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.
HELEN'S ANSWER: Truly, football ticket holders should be able to experience football free from disruptive behavior, including foul or abusive language or obscene gestures. Those who exhibit these actions should immediately be ejected from the game. Every fan should be respected and appreciated, but they should comply with requests from stadium staff to cease and desist inappropriate behavior during a football game. I am sure the University of Oklahoma has special rules regarding behavior during the game.
GUEST'S ANSWER: Alan Herzberger, NewsOK digital marketing manager: This is a difficult question, because what's obnoxious to one fan might be a minor nuisance to another.
The described action of persistent yelling and some obscenities could definitely affect your enjoyment. My recommendation is to ask him to curtail the obscenities if it becomes offensive to you or younger people around you.
If it continues and becomes unbearable, I would recommend notifying security, so they can evaluate the level of action that should be taken.
Callie Gordon is twenty-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email email@example.com. For more 20-40-60 etiquette, go to blog.newsok.com/partiesextra.