8 Rude Things People Do At Sporting Events

We’re throwing flags on these plays!

There’s no denying that Southerners care about sports and our teams more than most. But despite our tremendous passion and unmatched fandom, there are certain behaviors that even a Dawg and a Gator will agree are downright uncivilized. Here, we’ve rounded up eight things people do at sporting events that we should all take care to avoid. Do you spot your pet peeve on the list?

Auburn Fans Football 1968
Southern Living, September 1968

Ignoring Personal Space

Stadium seating doesn't offer people much personal space as it is, so do your best to be conscientious of the small area you’re given. Stay in your assigned seat, and keep all your personal belongings close and out of other fans’ way. 

Heckling The Opposing Team or Their Fans

Of course, a little lighthearted trash-talking towards the opposition is part of the fun of sporting events. But be careful not to take it too far: Don’t boo the other team when they’re making their entrance, nor should you disturb the opposing team’s fans who may be seated near you, especially if they’re in the minority. If you wouldn’t say it in front of your grandparents or your second grader, you shouldn’t say it to someone else—no matter how much you loathe that particular shade of orange.

Offering Endless Commentary

Even if you are a veritable expert on the game at hand and even if the refs are making terrible calls, there’s no need to loudly comment on every single play. Save your frustration and your fountain of knowledge for those few times when righteous anger is warranted or an explanation is solicited. Those seated around you likely don’t find your hot takes half as clever as you do. 

Throwing Tantrums

While we understand better than just about anyone that the outcome of an SEC matchup can make or break a loyal fan’s day, we also know that proper etiquette requires civilized behavior no matter what. That means no foul language, especially in the presence of little ears, and no showing your behind (figuratively or literally) when things don’t go your way. 

Getting Up (And Making Everyone Else Stand Up) Every Five Minutes 

You can’t always help when you require a bathroom break, but if you’re sitting in the middle of the row, try to limit trips that disturb those around you. For instance, if you’re running to the restroom, go ahead and buy snacks while you’re up.

Being Careless with Drinks

Accidents happen, but be mindful of your beverages and do your best not to spill them on those around you, even if the buzzer beater was absolutely worthy of hands-in-the-air celebration.  

Using Cell Phones with Reckless Abandon

While the ballpark is filled with cheers and chatter, nobody wants to be seated next to the person who’s loudly carrying on a phone conversation in the middle of it—or have to dodge the hundredth selfie snapped by the person in front of them. It’s also worth noting that different sporting events require different phone etiquette. Brush up on the rules ahead of time to be sure you’re in the clear: Lord help the spectator who gets caught with a cell phone at the Masters

Leaving Litter Behind

Yes, there may be a crew hired to clean the arena after the match, but that’s no excuse to treat your seats like a pig stye. Do like the National Park Service does and leave no trace. If you brought something into the game, take it with you or throw it away in the proper receptacles. This is one scenario where we’re quite certain your trash is not anyone’s treasure. 

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