Common courtesy at sporting events is a topic that is close to my heart. One of my favorite things to do with my family is attend sporting events, whether it is professional or youth sports. It is a great way to bond with your spouse, and with your kids. And a great way to support your favorite team. For the most part, we always have a great time, and look forward to the next time we can go.
The trouble is, a lot of people forget common courtesy at sporting events. Yes, we all like to have fun giving the opposing team’s fans a “hard time”. It’s part of the game, but there are some out there that take it to far, and give some teams fans a bad reputation. I am not sure why people do that, especially when kids are around. They are the ones that suffer the most when adults are acting like big children.
In order to avoid some of the rudeness of being a spectator at a sporting event, I thought I would share some of the knowledge that I have gained from countless hours spent at games. It really isn’t hard to show common courtesy at a sporting event, if you just know what you should do.
- Think before you speak. I don’t think this one really needs explaining, but here goes. The players out there are humans who make mistakes. Before you start bad mouthing them, you need to stop and think about what you are saying, and how it will impact those around you. Be especially mindful when there are young children around, they may not seem like they are paying attention, but they hear everything.
- Watch your alcohol intake. I can’t tell you how many games I’ve been to that have been ruined because an intoxicated fan made watching the game impossible with their ridiculous antics. If you can’t drink responsibly, then don’t bother drinking at all. Not only do you make an idiot out of yourself, but you wreck for people who actually want to watch and enjoy the game.
- Don’t smoke. And if you do, at least have the common courtesy to go to a designated smoking area or away from a crowd. I know that it is your choice to smoke and ruin your own health, please don’t go and ruin my game and my health. And, for the sake of the people who have to clean-up after you leave, at least dispose of your cigarette butts properly, instead of leaving them lying on the ground.
- Clean up your garbage. Nobody wants to be tripping and falling over the stuff you leave laying on the ground. It is not that difficult to take your stuff with you when you run to the restroom or on your way out. My son slipped one time on someone’s thrown paper plate, and almost ended up down the steps. This Momma doesn’t tolerate that, especially since it is not something I, or anyone in my family, would do.
- Be respectful of the home fans. After all, it is their city and their stadium. Yes, we all like to root on our favorite team and show our pride, but that doesn’t give us the right to be obnoxious about it. You can have fun teasing the fan of another team, and still be decent about it. If your teams wins, hey that’s awesome. But getting in the face of an opposing team’s fan is disrespectful and degrading. And it gives your team a bad reputation, and who really wants that?
- Follow the rules regarding entry, exit, and concessions. Yes, we are all excited about watching the game, but common courtesy still dictates you to use “enter” as the way in, and “exit” as the way out. Yes, you may have to wait a few extra minutes, but at least you are not making yourself a target to those that have followed the directions.
As I have mentioned in other posts, common courtesy is something that is easy and takes practice. It may not seem like a big deal to anyone, but it can make all the difference to having the best time ever or a disaster not worth repeating. You can have a great time cheering on your favorite team while making it enjoyable for others. It just takes some thought and attention to the rules of common courtesy.