Fans are the only ones who really care. There are no free-agent fans.
– Dick Young
Why are you giving me nasty looks during the game? This is the question I had during my last Seattle Sounders FC game when this family kept on looking back at me while we were chanting. I could have easily just shrugged it off, but they ended up telling me to “Be courteous to everyone.” Really? Are you seriously telling me to tone down my support for the team I love? Who the hell are you? And then I realized, these folks are just uneducated in the art of being a sports fan. I continued to yell.
What exactly is the issue here? It’s folks going to a sporting event not knowing what to expect or the traditions of the sport and team they’re watching. I really think it’s an issue especially here in “fair-weather” Seattle. I’ll agree, there’s definitely a fine line for being an solid supportive fan and being a belligerent fan. I’m never one of those guys who gets mad at folks who aren’t standing or who isn’t yelling because that’s your choice. I even talk to folks behind me before I stand because I want to be courteous, although I’m not the tallest person in the world. So please, don’t get mad at me when I’m expressing my passion for my team.
I think people should prepare themselves when going to a sporting event like they do with anything else. When you go to a restaurant, don’t you take a peak at the menu before you go or check what people love to eat there? Same thing when you go to a landmark like the Pike Place Market — don’t you want to find out what the tradition is like throwing/catching fish or visiting the first Starbucks? People put the effort in finding out what the traditions are there by checking out Yelp and TripAdvisor, what’s the difference with sporting events? Maybe it’s time for us sports fanatics to create a resource for sporting events.
So when you see me yelling “Ohhh…you suck asshole!” when the opposing goalie kicks the ball at a Sounders FC game or chanting “Ohhh (twirling arm in the air)…one, two, three — FIRST DOWN!” at a Seahawks game, please don’t give me a nasty look. Just join in on the fun.