is your rival or an early season cupcake. 

Also, absolutely no cheering if a horse is being euthanized at a horse race.  The red paint will rain down upon you after that decision.  However, sports fans may cheer everywhere when Roger Clemens is euthanized. 

7. Opposing teams' fans should be welcomed outside the arena at tailgates, pre-game get-togethers, etc. But once you enter the arena all bets are off. The opposing team's fans are open to ridicule and the guy you just shared wieners with...check dogs with is now forced to accept any insult you can throw his way.

*In rivalries all bets are off. You're rival is the scum of the Earth and you should let him know about it.

8. After scoring a touchdown, hitting a clutch home run, or making the go-ahead basket late in the game, you should proceed to slap everyone's hand.

Compare it to when you are in church and have to say peace. Just because the guy behind you looks a little creepy doesn't prevent you from wishing him peace.

The same applies to a sporting event, it is always high fives all around. The high five is the ultimate symbol of fandom and should be celebrated properly, even with the creepy guy behind you.

9. Any foul ball and/or stray puck is fair game for any fan above the age of six.  It should not be considered an inconsiderate move but a rite of passage for a small child to have a ball stolen right from their grasps. 

Too many kids can't deal with failure nowadays and if stealing a home run ball right from the tiny fingers is the only way to get the message across that whining will not be tolerated, than so be it. 

10. In a perfect world anyone over the age of 14 who brings their glove to the stadium would get drilled in the head while they're ordering a lemon freeze. 

Loose the glove and toughen up those hands.  Moises Alou has some tips to get in top foul ball catching shape. 

11. If you're sitting courtside at a basketball game you have to be prepared to catch a hometown player who goes diving into the stands. 

If it's a player from the opposing side or Shaquille O'Neill, open a large gap for them to go plunging into or smack them with a metal chair WWE style.

12. Punch anyone in the kidney who stumbles over the fight song.

13. If you're going to start chanting someone's name you better have a damn good reason for it (see: Josh Hamilton home run derby). 

If you have any other ideas don't be afraid to leave them in a comment. I hope to make continuous additions to this list.