Yes, there is such thing as fan etiquette

Remember about a year or two ago when Miller Lite ran the “Man Law” ads on TV?

A group of men gathered in some type of war-room and discussed the moral implications of such things as putting fruit in beer or the ethical values of those who hide their beer from others.  After much debate a law was established and if broken the offender faced ridicule and scorn from their peers, a punishment far worse than any type of physical repercussion that could be inflicted.  Couldn’t we apply the same concept to sports fans across the world and come up with “Fan Laws”?

We have all met them. They are like a cancer to anyone who considers themselves more than just a casual sports fan.  Like a leech that lurks in water waiting to attach itself and suck the life out of it, fair-weather sports fans seem to always know how to drain the fun out of any sports conversation.

So shouldn’t we come up with a set of guidelines for the casual sports fan so they could understand their place in sports conversations?  I know my place in political conversations, and that is having as little involvement as possible.  I am not informed well enough and I do not care enough to involve myself in conversations of that nature, so I just stay out of them, shouldn’t that be the proper etiquette for sports discussions as well?

So who would come up with these guidelines?  Ideally, like in the Miller commercials, you get people whom fit the bill for whatever topic you are discussing.  Miller had pro wrestlers, football players, actors, boxers and anyone who exemplified “manliness”.  Fan laws should be created by those who exemplify fandom for a specific team or group of teams from the same city, as well as maintaining general affection for almost all sports.

An ideal panel for this would be a group of sportswriters who have experienced the injustices of less than casual fans bringing down their team but also know more than their fair share of information on all sports.

For the sake of time and space these are just a few, but if you have any further suggestions just send them in an email to and I’ll try to get them published.

Fan Law #1
Bandwagon fans hold no rights in any sports conversation, period.

Nothing is more irritating than bandwagon fans.  A bandwagon fan is someone who does not care for their team at all when they are losing, but when the team is winning that person is all of a sudden the number one fan again.  True fans love their teams no matter what.  I may hate the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization through and through but they represent my city and they are my team, I do not have a choice.  When a team is your team they must remain your team, you cannot just like whoever the new “hot” team is.

Fan Law #2
If I know more than you about your favorite sports team you lose all rights to make fun of me if said team out-performs my preferred team.

This is one of the most common situations that I have found myself in over the past few years.  Nothing bothers me more when an individual asks me about their team’s performance, health, game times, roster changes, or any other basic question when referring to their team.  I usually will happily oblige that person only until the next week when my team loses, the other wins, and I am forced to sit and listen to my team get ridiculed by that person because now all of a sudden they have become a sport expert.

Fan Law #3
Whatever city you call home, you must then adopt their sports team into your hearts.

Here are a few exceptions.   If ownership has screwed the team up beyond repair (example: Greedy Clay Bennett alienated every Supersonic fan in Seattle last year before moving the team to Oklahoma City), you have not lived in one city more than a brief amount of time—then you are permitted to pick some team based on true reasoning, not just because they are always good, or your family has always followed one particular team for years and you were raised to support them.

Fan Law #4

Fans cannot choose their teams based on their colors or mascot.
I cannot believe how many times I have heard this excuse from people who actually thought this legitimately gave them the right to support that team.  If you choose to like something because of color or mascot support McDonalds, red and gold does not look too bad and they have plenty of cute mascots.

Fan Law #5
If your team has been eliminated from playoff contention, you may support another team for the remainder of that season, but only as a casual fan and you must go back to supporting your home team once the season has ended.

Right now in baseball, I am a Tampa Bay Rays fan, but only casually with every intention of becoming a Pirates fan as soon as the World Series ends, regardless if the Rays win it or not.