1. Thou shalt not interrupt the game.
It’s sneaky and disingenuous to ask us to take out the trash, or what we want for dinner, and especially if it’s okay if your mother comes to visit. Please save all questions how our day was until the final buzzer too. We appreciate that you care, but how we feel about our day is wholly dependent on this game. We will be able to tell you how our day was afterward. Also, if you RSVP or plan an event or date at the same time a game is on — especially when you know the game is on — you waive all rights for being angry when we explain why we just can’t.
2. Thou shalt not tell us we’re getting too loud in the bar.
If the bar did not want us to be loud, they would not be playing the game on one of the TVs.
3. Thou shalt not record your show when the game is on.
Hulu and HBOgo exist for reasons. The game takes precedence. This is why it’s wise to invest in the kind of DVR that can multitask recording one show while you’re watching another. Really, it’s worth the money for all parties involved.
4. Thou shalt not call us crazy when we stay up late or wake up early to watch a game.
Sssh, babe, go back to sleep. We need to watch this in real time. It’s not our fault time zones absolutely suck.
5. Thou shalt not question absurd team-related purchases.*
Such items include: $300 for an autographed picture; a signed ball; a vintage, collector’s jersey; ridiculously exorbitant tickets when our team is finally in town; tickets to the championship, etc. If this is our one chance to spend hundreds of dollars on a Finals game? Yeah, we’re going to do it. When else would we have $900 lying around for no reason? This might not happen ever again!
*This does not apply to cardboard cut-outs of our favorite player as living room decor. Really, it’s for our own good. We’re gonna want to do it, but don’t let us do it, because if you do, pretty soon we’re inviting Kobe to the dinner table and saying that “Kobe and I agree” when we disagree with you and really, nobody wins in this scenario.
6. Thou shalt not try to understand why we are so emotionally invested in a game whose outcome we have no control over.
Look, rooting for sports are like loving movie stars in that there is really less than 0.00005% chance that having a crush on Emma Watson or Jake Gyllenhaal (call me!) is going to result in holy matrimony, and there’s less than 0.00005% chance that our undying love for our team is going to help them win a game. But, you know, there’s a chance. We like to think there’s a chance. It gives us the will to go on.
7. Thou shalt not question our “odd” pre-game rituals.
Up to and including: sitting in the same chair every night; tweeting at our favorite players, and or live-tweeting the game like it is the second coming of the Oscars; or wearing the same, grubby jersey every time. We will take care of that sacred piece of laundry when we see fit.
8. If we are in a fight, thou shalt not begin rooting for the rival team just to piss us off.
And if we go into this relationship already rooting for bitter enemies, well, get ready for some really passive-aggressive, irrational arguments. (And you’re not allowed to introduce us to your friends as “great, even for a [____] fan!”)
9. Thou shalt not complain when all of our friends always come over to watch the game.
The rules of Sportsfanship™ clearly stipulate that the house with the biggest TV and appropriate cable package hosts any and all game viewing. If you really want to see less of the rowdy couch cheering section, get a smaller T… actually, no, please don’t do that.
10. Thou shalt order the pizza and wings to show that you care.
Truly clutch people also buy the beer, but really, if you just respect that this time is sacred time between us and a motley crew of athletic spectacle, that is more than we could ever, ever ask for, amen.