The Riders' success over the past 3 years has led to new fans flocking to Mosaic Stadium in droves. While it is great to see the fan base growing as well as team revenues, this has also led to an unfortunate side effect… an increase in the number of idiots in the stands on game day. Although Rider fans are generally considered to be very educated, this new influx of fans has led to a large number of people who are so incredibly clueless when it comes to football that I can only assume the only reason they are at the game is because they saw a long line and decided to stand in it.
To be fair I don’t think people do it maliciously, they just don’t know any better. So, being the ever-helpful guy that I am, I decided to come up with a 3 step guide for new fans to follow in order to not look like an idiot on game day.
Step 1: Dress The Part
Typically one shows their support for the team by wearing team colours to the game… in this case green and/or white. It is preferred that you wear a team jersey or other official team clothing. However, understanding that not everyone can afford these things, any piece of clothing that is green and/or white is acceptable (seriously most hobos can find a white t-shirt, you should be able to as well… or at least steal the hobo’s). For example: a New York Jets jersey may not be official team gear but it is green and white so it is indeed acceptable (though why the hell you have a Jets jersey is a completely different issue altogether).
While in some cases NFL jerseys are okay, they are not universally acceptable. For example, the guy who wears the Miami Dolphins jersey to games is an idiot. The colours are wrong and Ronnie Brown’s connection to Roughriders is on par with that of Abe Lincoln and Michael Jordan. So you might as well just wear a top hat and Bulls jersey because that makes about as much sense. The guy I saw wearing a Wes Welker Patriots jersey is a bigger idiot… at least the Dolphins jersey is some variation of green.
Other non-acceptable clothing includes any non green or white shirts, clothing from sports other than football (nobody cares if you are a Flames fan) and pink Rider jerseys… the team colours are green and white, not pink!
For those of you that are curious (aka Man In The Bush), nipple tassels are acceptable provided they are green or white.
To Summarize: Green and white – Good… Other colours – bad… Wes Welker jersey - so devoid of logic I can’t fathom how the person wearing it managed to get his head and arms in the correct holes without adult assistance.
Step 2: Manage Your Time
You should strive to get to the stadium early enough so that you are in your seat for the player entrances and national anthem. The kickoff time is printed on all tickets and published months in advance so there is no excuse for being late.
Though you are free to visit the concessions and rest rooms throughout the game, you can’t simply wander freely through the stands whenever you feel like it. Specifically when a play is in progress on the football field, don’t move. The average play in football takes 5-10 seconds so I’m sure that waiting until the next break in play won’t be a huge problem… and if for some reason it is, I recommend the use of adult diapers.
Lastly, and I can’t even believe I have to say this, don’t leave before then end of the game. You paid for 60 minutes of football, why not get your moneys worth? Over half our home games were decided in the final 2 minutes of play last season and yet like clock-work every game shortly after the start of the 4th quarter people begin filing out. I can only assume that these same people leave movies early if they think they know how it will end or don’t bother staying until the end of supper because they already know that it will end with dessert. Hell, applying that logic we should all stop part way through sex because we are pretty sure know how it’s going to end… in disappointment, profuse crying and another trip to the psychologist (errr perhaps I’ve said to much).
To Summarize: Show up early, remain seated while a play is in progress, stay until the end of the game and consider diapers.
Step 3: Know When To Cheer
This is perhaps the most important step and failure to comply with the following guidelines will is likely to lead to a verbal berating from the Rider Prophet and his band of ne’er-do-wells.
In football, you only cheer while your team is on defense. The idea is to try and disrupt your opponent’s huddle, play calling, cadence, audibles, snap, etc… So be as loud as you want when we are on defense.
When we are on offense, SHUT THE HELL UP!! By yelling and cheering like a fool while our offense is on the field all you accomplish is to disrupt your own team’s huddle, play calling, cadence, audibles, snap, etc… thus taking away any home field advantage and actually helping out the other team. Traitor!
Side note: The “no cheering on offense” guideline also applies to the wave. Yes I’m talking to you idiots in the Western Pizza Party Zone who like clock work start the damn wave during an offensive series. Look, I’m not a big fan of the wave but if you feel a burning need to partake it in, at least do it while we are on defense… or I will threaten your physical well-being (just ask the people who sit around me, they know better now).
To Summarize: Cheering on defense – Encouraged… cheering on offense – likely to incur the wrath of the Prophet who by this time will have consumed multiple rage-enhancing ryes.By following these 3 simple guidelines, you can avoid being labelled as an idiot and ensure a positive game day experience for yourself and others.