Hitting the road to follow your favorite sports team can be an awesome trip. Whether you’re a Buckeye in Michigan’s Big House or a Manchester United fan in Liverpool, rooting for your team on foreign soil provides a new, exciting dynamic to fandom. Walking into a hostile environment can be a bit daunting, but if you show a bit of etiquette, a touch of decorum and a whole lot of pride, then you should come out of enemy territory unscathed — hopefully, with a win.
Understand Your Surroundings
First and foremost, you need to understand it’s not a home game. Starting your own doomed chants or singing fight songs are dumb and ill advised. You shouldn’t shy away from your allegiance, but peacocking for no reason will breed contempt.
Know Thine Enemy
Meet the natives. You can learn a lot about your foreign land from home fans: the cleanest bathroom in the stadium, best after-game sports bar, the local beer stand.
The exchange of culture is one of the great things about going to an away game. Have a few talking points handy about the home team. This provides a good in and can usually satiate overzealous fans. Exchanging cultural ethos is not always smooth.
Mr. Miyagi The Insults
In other words, let the fists of insults pass you into the punched car windows of your foe’s defeat. Awesome 80s movie references aside, simply let insults slide past you. There’s no reason to get heated about it. Keep your tact and ignore it. In all likelihood, the cross-eyed natives don’t know any better. That said, friendly banter is welcomed and encouraged, as long as you can hold your own.
You’ve made the trip. Don’t waste it by being a noodle-spirited fan. Don your game-time apparel, don’t cower from a little banter and cheer loudly. Remember, your team is in hostile territory, too. They need the few, the brave, the proud that made the trip. Home fans will also appreciate your fervor. If not, Mr. Miyagi it, and you’ll survive your team’s away game.
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