1. The Starving Masses. Football games are about three to four hours long. The average person eats every three to four hours. So why is it that everyone at a football game apparently hasn’t eaten in three days and now must eat every half an hour? You would think that $8 Budweiser’s and $10 cheeseburgers would be somewhat off-putting to your average Joe but they seem to have the opposite effect. Apparently people are so desperate to eat four times a game that they are willing to leave the comfort of their seats, make everyone between them and the aisle stand up to let them out, navigate the angry river of people pushing and shuffling down the main corridor, stand in a line and miss the first ten minutes of the fifteen minute quarter, all to pay $20 for some overly garlic fries and a Coca-Cola with no lid. What is about football games that make people so ravenously hungry? It is such a spectacle that I’m beginning to think that watching an actual football game is merely an added perk to what everyone is really there for: stuffing their faces.
2. The Alpha Fans. There are always those fans who must assert to everyone and no one in particular that they are the biggest fan present that day. They must be noisier than everyone else. They must heckle the opposing team’s fans more than everyone else. When their team scores, they must be happier than everyone else; when the other team scores, they must be angrier than everyone else. They must dress louder than everyone else. They must prove to everyone within eye or earshot of them that there is no fan more diehard than them. Anyone not standing, whooping, and loudly announcing every first down is not a true fan, although they also paid money to be at that game instead of watching it for free at home. Apparently fandom is measured not through knowledge, dedication, or resources invested, but in sheer volume.
3. The Opposing Team’s Fans. This annoys me not because I think, “How dare they?” but because they want you to think, “How dare they?” Wearing the opposing team’s gear is an attention lightning rod. You will get heckled, ribbed, jeered, and shouted at. Until you find the small minority of other people wearing the opposing team’s gear, and then you can share a high five, or a quick bro hug. Just a couple of strangers celebrating the fact that the two of you both need the same amount of attention, and you will accept negative just as eagerly as positive. The opposing team does not see you, nor need your support. Your presence in the sea of home team fans does not increase the odds for a victory, but you know that. You know that.
4. The Fashion Police. These are the individuals who seek out those wearing anything but home team gear and issue verbal insult tickets. Whatever team you like sucks, and your affinity for them is a reflection of how much you yourself suck. Even if you wear no team gear in the hopes of remaining neutral, the fashion police will find you. I wore a shirt poking fun at the band Tool and was harassed for not wearing home team gear. This young man felt the need to remind me that I was at a game and he found it personally offensive that I had sworn no allegiance to either side. I was the Switzerland of this football war and by flying no team colors I automatically became an enemy combatant.
5. The People Who Boo The Opposing Team Upon Entering The Field. I understand wanting the home team to win, but booing the opposing team just for being there? “Screw you for showing up!”
6. The Cheerleaders. I understand that men are entertained by jiggling titties or bouncing behinds, and that women are just thrilled to fill the spot of “entertainment for men.” I just wish they did something a little more “entertaining.” Why are high school cheerleaders with the flips, tumbling, and creative dance choreography more entertaining than professional NFL cheerleaders? Where in the graduation from amateur to professional does the actual “sport” facet of cheerleading get diluted down to booty popping, back arching, and hair flipping?