25 Things NOT to Do at a Game
For a sports fan there are few better ways to spend an afternoon or an evening than taking in a game live. Watching on television is fun, but nothing comes close to matching the experience of actually being there.
However, there are plenty of pitfalls that can ruin the day for yourself and/or for those around you. The last thing anyone wants to do is fork over a pile of cash and let a stupid mistake become the long-lasting memory, rather than the game.
Here are 25 things NOT to do at a game.
Don't: Forget Your Manners
So you drove down to the ballpark, paid for parking and bought a couple of tickets—good for you. That doesn't give everyone (or anyone) carte blanche to behave like a total jagweed.
Be polite. At the very least, try not to spit on anyone.
Don't: Interfere with the Game
There's a fine line between running down and reaching for that fly ball and interfering with the game in a negative way. Although, can you interfere with a game in a positive way?
Exercise your best judgement here. Particularly if you're at a Cubs game—that city will turn on you in a heartbeat.
Don't: Embarrass Yourself
There are a billion ways to embarrass yourself in public, but most of them are accidental. Because, let's face it, most people spend their whole lives trying not to embarrass themselves in public.
Accidents generally can't be avoided, but there is one thing you can always control: What you put on your body. Or what you don't put on your body.
You want to support the team, but you want to make sure your clothes are supporting you.
Don't: Set Fires or Set off Smoke Bombs
This seems simple enough, doesn't it? No normal person should be walking around with smoke bombs or an arson tool box on them.
Neither should be your go-to method for sports celebration or condemnation. Just stick to booing and swearing.
Don't: Overdo It Going for a Souvenir
Stadiums are basically elaborately designed labyrinths which exist for the soul purpose of separating you from your money and, in some cases, your dignity.
Don't spend too much time in the gift shop. Never buy a jersey at full price. And don't go overboard trying to get your grubby mitts on something free, like a fly ball.
Just try to enjoy the game and remember that just because you don't have something to show for it, doesn't mean it didn't happen.
So your team is terrible, the stadium is mostly empty, the owner sucks and at this point it seems plausible, if not probable, they may never win another game as long as you live—that's unfortunate.
No one is blaming you for being bummed about a bummer of a situation. But if it's gotten to the point where you feel like a paper bag is required to get through a live game, maybe it's best to stay home.
Other unacceptable behaviors include: Sitting with your head in your hands all day, quietly weeping on and off, constantly telling stories about how much better everything was in the 70s.
Don't: Forget Where You Parked the Car
There's nothing that can ruin a fun day spent anywhere like heading out to the parking lot, only to suddenly realize you have absolutely no recollection of where you parked the car.
A long afternoon spent in the sun combined with a couple of beers and 2,500 calories worth of snacks you didn't need—now that's a recipe for lethargy and confusion.
Just write it down. It may seem like the dumbest thing in the world you first arrive and maybe you won't even need it. But maybe you will.
Don't: Bring a Baby
Unless you're a Bears, Vikings or Lions fan, you're probably thinking that baby is cute as hell. Well, you're not wrong. But it doesn't matter how cute, cool or ridiculously adorable a baby is—that's exactly how they lull you into a sense of complacency.
Just when one has everyone thinking it's the most badass person in room… BOOM… something awful happens. It'll start screaming or vomiting or crapping its pants.
Worse yet, it'll actually fall asleep, forcing everyone within earshot into silence, lest thee wake the baby. Plus, if anything goes wrong and it's your baby, you'll have to leave no questions asked. People are very sensitive about these tiny humans.
Don't: Throw Up
This one extends far beyond the game. Nobody likes the dude (or the dudette) who honks and ruins the day. Don't overdue it on food or drinks and always know your limits.
So. Just. Be. Cool. Don't buy your meal a round-trip ticket, but if it's upgraded without your knowledge, haul ass to a regurgitation station.
That's a bathroom, just so we're clear.
Don't: Take Your Shirt off
On one hand, you have to admire the confidence of men—because let's face it, they're always men—who think nothing of whipping off their shirts in a crowd full of strangers and letting it all hang out.
On the other hand, seriously dude? Look around. Do you not realize there are dozens of people close enough to count the moles in the general vicinity of your unruly armpit hair?
Wait, obviously you realize that. You just don't care. Do the world of favor and put it away...put it all alway.
Don't: Take Your Pants off Either
This isn't nearly as big an issue as dudes taking their shirts off, but as you can see, it's extremely weird when it actually does happen.
Everything is weirder when you do it without pants.
- Watching a baseball game in public? Weirder without pants.
- Enjoying a beer with a couple of friends? Weirder without pants.
- Driving to the stadium? Weirder without pants.
- Storm the field in front of tens of thousands of people? Weirder without pants.
- Being tackled by security guards and dragged through the dirt? Weirder without pants.
- Spending at least a few hours in jail until someone bails you out? Way weirder without pants.
So keep your pants on why don't you.
Don't: Bring Light Reading Material
If you've got some reading to catch up on that's so important it can't wait a few hours, perhaps you should consider staying home and bestowing your tickets on a lucky friend or family member.
Then you can sit and read your TV manual or whatever in peace. And I'm not even joking—I've seen plenty of people reading newspapers in the afternoon at Nationals games.
Reading newspapers in suits at a baseball game. Next time just stay at work, bro.
Don't: Leave Your Child Unattended
This is a recipe for disaster. If your kid is cool and above a certain age, there's nothing wrong with bringing him (or her) along to the game.
As long as you aren't planning on shirking your parental responsibilities and spending more time in line waiting for another beer than in your seats.
An unattended child makes everyone nervous, which ruins the fun. We didn't pay money to spend an afternoon making sure your child isn't abducted by sex perverts.
That's your job.
Don't: Be an Idiot
Even if you've got an exceedingly clever idea for a sign, it's probably not nearly as clever as you think it is. Ask a few non-biased friends or family members what they think first.
If they're not all completely sold, leave your stupid signs at home.
Don't: Wear a Giant Hat
There's no denying the amazingness of that Lambeau hat. There were countless other giant hat examples available to better illustrate this point, but using them just felt wrong.
This one works though. It doesn't matter how epic your excessively large hat is, the vision of the people behind you is no less impeded.
As cool as that guy obviously is, you know everyone sitting behind him totally hates him.
Don't: Spend All Day on Your I-Blorp
Yes. That's Rex Ryan looking like a total weirdo, seemingly spying on someone who looks like Tim Tebow. No. That's not exactly the context I'm referring to, but you're welcome for the photo.
You know what I'm talking about though. Every time I go pretty much anywhere these days, at least half of the people around me spend the whole time on their phones texting and posting photos to wherever.
You know what lasts longer than photos posted on Instagram? Memories. Well at least they should. Try savoring the moment for once, instead of trying to make your friends jealous.
Don't: Fall Asleep
If you're too tired to stay awake through an entire event, you're probably too tired to be driving in the first place. You'll be more comfortable—and it'll be a lot cheaper—if you stay home and sleep in and just watch on television later.
Sell your tickets and consider going again when life is a little less overwhelming for you. But if you're going to go and sleep, definitely bring your favorite camouflage backpack to serve as a pillow.
Don't: Litter or Feed the Birds
This is just a matter of common courtesy and common sense. Nobody wants to sit in a pile of your garbage and even fewer people want to sit in the feeding grounds of pigeons or seagulls.
There are garbage cans every few feet at most stadiums. Get off your butt and find one.
Don't: Punch a Woman
Recently a Jets fan made national news for punching a woman—a Patriots fan—at MetLife Stadium following a controversial overtime victory over their division rival.
As if hitting a woman at a football game wasn't bad enough for the guy's reputation, it was later revealed that he had served jail time for stabbing someone to death in the past.
Now, not only does the Jets fan, Kurt Paschke, have to take an NFL online code of conduct class if he ever hopes to be readmitted to a future game, so does the woman, Jaclyn Nugent, and two other fans involved.
Don't: Punch Anyone Else Either
You can get in trouble for punching anyone, not just a woman.
Just don't do it.
Don't: Pass out
Blowing chunks at a sporting event is pretty terrible, but if it's not done in the direct eye line of law enforcement, you can usually recover. Unless you've drunk yourself to alcohol poisoning or something.
Passing out in public isn't as easily rebounded from. If you get to the point of passing out in public—and you really shouldn't—more than likely you've reached the point of no return.
A light catnap is not in the cards. Waking up 14 hours later in a police holding cell is though! And that's if you're lucky.
This is what happens if you're not lucky.
Don't: Run Down a Child
If there's anything guaranteed to get you even more negative attention than punching a woman, it's running down a child for any reason.
There is nearly nothing worth having at a game that will be enough to overshadow the lifetime of shame associated with making a kid cry.
Don't: Hurt Yourself
An unscheduled trip to the hospital can and will ruin pretty much any day. And it's not difficult to get injured at a game.
A few beers combined with unlimited distractions is a recipe for falling down the stairs or stumbling over an object below eye level.
You're not even totally safe sitting in your seat. A fly ball or an errant hockey puck are just two of the risks for fans who fail to keep an eye on the action.
Don't: Propose to Anyone
Proposing at a professional sporting event isn't nearly as romantic as you think. Somehow people have got it in their heads that a marriage proposal needs to be a big elaborate event.
One which, apparently, gains points for every unsuspecting stranger you subject to (what used to be) a very personal moment.
Guess what? Nobody wants to see your proposal. Guess what else? If this is the kind of thing you think your future affianced is desperate for, you should probably reconsider the whole thing.
Just pretend your entire life isn't a sad tryout for a VH1 reality show.
There's nothing wrong with taking sports serious enough that you get a little emotional after a big loss—even after a big win. It happens to the best of us.
But if you're watching the game live and in person, you might want to save the tears for the car ride home. Unless you want to end up in a Getty Images gallery or on YouTube weeping.
You don't want to be the guy in this photo.
**Speaking of crying, I'm going to start if you don't follow me on Twitter: Follow @blamberr