50 Things Sports Fans Should Never Do

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2012

50 Things Sports Fans Should Never Do

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    It's probably not a secret that sports fans can be insane.

    Like seriously, where else do you see grown men painting their faces, acting like complete hooligans and even crying over something that they have absolutely no impact on?

    But just because sports are an integral part of our personalities, doesn't mean we can get away with everything as a fan.

    While it's completely cool to be superstitious and passionate, there are just some things no fan should ever do—and these are them.

Don't Run onto the Field for the Hell of It

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    Look dude, we don't give a damn how many brews you've had, or what your friend said he'll pay you: Running onto the field to interrupt a sporting event is the equivalent of sleeping with your buddy's sister—it seems fun, but the consequences aren't worth it.

    If you're one of the few who make the mistake, hopefully you get the James Harrison treatment.

Don't Not Boo an Opponent's Best Player

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    As soon as the opposing team takes the field or court, you should be in full insanity mode, screaming your head off to try and distract their best player.

    Will it work? Probably not, but that doesn't mean you sit around and just watch.

    Regardless of your method, when it comes time to boo, you better be out of your seat, with veins popping out of your neck from booing so loudly.

Don't Be the Guy Who Brings Something Healthy to a Tailgate

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    Who watches their weight at a damn tailgate?

    Part of what makes watching football so great is that calories don't count (kind of) when you're drinking excessively and eating like crap before a game.

    So when you show up with a veggie tray and cranberry juice instead of meaty brats and Bud heavy, you deserve every joke thrown your way.

Don't Tuck in Your Jersey

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    Unless you're a complete noob—and since we don't think you are—you're going to want to let the bottom of that jersey hang out.

    You may be trying to keep it classy while showing your fanism, but come on, when does it ever feel more comfortable tucking in anything anyway?

Don't Ask for an Autograph After the Age of 13

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    There are a few things more pathetic than seeing a guy pull out a piece of paper for a player to sign when the fan is obviously older than said player.

    Is the player great? Maybe.

    Is it worth not only the embarrassment, but also the hassle of keeping that piece of paper safe long enough until the signature's worth something some day? Absolutely not.

    Take a picture instead, it's a little easier.

Don't Let a Loss Ruin Your Day

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    It's really annoying when some of our buddies take a loss worse than some of the players who actually participated in the game.

    And though sports are exhausting and full of emotions, why on earth would someone waste an entire day because their team lost?

    It sucks, but it happens: Don't let it ruin your weekend, bro.

Don't Bring a Glove to a Game You Drove to

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    With all the things that fans are catching baseball's with these days, you should never feel it necessary to pack up that leather in order to save your bare hands.

    It just makes you look like a sissy, and chances are you won't even be remotely close to a foul ball with your crappy seats.

    Besides, we're guessing you would duck and dive if a Miguel Cabrera liner came right at your face.

Don't Not Participate in the Wave

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    More than anything, the wave is for the younger generation to participate in.

    We get it, it's a little overdone and definitely outplayed, but who are you to decide whether or not every single sporting event should continue to do it?

    Get your ass out of that seat and touch some sky.

Don't Paint Your Face

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    Anytime a grown man has his face painted or is wearing a crazy outfit, all we can think is, "That dude has to go to work tomorrow."

    What would make someone ever want to put their livelihood on the line by risking the chance a coworker, boss or client sees them in their painted-up garb?

    We have no idea, and hopefully you can say the same.

Don't Pass Up a Free Ticket

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    Just because some sporting events aren't asking for much to see a game, doesn't mean you should ever say no to someone who's offering one (or several) to you.

    Tell us what you have better to do than watch a live game? Oh, that's right, nothing. And chances are you'll be watching it from your couch anyway, so why not be there instead, for FREE?!

    Unless there's a death in the family a wedding with free booze, you should always be quick to take spare tickets off someone's hands.

Don't Cry After a Loss

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    A big defeat can be heartbreaking at times, but in no situation—not even when highly intoxicated—should you ever shed some tears over a team losing.

    Have we all done it? Most likely. 

    Now that it's out of your system, though, hopefully you've lived and learned from it, and you now know how to deal with a big-time loss.

    Crying after a win, though? Oh, that's totally fine.

Don't Watch a Reality Show over a Sporting Event

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    Simply put, that's what DVR is for! (Just don't tell your dudes.)

    Though the girls are probably nice to look at, and sometimes you just need to see a drunk, blond train wreck lose it because she just got kicked off the show, it doesn't mean you should ever miss out on an opportunity to watch a game.

    You want drama? It doesn't get any better than the unscripted drama of sports.

Don't Say, "It's Too Expensive," When Talking About Traveling to See Your Team

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    We may be in the majority on this, but we actually don't think you're a true fan until you've traveled to a visiting city to see your team.


    Because anyone can take themselves down to a home stadium to watch a game, but it takes someone months to save up for that road trip to the Super Bowl or national championship game.

    That's why you should always agree to doing it if given the opportunity.

Don't Purchase a "Game Helmet" on Ebay

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    Now what in the hell do you think you're going to do with this?

    Chances are it'll sit on your desk, in your home office or in your basement completely unused, so why drop almost $200 on one?

Don't Get Pissed When Someone Disagrees with Your Fantasy Football Opinions

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    Look, we also take fantasy sports seriously, but not to the point we'll argue or defend our picks or thoughts on it.

    Even when there's potentially hundreds of bucks on the line, do you really think talking crap with someone else is going to somehow influence your team to play out of its mind? Hope not.

    This is especially bad if you have Tony Romo on your team this year...

Don't Avoid Doing Whatever It Takes

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    Think a Speedo will be enough of a distraction? Do it.

    Or maybe it's pulling the fire alarm at the opposing team's hotel multiple times throughout the night, just to make sure they never get a good night's rest.

    Whatever (within legal boundaries, of course) you need to do to give your team an edge, it should absolutely be done.

Don't Raise the Roof

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    This was cool about 15 years ago, but guess what? It's not anymore.

    If you want to dance, go right ahead, but in the words of a good friend of ours, "Only old guys are still raising the roof."

    Don't be an old guy.

Don't Ask for Anything Other Than Your Team

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    Look, you've been through the worst of times, so why not stick it out and wait for the best of times when they finally come, too?

    Take it from us Cleveland sports fans, there's nothing we'd want more than a lucky break like Tom Brady falling into our laps, or the Indians to suddenly overachieve and compete like the Giants did, but you'll never find us asking for anyone else's team.

Don't Keep Your Hat on During the National Anthem

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    The singing of the national anthem is a tradition that will never go away.

    It pays homage to those who fought for our freedom, while honoring those currently defending us, all while reminding us that as important as the game is, we're all for one.

    Wearing your hat just shows disrespect and laziness.

Don't Focus More on Getting on TV Than the Actual Game

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    Before fans knew there was a possibility to get on TV, would anyone in their right mind make a "Up Next is Sportscenter" sign to take to a game? Hell no.

    We're pleading with those individuals who want the 15 minutes of fame to come from this instance to just stop.

    You're there to be a fan of one of the two teams, not to endorse the upcoming show.

Don't Change Alliances

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    Trust us, we know what's going through your head.

    After years of pouring everything you ever could into a team (or entire city), you just can't take the frustration anymore and are ready to jump ship for another team.

    DON'T DO IT! 

    Just like marriage, being a sports fan has its ups and down and temptations, but remember, "Til death do you part."

Don't Refer to a Team as "We"

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    No offense to this guy, but he doesn't exactly look the part of a professional athlete, so we really hope he doesn't talk as if he's part of the United States swim team.

    We love the enthusiasm, but we won't love it as much when he tells us "We won gold today!"

    Did you? We must have missed you out there.

Don't Not Sing the Seventh Inning Stretch

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    Much like the wave before it, the seventh inning stretch is one of those baseball traditions that will (hopefully) never go away.

    As a matter of fact, it should be a time when you celebrate!

    Not only is it your last call to grab alcohol, but you should be so tanked by now that you should be owning the song in your section.

Don't Burn a Jersey

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    In many ways, a jersey is a rite of passage for fans.

    Through all the jeers, cheers, beers and tears, it's been there with you.

    You've worn it proudly in opposing cities, taking heat for doing so, and may have even worn it to work the day before a big game—at least we have!

    Even though a name on the back changes, the name on front doesn't, so you should never get rid of it just because a player leaves or is traded, as tough as it might be.

    Those are your colors man, rep 'em no matter what!

Don't Steal a Foul Ball or Home Run from a Kid

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    When you're at a sporting event, go absolutely nuts!

    Treat it like you're a kid and scream until you lose your voice.

    But when you see a foul ball tossed into the stands, please refrain from actually keeping the ball, even if you did put in the work to yell for it.

    Do the right thing and hand it to one of the kids around you.

    The guy in this video? Terrible. It sucks worse when you see his girlfriend posing with it, and him taking pictures of her.

    Note: This is the only time punching another fan is OK.

Don't Give Up Your Season Tickets

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    We know they can be expensive and a bit of a hassle to divide up among family and friends, but think back to all the good memories you've had with the people around you who have had theirs for as long as you can remember.

    There's nothing like knowing your section, row and seat every single year, no matter what it costs you.

Don't Drink All the Booze in a Company Suite

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    One of the many perks of working in Corporate America is the (occasional) opportunity to hit up the company suite.

    Be wary, though, and understand the rules and unwritten codes.

    While everything seems a la carte and free, if you show up slamming all those shot-sized whisky and rum bottles, everyone will hate you.

    And that's without them judging you for the dumb stuff that's coming out of your mouth once you've consumed all of Grandpa's cough syrup.

Don't Break Tradition

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    If you catch a homer from the opposition in Wrigley, you throw it back.

    Or when the song "Jump Around" blares through the stadium speakers during a game at Wisconsin's Camp Randall, you best be a dancing fool.

    As a sports fan, we doubt you'd even question these traditions, but we're just making sure you never think to put yourself above any of them.

Don't Play Fantasy Basketball or Baseball

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    Every sports fan loves fantasy sports—unless, of course, your team absolutely blows.

    But when comparing games, can we all agree there's nothing that even comes remotely close to fantasy football?

    It takes little effort, is fun and involves strategy week in and week out.

    When playing other fantasy sports, (like basketball or baseball), the importance of draft position is lost, and let's just say it, it sucks trying to stick with it for the entire (long) season. 

Don't Wear Sunglasses Courtside

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    Who the hell are you trying to impress?

    If your name's not Jack Nicholson—and we're guessing it isn't—leave the shades in the car and "deal" with the bright lights in an arena.

Don't Relate Sports to Politics

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    We can't stand when a fan busts this out on us!

    In no way possible are sports anything like politics. So, for those uber smart, Ivy League-educated sports fans out there, take your books and theories out of our stadiums and sports bars.

    Why does it always seem like this remark comes out at the worst possible time, during a break in action or after a play that just absolutely pisses you off?

Don't Compare Current Teams to Historical Ones

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    Any fan that does this is wasting their breath, because there's absolutely no way it will ever come to fruition, and there's never going to be a legit answer.

    Is it fun to sit around and wonder how a loaded 2012 USA team would match up against an equally stacked 1992 USA team? Obviously.

    But that doesn't mean we'll ever really know which team is better, even with every single stat and factor taken into account.

Don't Compare Current Players to All-Time Greats

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    It's only human nature to wonder what could be with a current stud athlete who's ripping it up.

    But just as his first five seasons have been mega-impressive, his next five could be a little less than stellar—especially when you add in wear and tear or unlucky injuries (ahem, Brandon Roy).

    Instead of predicting who they'll thank at their Hall of Fame speech, let's just enjoy them while they're healthy and productive.

Don't Predict Anything

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    Want to know what makes sports so great? It's unscripted.

    So even when the Lakers trade for Dwight Howard and, on paper, look like the team to beat, what happens? They fire their head coach five games into the season.

    Or when everyone stuck a fork in the '04 BoSox after being down 0-3 in the ALCS to the pinstripes. Yeah, how'd predicting a sweep work out for you Yanks fans?

Don't Get Embarrassed When on the Jumbotron

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    Every single fan gets amped when there's a timeout and they get to dance and cheer.

    They fill the aisles, shaking it to songs like that "Sandstorm" song until, well, the camera catches them going absolutely nuts.

    You finally made it big, now's not the time to get scared. Own it!

Don't Give Weird Analogies About Your Team

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    Sports is not like war.

    Sports isn't a thing like politics—as previously stated.

    Your favorite players aren't superheroes.

    We all know sports are phenomenal, but all the "it's a marathon, not a sprint" stuff following your team's 1-4 start gets annoying.

    Let's just stop all the analogies and bar talk about how sports is so much like real-life stuff, OK? 

Don't Talk Crap to Opposing Players (Unless Their Name Is Spike Lee)

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    You're a grown-ass man, dude, you think that whatever you're saying to someone like LeBron, Durantula or Kobe is going to affect them enough to suck?

    Get with it. You're just embarrassing yourself, and most likely costing yourself those sweet tickets you just spent hundreds on.

    Until you have some Academy Award nominations and are known as an influential producer/director, you should just chill out.

Don't Throw Stuff onto the Field or Court

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    It's not really worth it, is it?

    Trust us: As Cleveland sports fans, we're convinced that every single ref has it out for any of our teams, but even the worst call can't get us to toss something onto the field.

    We'd like to just forget about the other Browns fans who happen to ignore this advice.

Don't Talk About How Good They Used to Be

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    We're guessing you're a sports fan because you used to play sports: shocking!

    Well, so did the majority of people sitting by you in the stands and cheering on your team at a bar.

    Unless your name's Greg Oden, you really have no right talking about what could have been.

Don't Say It's Too Cold to Paint Your Chest

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    Just look at that picture and tell us what's wrong with it.

    You've got a couple guys bundled up, sipping on coffee and hot chocolate, and then one fearless fan who is letting it all hang out for his beloved Bears.

    Take a note from this dude—it's never too cold to show some skin for your team.

Don't Avoid Rushing the Field After an Upset in Fear of the Consequences

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    We know some friends who made this unfortunate mistake once, and, boy, do they regret it.

    It was 2007 and our senior year at Kentucky.

    Our Wildcats had just upset No. 1 LSU in football, and the stadium was insane.

    As the PA announcer reminded fans not to rush the field, half the stadium was already ripping up grass and hugging players.

    Our friends just sat there, too worried about spending a night in jail, and missed out on the greatest moment of our college lives. 

    Bad choice.

Don't Be a Whistle Blower

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    You know the people.

    They bring a whistle to a game, thinking it'll be funny to blow it during play. The game stops, and every person in the arena looks confused as hell as to what's going on.

    Congratulations, jerk! You single-handedly did the most pointless thing a fan can do at a game.

Don't Brag About How Much Hotter Erin Andrews Is in Person Than on TV

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    This is just mean, man.

    Let's first think about where you'd have to be to even catch a glimpse of EA—down toward the floor.

    Then you add insult by rubbing it into the face of your buddy, who probably skipped out on the game because tickets were too expensive, or he had some girlfriend business to take care of.

    Erin's every guy's dream, so if you're lucky enough to see her in person, you've got to keep that to yourself.

Don't Get a Tat of Your Favorite Team

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    Your loyalty should never have to be questioned enough for it to be permanently inked on your body, OK?

    Cheering and going through it every game should be plenty of evidence you care way too much already.

    It's bad enough you got that tat of your frat letters while drunk in Mexico during junior year, but when you make the equally poor choice of placing a leprechaun right next to it, well, you should be embarrassed.

    Tell us how that guy in the pic looks any more a Dolphins fan than the people in the stands wearing a hat or t-shirt?

Don't Act Like You Could Do a Better Job Than a Coach or GM

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    It's an easy trap to fall into and we all do it, but it's one of the dumbest things a fan can say.

    There's no way our fantasy-football playing, arm-chair quarterbacking, by-the-minute ESPN analyst selves would last a month in a position dealing with millionaire personalities or fan expectations.

    Madden may make it seem like we could own a pro sports team and succeed, but hopefully, that's as close as we ever get!

Don't Buy a Throwback Jersey

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    You do know that this is just a publicity stunt, right?

    Majority of the time the thing is so terribly ugly, that you'll realize you're never going to want to wear it again, even if it is your favorite team's jersey.

    We recommend going with the current, regular style, and not trying to be so damn exclusive, bro.

Don't Ever Admit to Disliking a Sport

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    OK, so not everything might be your cup of tea, but you know what? You're a sports fan, so at least give it a try!

    While you may never find yourself in a bar conversation about the Canadian curling team, or hoping to snag the No. 1 pick in your English Premier League fantasy draft, we guarantee you there are other reasons to watch sports you might otherwise not.

    See, 90 minutes isn't that long, is it?!

Don't Turn into a Bandwagon Fan

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    If you've learned one thing from this slideshow, it's probably that being a sports fan is extremely difficult—but it's sure is a lot of fun, too!

    There's nothing worse than someone who is a bandwagon fan and doesn't appreciate all the good times tasting so sweet after enduring the bad ones it took to get there.

    Can it be tempting to wait until all the stars align? Sure. But always stay true and never give up on your squad.

Don't Get into a Fight over Sports

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    We know sports fans are passionate, but unless you want to end up a) getting kicked out of a game, b) potentially embarrassed and/or c) turning out to be the bad guy who everyone gangs up on, you'll play nice.

    It's sports people, you can't affect the outcome by how tough you are in the stands.

Don't Take Everything We Just Mentioned Seriously

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    Being a fan is fun as hell, so even though we listed a bunch of stuff here you and your buddies might do, who cares?!

    If your team always wins when you shave your chest hair into Superman logos, then do it—but only if it's certain they'll win.

    If it's bad luck for anyone but a stranger to shotgun the last beer at a tailgate, go for it!

    Weird to pray for a championship the night before the title game? Nope.

    We're fans, it's expected for us to be crazy!