20-40-60 Etiquette: Football fan is rowdy!

How should I have handled a football fan's screaming and cussing throughout an entire game? 20-40-60 Etiquette offers some ideas, with Alan Herzberger as guest.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman Published: January 27, 2013
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QUESTION: Now that college football season is over, my question concerns football etiquette. A know-it-all fan sat three rows behind me during a football game in Norman. He kept screaming at the players and the coaches and used obscenities in his comments. It really affected my enjoyment of the game and usually fans don't bother me. This went on throughout the game. I gave him several dirty looks, but never did confront him. I don't think he was drunk, just obnoxious. What should I have done? Can the university help by giving “how to be a good football fan” tips? Or should I have notified security?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: I would notify security, if it is offending you. I am not sure what security would do or if anyone would read the “football tips.” It is hard to be quiet but I wouldn't say anything. You never know how someone will react, especially at a football game. If these are your season tickets I would say something to the person who sells you your tickets. Maybe they have other options for you. Boomer Sooner!

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: Whether people think in general trash-talking about the opponent is harmless fun or rude behavior, it continues to be a staple in competition these days.

However, bad sportsmanship shouldn't escalate to the level you describe. When a fan's behavior gets out of control to the point that it is constant, obscene, scary or seriously preventing others from enjoying the game, then it's time to enlist some help. I've seen horrible fan behavior at football games, including shouting and cussing in front of children and taunting nearby fans of the opposing team. When it gets to that level, dirty looks from surrounding fans aren't usually enough to quell it, nor is a direct request to stop it. Next time, you'll probably have to ask a security guard to assess the situation and issue a warning or remove the person from the game. If nothing else, maybe you could request a move to another seat.

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by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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