There’s an old saying that in the South, football is religion, and every Saturday is a holy day—so our staff compiled these inscribed-in-pigskin imperatives for Game Day.
1. Thou shalt wear team colors. But think twice before adorning yourself with body paint—you don’t want to be the Internet photo that goes viral.
2. Thou shalt know—and sing—your team’s fight song from beginning to end. Sure, you can “watermelon watermelon” your way through the alma mater, but not memorizing the fight song is a fan failure.
3. Thou shalt keep your language clean (unless, of course, the quarterback fumbles on fourth and goal).
4. Thou shalt support the coach. Even when his calls are questionable.
5. Thou shalt be respectful to visiting teams. Remember: Southern ladies and gentlemen never boo.
6. Thou shalt set up a tailgate no fewer than three hours before kickoff (six if it’s a night game). Table linens and matching huggers encouraged, but not required.
7. Thou shalt theme your tailgate food around the visiting rival. Gator bites, anyone?
8. Thou shalt stay through the fourth quarter—rain or shine. That’s what ponchos are for, y’all.
9. Thou shalt respect the solemnity of Game Day by planning weddings, births, and other life events around the football schedule.
10. Thou shalt not covet other teams’ bowl games, national championships, or Heisman Trophy wins. There’s always next year.