College football officially starts tomorrow with Virginia Tech taking on powerhouse Northeastern, lol.
While in the stadium tomorrow remember that fans alone control the outcome the game. The players and coaches contribute to the game and have some impact, but it is our cheering that determines whether we win or lose.
Here are the keys to winning our 8 home games this season:
1. Stand. Don’t sit.
You are excluded from this rule if you are elderly (but you better be really really old, not in your 50s), in a wheelchair, or passed out. You may also sit down for short periods to mix another drink. If a person directly behind you has one of these legitimate reasons for sitting, you must show respect and give them a tiny area from which to view the game. However, if the guy behind you does not have a legitimate reason for sitting and yells "down in front", it is your responsibility to simply ignore his request.
2. Yell loud while on defense.
Volume is key. The more important the play, the louder you must yell. You may tone it down a bit on 1st downs in order to catch your breath, but 2nd downs and especially 3rd and 4th downs give it your all. Also start early. Do not let the other team talk freely in their huddle. Make sure they hear you, not the quarterback next to them.
3. Do not yell while on offense.
For the same reasons we yell while on defense, we DO NOT yell while on offense. Our team needs to communicate effectively with one another. Do not holler stupid cheers while on offense, and if others around you do, tell them to shut the hell up.
4. Bring enough to last 4 quarters.
I prefer Crown Royal, you may prefer Beam, but whatever your drink, you must bring enough to last through 4 quarters of football. If you do not, your fan performance will suffer, potentially costing us a win.
5. Do not become complacent.
When the team is not playing well, the crowd may forget that they are solely responsible for the outcome of the game. It is your job to remind the people around you of this fact and encourage them to keep their heads in the game. Similarly, when the team has a huge lead, do not let your guard down (remember Temple 1998). Continue to yell while on defense until the final seconds of the game. If you follow rule #4 this will be easy.
6. Yell "Block – That – Kick" whenever the other team is attempting a punt or a field goal.
This one is self explanatory.
7. If you want, shake your keys on 3rd down (but not required).
These are called "Key Plays". It is recommended that you do this while on offense and while on defense. But more importantly, don’t forget your yelling while shaking your keys while on defense.
8. Enjoy the band.
They are out there playing hard every game and deserve as much credit for a big win as you or I.
9. Respect the opponent.
Unlike TailgateFever.com’s similar article on cheering, I do not agree with booing the opponent. Show some class. Do not boo them or talk shit to them – not even to those arrogant FSU fans. Instead buy them a beer when you see them downtown after the game, tell them their team played well and that we’ll see them in their town next year.
Now go out there and get us a win!
let’s not forget the pre & post game either. having a sucessful tailgate helps the game time etiquette tremendously. the bigger the bonfire, the bigger the win, right? i believe the converse is also true. 😉
Just got back from watching my Cal Bears get destroyed in Neyland stadium. Painful as the game was, I came away with a ton of respect for the Volunteer faithful.
Their Southern hospitality was terrific–nearly everyone I interacted with (while dressed head-to-toe in Cal regalia) started the conversation with “Welcome to Knoxville!”
Once the game was on, of course, the gloves were off, so to speak. But it was refreshing to see such great sportsmanship.
Those are some good rules to live by Bill. I think we should print these out and hand them out at the GT game.