There has always been a concept in sports that has confused me: the hatred of intense fans toward bandwagon fans. Now, I understand that the people who follow teams all season know how the game works and know who plays which position definitely deserve a higher level of respect; but, there is no need to be exclusive when it comes to cheering on classmates.

At Fairfield, the fall sports’ seasons are starting to wind down, but it’s not too late to get to a game. While you go out and cheer on your classmates, here are a few tips on how to blend in so that people don’t even realize that it’s the first game you’ve attended this season.

First, know what to wear. Regardless of the sport, your outfit should be all about Stag pride. It isn’t a beauty pageant, but there are plenty of ways to look cute while wearing red. Also, dress appropriately for the setting. If you show up to cheer on the lacrosse team in a Fairfield tank top and shorts on a cold fall day, people are going to know that its your first rodeo.

My final thought on apparel is that more is usually better. Put on face paint so that people don’t have to wonder which team you’re cheering for, they’ll know. A sign is probably the best way to tell that cute boy in your math class that he might be number three on the field, but he’s number one in your heart.

Next, know the lingo. If you aren’t familiar with it, don’t pretend you are. You cannot stand up at a soccer game and yell “Touchdown!” when someone scores a goal. This will blow your cover and probably aggravate people around you. Avoiding the technical terms at all costs is your best bet.

Lucky for you, if you don’t know the jargon for each sport, I have a few tricks that work every time. Picture this: You are at a basketball game and the referee blows the whistle. You have no idea what just happened and everyone around you is going crazy, but you don’t know what to say. Yell out, “Seriously?” and you are in the clear. Whether the referee’s call was the best one of the night or his worst one all season, your comment fits perfectly. 

Other phrases like “Did you see that?” “Can you believe that?” and “How does that even happen?” leave the interpretation up to the people around you. These comments can make it seem like you’re really into the game, even if you have no idea what’s going on. Everyone around you will be impressed by your passion and totally oblivious to your trickery.

Finally, get a big group together. Everything is more fun with friends. You might not know a single thing about rugby, but if you go with a big group of friends you can all figure it out together. Sporting events often double as social events.
To the extreme fans, you guys are amazing for supporting your classmates all the time, but embrace the newbies. To the bandwagon fans, don’t be intimidated. Go out there, support our school and have a blast cheering on your classmates while showing your Stag pride.

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