September 15th, 2009

Football Etiquette Playbook

by Jacqueline Whitmore

By Guest Blogger, Jorie Scholnik

UF football fans

The countdown is over! College football season has arrived and life is complete again! If you are an avid fan like me, you’ve been waiting months for the season to start and now it is just a matter of making it through the week in order to watch your favorite team defeat their opponent on Saturday. It is quite possible that you even bleed your school colors. Thoughts of tailgating, what to wear to the game and the location of your seat consumes every waking moment. While having school spirit is a must, keep in mind these football etiquette tips to ensure that everyone enjoys the victory:

Treat opposing fans respectfully. Despite their poor choice to cheer on another team, these fans did travel a long way to enjoy the game and deserve to have a pleasant experience. Also, you are a reflection of your school and, therefore, should want to act in a classy manner. Taunting is never appropriate.

Profanity won’t score you any points. I am well aware of how upsetting a dropped pass or a quarterback getting sacked can be, but football games should be a family-friendly event. People can get offended by foul language and it is grounds for ejection at many stadiums.

Don’t start the wave on offense. Your beloved team needs the fans in the stadium to be quiet so they can hear play calls and communicate with their coaches. However, it is perfectly acceptable to scream and get loud on when your team is on defense.

Avoid sneaking people into your section. It is always fun to sit with your friends, but the rows become extremely uncomfortable when there is not enough room. Additionally, people are more prone to get injured and suffer from the heat when it is overcrowded.

Pictures with others should wait until timeouts or halftime. People spend a lot of money for their tickets and don’t want their view of the field to be obstructed. For example, it is irritating when others block your view in order to take pictures during a scoring drive. Taking pictures of just the players or the field is acceptable at all times as long as you are respectful of others’ view. For that matter, fans should not leave or return to their seats when there is action on the field.

Jorie Scholnik is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida, where she has attended every home game for the past five seasons. She is an enthusiastic Gator fan who bleeds orange and blue. She has been respectfully winning national championships since 2006.  She can be reached at

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