The 20 Awkward Things Fans Do

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2013

The 20 Awkward Things Fans Do

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    Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

    No one said that being a sports fan is easy.

    Although we all think that dressing up in our favorite team's colors, yelling until we lose our voice and watching every single game comes naturally, I'm going to show you here why it doesn't—at least to some supporters.

    Go nuts every time your team is playing—I'd just recommend never doing any of these awkward things that fans do.

Miss High-Fives

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    Hasn't anyone ever told you to just look at the other person's elbow?

    The go-to move for most sports fans is always laying some skin on the people around them—assuming you can both connect.

    While missing is pitiful, getting stood up might actually be worse.

Wait for Autographs

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    Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    Can someone remind me again why you need to be pushing little kids out of the way to get your favorite player’s autograph?

    Throwing elbows in a pickup basketball game is bad. Throwing them while trying to lean in to get another person’s signature is a lot worse.

    When you're a mid-20s guy who's more anxious to meet a player than the teenagers around you, it might be time to give yourself a break.

Dance to Get on the Jumbotron

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    I'm not saying that getting on the Jumbotron at a sporting event shouldn't be something to do; it's just that some people take it a lot more seriously than others.

    If you do happen to get on there, make sure you live up to your end of the bargain by doing something epic and not just sit there and raise the roof like old guys do.

    Be careful, though—either trying too hard and failing or not doing anything at all will make things more awkward for everyone.

Get Caught Scalping Tickets

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    First off, why trying to get rid of your tickets in the street in the first place?

    Don't you know that true fans would never drop his seats to someone else just because buddies bailed on them at the last minute?

    Second, if you're caught scalping tickets, you shouldn't just get whatever the punishment is but also be banned from that team's games for a full season for turning your back on them.

Create a Shrine

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    One of the best things about being a sports fan is having both good and bad memories from some of our favorite teams and players.

    And while keeping a World Series ticket in a plastic case from when you were in fifth grade is totally acceptable, creating a shrine to commemorate every single thing that happened during that game is awkward.

    There have been some cool ones before, but that doesn't make it right to do.

Do Anything to Get on TV

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    Much like trying their damnedest to get on the Jumbotron, some fans take it a notch up by doing anything to get a camera guy's attention.

    Take this guy who, while probably hammered, went up to a reporter and gnawed off a piece of her pork chop.

    Why do I feel like he was more satisfied with getting a few seconds of face time than the couple of bites?

Sit in the Wrong Cheering Section

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    I remember when some college buddies decided they'd make the four-hour trip from Oxford, Ohio to South Bend, Indiana to watch a big Notre Dame game.

    It seemed like the perfect trip—just a couple of bros getting tanked at another university and in one of the all-time great stadiums in college sports.

    There was just one problem—the tickets they bought on Craigslist weren't in the Irish fan section, In other words, they were the two idiots wearing navy and gold and cheering while everyone else around them was booing.

    Verbal disputes and leftover food may have happened that day.

Tuck in a Jersey

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    I will never understand why fans do this.

    There is a an appropriate time for a shirt to be tucked in—like during a wedding when you're wearing a tie—and a time when you let it hang out comfortably—which is anytime you're wearing a jersey.

Misspell Something

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    It's unfortunate that some sports fans out there don't have the ability to run spellcheck in their everyday life, because, as we've witnessed a few too many times, a few of them would benefit.

    It's tough to take someone as a serious sports fan when he can't even spell the name of his team or favorite player correctly.

    Don't be that guy—use the Internet to make sure it's right.

Distract an Opponent

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    Getting into an opponent's head is something that every single sports fan should do—especially when he's sitting behind the basket—but it can sometimes get a little weird.

    It's one thing to have one of those big cutout heads of them making a weird face, but things get awkward when dudes are stripping down to their underwear—which is still the best distraction known to man, by the way.

Dress Up as If Each Game Is Halloween

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Halloween is on October 31 every year, so for all those people who get painted up and decked out in their masks and costumes every week, I hope you don't expect to be treated to a warm reception.

    For some—Oakland Raiders fans—it's pretty much tradition and a rite of passage.

    But for other grown men who do it, how can anyone take you seriously when that's how you spent your weekend?

Flirt with a Reporter During Live TV

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    We all know that sideline reporters like Samantha Ponder and Kaylee Hartung are mega-hot. But that doesn't mean that if you get the rare opportunity to talk to them that you should show how obsessed you are with them.

    Starting a fan site dedicated to them is weird enough, but hitting on them on live TV as well is borderline stalkerish.

Get a Tattoo of a Favorite Team

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    As someone who has a few tats, I want to remind everyone who is considering getting one to discount double-check that they'll want their ink on them for the rest of their lives.

    And if that just so happens to be a list of all the Hall of Famers in Washington Redskins history, then good for you—I just wouldn't recommend trying to pull off that look.

    When you do decide to get one, please make sure that everything is spelled right too, OK?

Choose a Foul Ball over Your Kid's Safety

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    While it may be a thrill to bring home a souvenir, a baseball costs like six bucks, so it shouldn't be worth risking your kid's safety to catch one.

    Snagging a liner is hard enough—let alone doing it while holding another person. I suggest letting the ball go by and covering your kid to save any embarrassment at all.

    And if you do it while the ball is actually still live—as a few unfortunate souls have found out—getting escorted out is nothing compared to the ragging you'll get from friends.

Cry over a Loss

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    For all the fans who don't know this by now, understand that you have very little impact on the outcome of a game.

    Sure, you can stand on your feet and help inspire your team to play harder, but if it loses, it's not because you didn't do your part.

    Some people, though, take losses hard (Editor's Note: NSFW). No one wants to be known as the guy who balled his eyes out because his team didn't get the win.

Boo When a Guy Gets Injured

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    These people ruin it for everyone else in the stadium with their (usually) drunken, fake fanaticism.

    Athletes may be looked at as just fake objects because they do something that we could never possibly do in our lives, but that doesn't mean anyone should cheer when a guy goes down.

    OK, so he may be having a bad day, but dude, show some class.

Get in Fights

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    As a fan of my teams, there's no way in hell I'm doing anything for fans of the opposition before or during a game.

    But getting physical with a stranger is about as trashy as it gets.

    Arenas are full with kids and innocent people just trying to have a good time. There's no need for jerks to ruin the day because they don't know how to handle their booze.

    Oh yeah, and if you're a man who happens to get in an altercation with an opposing fan of the opposite sex, you're about as big a coward as possible.

    No one knows what to do when two guys are going at it, so just avoid it ever happening.

Show Up at an Athlete's House

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    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Under no circumstances have I ever thought to drive by a pro athlete's house just to make a point.

    But for whatever reason, some fans have done it—Houston, we have a problem—and I'm similar occurrences will continue to arise.

    Honestly, what did these people think Matt Schaub was going to do? Welcome them in and explain why he had been playing so poorly?

Do Whatever This Is

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    I'm not sure words can even describe how awkward this is.

    If it weren't bad enough that he was doing it in the first place, he then gets caught by video cameras and has to show his face at work the next day to get a ribbing from his coworkers.

    If there's one thing all fans should know, it's this—people have camera phones, so don't be caught doing something weird unless you want to risk being a punch line on the Internet or TV.

Bash an Athlete on Twitter

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    In all honesty, I use Twitter as a joke.

    I get that some people use it to get their news and check in on their favorite celebs, but I use it to post my most random thoughts.

    Like most fans, I'll voice my frustration while watching a game. But when fans rip into an athlete for playing poorly—and then actually get a response—that's when they might get a little bashful.

    On one hand, it's cool to tell your friends that Colin Kaepernick replied. But it sucks when he's calling you out on being a fake fan and using your comments as motivation.

    Follow me on Twitter: @itsnickdimengo