HOW TO: Be a good fan

Kickoff for the football season isn’t until Sept. 5, a full two weeks after school starts. So what should you do in the mean time? Learn the dos and don’ts of being a spectator. Proper etiquette is a touchy matter that varies depending on the company you’re keeping. For example, while it might be normal to riot after a “football” match in Liverpool, it’s considered poor form in Atlanta. However, there are several universal dos and don’ts that should be followed.

learn all the cheers. They are right next to this article and you will have to live by them during your time here at Tech. It will be embarrassing when you are surrounded by other people and you are just humming it and nervously looking around to see if anyone else doesn’t know the words. Here is the truth: everyone but you knows it. When the crowd starts singing the Budweiser song and you are not popping up and down, you may get a glance or two. If someone asks “What’s the good word?” failure to respond appropriately will condemn you to the lowest depths of football hell. (The answer, of course, is “To Hell with Georgia!”) Learn the cheers and avert this social disaster.

show bad sportsmanship. The crowd may boo the zebras off the field when they mess up but there are those who let their emotions get the better of them. The usual result is booing laced with enough profanity to make Eric Cartman blush. Such behavior is all the more deplorable when there are children present. So, if the ref makes a call wiping out a 45-yard gain on third-and-long when we’re down late in the fourth and you feel a stream of curses building in your throat, rein yourself in rather than embarrassing yourself.

buy a wig and paint yourself yellow and black. It is probably one of the only times that it will be socially acceptable to paint yourself in odd colors and wear a giant wig. When you see games on TV and the jumbo screen, it is impossible to ignore those Gold Fellas in the front row of the end zone. They bang against the walls, lead many of the cheers and do everything to rile the Jackets. It is Tech fandom at its best.

leave any game early. You go to Tech and have a lot of work. The weekend is a time to catch up and relax. It might seem like a good idea to skip out of a game that seems all but decided. Unfortunately, you could be missing out. With the world of football today, any blowout could turn into a close game in a matter of minutes. If the team adopted that attitude, how would Tech have been able to come back from the supposedly impossible deficit against Clemson a couple of years ago? Every game could be historic, and treating it as such is the best strategy.

remember to register for tickets. Football ticketing is getting a major revamp this year. Freshmen, your time slot to purchase season tickets opens up at 8 a.m. on August 20. Or, if you prefer, general admission tickets open up the week before each game. Remember, tickets for games like Georgia and Virginia Tech will always go quickly, so register early!