When you support a football team, you don’t support them because of trophies, players, or their history. You support them because you found a connection with them, you feel like you belong there. So, if you are you looking for ways to show your support to your favorite football team in the ground, then go out there and support your team in the best possible way with these great tips.
For die-hard fans, there is no better way of supporting your football team than showing up hours or days before game-day to tailgate. A tradition with humble beginning on the back of pickup trucks, tailgating has grown in prominence and a common and cherished experience at high school, college, and professional football games.
Ardent fans enjoy the experience of driving RVs filled to the brim with the latest and greatest party gear. The gear ranges from premium barbecues to satellite dishes; anything that gets the party going is welcomed. In most cases, tailgating parties almost as exciting and entertaining as the live games.
If you are planning to host a pregame party, you ought to plan way ahead. First and foremost, familiarize yourself with the stadium, its parking facilities, and regulations. It may be the case that tailgating around the stadium and/or consumption of alcohol within the parking area is prohibited or restricted to certain designated areas.
When you pack, prioritize efficiency and portability. The last thing you want is to miss kickoff while packing your gear and other items back into your vehicle. The most important gear to have while tailgating is a portable grill, utensil for cooking and eating, and perhaps a folding table and some portable chairs. Any other item is optional; you can do without that big screen, party tent, or campers. A minimalist tailgate party enhances your experience.
Learn the Traditions
Part of being a football fan is knowing and participating in your team’s and the fanbase’s traditions enthusiastically according to sports handicapper Wunderdog. Whether high schools, college, or professional teams, few teams will lack a fight song played and sang during touchdowns, timeouts, and big plays. Learn the word the rallying songs and any choreography that accompany the songs. If you are attending a school game, learn the alma mater.
There is more to supporting your team than singing, however. Fans will cheer and participate in other spectacles during games. The very best example of this is college football games. In any typical football game, tens of thousands of fans might move in unison while cheering or yelling to support their team and get them fired up.
University of Arkansas’ “Hog Call” is a very good example. During kickoffs and any other major events during the game, all of the Razorback fans deafen the stadium with the “Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!” chant. University of Wisconsin fans – the Badgers – shake the stadium to its foundation by bouncing to House of Pain’s “Jump Around.” Such traditions might seem silly, but they are the makings of special and emotional memories that you will live to cherish.
Let Your Team Spirit Shine Through
Almost every football programs, right from the smallest highs school in rural America to the latest Super Champions, offer merchandise you can buy to support your team. Quite often, the merchandise on sale includes clothing items such as t-shirts. However, larger teams will l likely offer a diverse variety of merchandise goods that are more profitable. Profitable items include things like license plate frames and personal checks.
Louisiana State University, a college football powerhouse in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), offers more theat 2,600 items on its official merchandise shop (LSUshop.net) for teams selling this kind of items, it can be profitable and supports the team immensely. For instance, in 2008, the University of Texas sold more than $17 million of the team’s merchandise. However, this revenue bundled together the sopersorhip and advertising deals revenue with merchandise revenue (source: Dexheimer).
In a nutshell, no matter the football program you support, you can show your loyalty by buying their team merchandise. It can be as simple to buy the team’s flag to decorate your car with your head to a game or a magnetic patch to stick to your door. If your team is trying to get its fan’s section wearing the same color, consider purchasing the team shirt. Go a step further and buy their coffee mug with their logo. Not only will you give the team a little advertising where you use the mug, but it’s also a good way to display your bragging rights when the team wins.
Supporting your team should not end with wearing a store-bought hoodie to the games. Some fans go a step further and get creative with how they support their teams. For instance, many fans will use homemade body paint, signs, and costumes to support their teams. If you want modest painting, head to the tailgating booth to have your cheeks painted your team’s colors.
Some fans go all out and paint their entire bodies, from head to toe, in their team’s colors. Others will paint the initials of their team on their chest and head out to the games bear-chested, even in the frigid cold. If you prefer staying warmer on game night, wear a costume that resembles your team mascot or even buy your favorite patriotic light up toys. The Oakland Raiders fans are renowned for wearing outlandish costumes that combine chains, skulls, shoulder pads, and spiked helmets.
That said, body painting and costumes are not for everyone. If you want to support your team, but painting your body is not your cup of tea, use creative signs instead. Posterboard statements have become staples at football games across all levels of the game. You could use signs that as ubiquitous as the “John 3:26” verse to intricate signs with an acrostic of team letters.
You could go for simple, funny, or highly-decorated signs, as long as the letters are big enough for the people around to read. You could also involve your friends and family by having them hold a series of signs to spell out something interesting regarding your team, such as the mascot’s name.
It is important to ensure you are considerate of the people around you when using your sign during the game.
Unfortunately, the tailgate parties, the body paint, and car stickers will not go a long way in buying jerseys, fund scholarships, or pay for stadium renovations. Football can be an expensive sport, and the tickets and the merchandise revenue might not suffice in paying for all the program’s cost, especially for smaller universities.
In 2008, only 25 of the 119 college teams that make up the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division 1-A) reported having a budget surplus. The other 94 football teams operated with a budget deficit averaging $9.87 million (source: Moltz). If donors do not contribute to these football programs, the 94 schools have to take funds from the general operating funds to run their football program.
Universities are always appealing to their communities and the alumni to donate to the football teams to fill the budgetary gap. Donating monetary gifts is a good way to support your team, especially high school and college teams.
Alternatively, you can support your team by purchasing season tickets. Teams rely on season tickets, which guarantee your seat whether you attend or generate a reliable income team. Teams will provide reserved parking, choice seats, and other perks on game days to show gratitude to season ticket holders.