Chix Chat Pro Football

MISS JEN'S PRIMER ON EXCELLENT FAN BEHAVIOR

Posted by Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I love being a Ravens' fan; the purple color, the statistics, the anticipation of getting to the stadium and TiVo. I like spouting out a few stats here and there~ not to look like a know it all, but some of those football facts are really interesting. There is still a ton about football I do not know, and I cannot hold a conversation and watch the game. I'm too busy concentrating on the various calls and conversions and such. TiVo has always been my safety net because I can go home and watch the game and hear what the analysts have to say. I am a gloriously optimistic fan who can find the good in any play.

To that end, I may be naive in my comments; "Oh great job Landry! You stopped the opponent before he made a touch down." So he should have been there sooner to keep the ball out of the red zone, but, I'm going to guess here that my guy # 26 knows what his job is and doesn't need me telling him. I love being a Ravens' fan. There are mistakes that are made and risks that are not tried (or they are and it's a FAIL), but these guys are human.

While I am not saying people should mimic my Suzy Sunshine attitude that things could always be worse, I am going to put it out there that some of the fans that come to M&T Stadium need a refresher course in common courtesy.

ETIQUETTE FOR RAVENS' FANS:

1) BE ENGAGING:

Ravens games are a common bond for us. Say hello to your neighbors around you. You will be sharing 3 hours of emotion with them. These are the people you will be turning around and high-fiving or making conspiratorial head shakes to when a play is blown or a ref goes blind. Also, while you are saying your hellos, look at where the kids are. My kids love going to Ravens' games with my husband. They understand every little nuance of the game and will say things like "why are they going for the blitz? The other team is predicting it?" In no way will that question ever come out as an insult to the players. I don't want my kids hearing that a player 'is an overpaid, F-ing piece of sh!t' because he missed catching the ball or missed catching the opposing player. It's not so much the bad language as much as it is the carry over. My kids have heard that guy say stuff like that to the refs on their own sports teams. Bringing your road rage self to the game is not engaging. If you are not going to be civil in your opinions, go home and scream at the TV.

2) ONLY BOO THE OTHER TEAM:

Really? Do I really have to state this as etiquette? Apparently so, because there are Ravens' fans who boo THE RAVENS! Are you kidding me? Grow up. Really! Take your immature, middle school self out of the stadium and go home. We all stared at the TV in horror and dismay when the Mayflower moving van drove out of the Colts' training facility on the middle of that snowy night in March of 1984. We heard Irsay say he would not take the Colts out of Baltimore. He lied. He stole our team. We booed Robert Irsay, and that, my fair weather, clinging to the band wagon, pompous windbag of a seat neighbor, is the only time it will ever be okay to boo our own.

3) DO NOT BE A BAD HOST:

There are a fair amount of fans from the opposing team that come to M&T Bank Stadium. I actually think that was part of the point of making the stadium in such close proximity to I-95. My optimistic view saw the stadium location as a great big welcome sign. The Ravens play some incredibly good teams. We may not like those teams; we may feel certain players get special treatment that is in no NFL playbook I've ever heard of. The point is, those good teams make for some great football. If you look at these football games objectively, there is awesome playing on both sides. I went into the game against the Browns this weekend knowing it wasn't going to be a shut out, but I honestly did not expect to see the Browns' offense be as strong as it was. When Peyton Hillis was not even slowed down by Landry as Landry held on to him and did not let go, that was amazing. Really. Hillis was a steam roller. That comment is spoken out of respect for the game. That is actually a great time to turn to your Brown loving section mate and say, "wow, he's a force to be reckoned with." No one will think you've defected; you are being gracious.

4) FORGIVE AND FORGET:

Everyone has a bad day. You've had plenty, and so have I. Bad days are an equal opportunity mood squasher. It doesn't matter what your profession or your income level is. Some days life just gets in the way. You may have heard by now that the game the Ravens played against the Bengals was not Flacco's best day ever. He had a bad day. It happens. When Flacco came out onto the field on Sunday, some people actually yelled out for Flacco to go back to the side line and watch Bulger show him what a real QB does. Are you kidding me? Really? Weren't you the one that blew that deal that would have earned the company millions? You felt a little shaky after that didn't you? You knew that if you had the opportunity to show the people what you were really made of, you'd do it differently the next time. Or did you forget? Football players aren't allowed to make mistakes? Seven and eight or more figure incomes makes them goof proof? Grow up.

5) GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP IS IN THE SEATS:

The Ravens must "play like a Raven." I was cringing in my seat when Ellerbe acted like a bad sport with his touchdown delivery. I put my head in my hands when Mason missed the ball and then threw it in the air causing a delay of game for his temper tantrum. I even yelled out "be a professional." The fans, the so called 12th man (which I love, by the way) are told to "don't be a jerk!" It's accountability for yourself and how your actions carry over to the people around you. We must "cheer like a Raven." You do not have the right to bring your hateful self into the stadium with a huge chip on your shoulder because you have paid a fortune and want to see your money's worth. Guess what? You do get your money's worth. You see, we have a team in Baltimore. We have a whole community that benefits from the Ravens being Baltimore's football team. There is a ton of good that comes from having a National Football League Franchise in Baltimore again. You've been getting your money's worth for years.

(next up in Part II...being a good guest!)



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