Friday, November 11, 2011

Offbeat Fridays: Behind Enemy Lines

Surviving a trip to a rival stadium

Today's piece will focus on what you need to do to get in, enjoy yourself, and get out in one piece when visiting a rival sports venue. Most of us, who are passionate about one team or another, have found ourselves in situations like this on more than one occasion, so we've decided to pull together a few tips and tricks to help out those of you who haven't. This piece is especially important if you're visiting team just kicked the home team's ass.

Rival games are some of the fiercest competitions a sports team faces on a year end and year out basis. Fanatical followers of these teams (AKA fans) make the sojourns into enemy territories each year to see their teams compete and bask in the glory of their success or choke on the bitter pill of defeat.

On many occasions, unless proper protocol is followed, those sojourns can be unnerving at best, and downright painful at worst.

You see fanatics, by definition, have a nasty habit of living their lives vicariously through their chosen weekend warriors. They often take on the persona of their teams (and depending on how the season is going) can either be overbearing & pompous asses or bratty pissants. There is never a middle ground, and if there is, the fanatic in question has probably passed the age threshold where hormones trump reason.

Here are a few basic rules to live by if you want to make it through the tailgate, survive the game, walk back to your car in peace, and safely get back to your hotel unscathed.

Rule #1 (the tailgate): Share. That's right, share your stuff. It is important to make allies with those around your immediate area if you want all your stuff to remain relatively unaltered while you are in the game. This doesn't mean you have to make burgers for everyone, but the least you could do is have some chips and salsa or a bowl of candy out for people to grab. Even better, bring a keg of beer. Beer has been uniting humanity for over 10,000 years and helped to form the foundations of civilization. A tool of this magnitude should not be easily dismissed.

Rule #2 (surviving the game): Don't be an asshole. It's O.K. to cheer for your team, but when your 310lb. defensive lineman just broke their quarterback in half, sit your ass down. Do a mini-fist pump if you absolutely must, but even then, try to look like you were reaching down for your nachos or something...

Rule #3 (back to you car): Change shirts. A lot of people don't think about this beforehand, but we absolutely feel it is necessary to wear a neutral colored shirt under your jersey for the walk back to your car. This is not, and we repeat, not absolutely necessary if your team loses, but if you just kicked their team's ass you might want to refrain from rubbing it in their faces. Drunk people coming down off a 3 and a half hour detox, especially watching what they are passionate about go down in the flames of a burning dumpster fire, are often not rational. If you are incognito, they will probably run past you to take out their aggression elsewhere.

Rule #4 (the drive out): Take all that shit off your car that associates you with your team. Take the magnetics off the side; try to rub the white writing you artistically styled (pre-game) off the windshield, and take down those wind flags that roll up in your windows. You really can't help the paintjob, but the key here is to do everything you can. Even if you lost, this is still a good idea. Drunk people like to heckle. On the other hand, if you love confrontation, feel free to ignore rule #4 and drive your family Suburban right up the ass of that idiot mooning you in the middle of the street.

Disclaimer: SurvivalRecon is not responsible for any negative impact you may experience by adhering to our advice, or lack thereof. If it works, great, it's worked for us in the past. If it doesn't work and the guy you tried to run through with your Suburban ends up breaking your leg, please check out this informative article: So You've Broken Something, Now What?

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