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What it's like to be the ROAD fan


rainmaker17

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A little background: I'm a Cowboys fan since I can remember. Had the ol' catch with Dad in the Texas Stadium parking lot when I was six etc. I'm a good fan, meaning I don't trash talk, taunt. Pretty much if you're cool I don't care what jersey you're wearing.

Having said that, I've been fortunate enough to attend a handfull of 'road' games. I typically wear a jersey and a cap, no 'DA BOYZ' white trash crap. I understand every team has good and bad supporters, including Dallas. Here are my observations:

NEW YORK JETS

My first trip to the Meadowlands. And a lot less hostile than I thought it would be. In fact I shared beers in the concourse with guys in Roy Williams' jerseys who sounded like New York cabbies (I'm sure they thought I sounded like Hank Hill...but it was all good). A few smart ass comments here and there, but no big deal

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

A real shocker. I thought a team with a history of inneptitude would be a lot lot more gracious to a visitor currently mired in a losing funk. WRONG. A Tampa local tried to warn me of this on the flight there, but I waved it off. We sat right below the pirate ship (they wouldn't let us on it). Every time we got up for a beer the entire section would yell things to the effect of "BYE LOSERS!". I'd just smile and point at my empty beer cup. The Bucs have no sense of history as I didn't see one orange jersey in the place, as if they didn't exist before their current quasi-glory.

Raymond James is an amazing stadium, and I hope to God the Cowboys build something akin to it in 2009. The ship is cool, the little tiki villaige behind it is even cooler. Met a few Buc-Lovin' locals who got over their immediate hatred of blue and silver, and had some great dialogue. They admitted half of their pewter and red buddies had Cowboys stuff in the closet at home.

NEW YORK GIANTS

See the Jets review above. The funny thing is they cut off the beer sales because it was a night game. WTF? When pressed the Giants fans told us it was because the ":censored:o Jet fans burned down the stadium" I don't know if this is true, but it cracked us up to hear it. My buddy made some kind of shady deal with a Meadowlands employee, where we bought Giants souveneir cups and the guy would fill them with beer for a 'tip'. Great time.

HOUSTON TEXANS

I'll try to not go off here. Many assume if someone is from Texas, we automatically like all Texas teams. This is not the case. I am from north Texas, and thereby I am a Cowboys, Rangers, Stars and Mavericks fan, and always have been. I don't like any Houston teams.

I have never been mistreated in my life like I was when I went to Reliant Stadium. I'm well aware (and if you're not.. I'm catching you up) of the Dallas-Houston rivalry. I wore my navy Dallas jersey and a simple Cowboys ballcap. We sat in upper upper nosebleed and I caught it every time I turned around. Drunken red-necks reeking of a weekend Wild Turkey binge with a cow skull stuck on their heads painted equally red and "deep steel' blue shouting in my face, grown men calling me a :censored: while I urinated.

Of course it was a huge win for H-town. Their rebirth after Bud Adams 'cheated' them out of their birthright. Beat the hated Cowboys. I get all of that. What I don't get, besides the drunken redneck threats to kill me, is the fact the Houston Police allowed around twenty people to cut right in front of us in the cab line. This HOUSTON POLICE OFFICER looked through me like a kid that doesn't want to plow through his lima beans, because I had a f'ing navy jersey with a star on it, couldn't look me in the eye...and his floppin' team won. Pathetic.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

I would love to see a game at the Linc. Beautiful stadium...I've driven by it twice en route to my sister's place. She went to one and was scared :censored:less. She called me halfway into the fourth quarter telling me things like "my God these idiots are beating up some guy"...."there is no way in hell you could wear Dallas stuff here." Wow.

The funny thing is Eagle fans are becoming as bad as Raider fans or Browns fans, and wear that as a badge of honor. In Texas Stadium, win or lose, Eagle fans band up and want to fight the entire stadium. I'll be there 10/09 with my kevlar. No offense to VitD or others who bleed green and silver, but tell your buddies it's a football game, not an NFC East riot.

Love to hear your 'Road' stories too....so bring em'

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I saw the Dolphins play at Tampa Bay once and I wore my aqua Dolphins jersey and a bunch of peopel were friendly to me and my friends. I saw a lot of Dolphins jerseys there. Some of the Bucs fans said they grew up Dolphins fans but moved to Tampa later and support the Bucs now. There's no real intra-state rivalry between the two like you think there would be. I agree Raymond James Stadium is a spectacular football venue. I've been there for that one Dolphins game and two Outback Bowls which the Gators lost.

I like Pro Player/Joe Robbie/Dolphins Stadium just because I basically grew up with it, but I do find it really cramped on the concourse level and the parking sucks! I think if they ever make a new stadium (which won't happen for at least 10 years I promise that) they should make it with the idea that fans need room to walk around and some room where they sit. A bigger beer selection would be nice too.

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Well I feel that High School Football in Indiana trumps any pro rivalries.

For instance:

I went with my High School down to Evansville to Central HS.. Just to put it into context..that's like being the Jaguars and going to the Green Bay. We're the "relitively new, no championships" team and they're the first School ever built in the area, and they're like, I don't know..25 time state champs or something in Football. Any other time, Central and Gibson Southern (us) were cool. But when it was football..ugh.

Our School just happens to have the exact colors as their in-town rival Mater Dei. Seeing our Maroon and Gold unis just unleashes something in that team, and they just hate us. And it wouldn't be so bad if Central Stadium wasn't built like a meteor crater, so that you're completeley surrounded by Bear fans. It's awful. They mock us and all kinds of things, and we never win.

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The absolute worse place I ever went was Lincoln City, Indiana. Heritage f'ing Hills. Dumb name, absolutely unstoppable team. They went like 45-6 during the 4 years I was in HS. It's in the middle of nowhere, and they make sure that you remember that fact. The stadium feels like it's in the middle of the desert or something, and their team is just amazing. They beat us 85-3 once, and I couldn't believe it..but they make sure to rub it in every time. It doesn't matter who you are, you dread going to Heritage Hills.

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On the flip side of that, the best place to go around here is Princeton, our county rival. The last time Princeton won a game was 1998 (thought I think they snapped that streak this year), and we were the ones who started the streak. :woot:

The home side of the field is usually empty, because almost nobody roots for them, not even their own students.

---------------

[Last one, I promise]

I've never been much for playing athletics, I was more of a genius than a football player, but I will always remember Harrison.. :cursing:

We have a trivia competition around here named the SBC Academic Super Bowl, and I was on the team my sophmore year. We made it to regionals, and right after that is state. Well, we were tied with Mater Dei with 16 points, and had to have a tie breaker to get the last spot. We get the question, and thank god I was in the stands..they got the question wrong, like our team did..but they got a point.

The other fans booed (including us), but the person who wrote the points said they were right. It was some science question. Well, at the beginning of the year, they had given us a sheet with all the questions and answers, and we studied it religiously. Turns out, one of the questions was misprinted..so we got it wrong.

Mater Dei ended up winning, and it took three of my friends to keep me from going down there and strangling those smug bastards.

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I saw the Red Wings at Chicago last season (whenever that was) and was surprised by the complete lack of commentary by the local fans. It probably helped that half the arena was in Detroit gear, but I absolutely expected something more than a "Red Wings Suck" chant.

Of course, it could have just been that the Wings won that game so the 'Hawks fans didn't have anything to say, I had some friends who went to a game later in the season that the Wings lost and they say they were harassed quite a bit.

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I've gone to two Red Sox-Yankees games at Yankee Stadium in the past few years. Both times, I was wearing a Red Sox cap and jersey (first time it was batting, last time a Hillenbrand road jersey). The Yankees crowd was fairly indefferent towards me. On occasional "Boston sucks" from someone in the crowd, but for the most part, no one cared. Even after the Sox lost both games (both by one run), not much of a reaction from the locals.

The Providence Bruins fans are a different story. Drunken :censored:s for the most part. Go in there wearing an opponent's jersey, and they ride you from opening faceoff until you leave.

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NEW YORK JETS

My first trip to the Meadowlands. And a lot less hostile than I thought it would be. In fact I shared beers in the concourse with guys in Roy Williams' jerseys who sounded like New York cabbies (I'm sure they thought I sounded like Hank Hill...but it was all good). A few smart ass comments here and there, but no big deal

Take it you haven't actually been in a New York cab becasue the cabbies aren't steriotypical New Yorkers the cabbies are immigrants who barely speak english for the most part.

As for beer sales at Giants Stadium, yes they don't sell at night because of the Jet fans. It was many years ago and it was a monday night game Jets versus Bulls. It was towel night, so every fan got a team towel. The fans were drunk at lit the towels on fire. Thus they don't sell beer at night, because they figure you've had all day to drink and get drunk (especially for a sunday night game) and they don't want another fire. Yea, so the story about Jets fans trying to burn the stadium down (Can't remmeber if it was Giants or Shea) is true.

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As an Eagles stadium employee, I get to witness these atrocities first hand (and read incident reports afterwards.) It really is not an exaggeration. When the Pack was here for the infamous 4th and 26 game a few years back, every GB fan was forced into one small standing section where they were huddled together. It was pretty bad. Some of the incident reports included stories of Packers fans being urinated on in bathroom lines.

I've seen cars damaged if they have visiting team license-plate frames, things thrown at people, the "accidental" bumping into visiting fans in the concourse, etc. And of course, the chants of "a-hole, a-hole" whenever a visiting fan (even children) are walking towards their seat.

That being said, it is still safer than the Vet. I do my best to protect these fans, and I've had to have fans arrested and ejected.

I have a theory about all of this. This theory is born out of years of attending games at the Vet and Linc, and working at the Linc. A portion of these fans (not the majority, but still a large portion) are boorish, uneducated, lower class individuals who take out second mortgages or rob their children's 'college fund' just to get tickets. That is fact. These people hate how tough their lives are, and use these games as their escape. The games are more an excuse to get drunk as heck and take out their frustrations on anyone who is wearing a non-Eagles jersey. I honestly don't think that a lot of these people are real fans, but the hours that they are tailgating or at the game, they don't have to deal with their annoying wife, their kids that they don't care about, their crummy job, their unpaid bills, etc.

Before anyone jumps on me, I prefaced that by stating that it is only a portion of the crowd. And the size of that portion goes down every year, due to price increases, revoked tickets, etc. The situation is getting better, but it is still not too safe a place for a visiting fan to go.

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Well, I've been to about 20 games at Ericsson/BofA stadium in Charlotte, but since I always cheer for the opposing team, I guess you could say that makes me a road fan. :D

I saw the Niners there a few times before they realigned the divisions and put the Niners and Panthers in separate divisions. I always wore Niners gear, and I caught some friendly ribbing and stuff, but I was younger, so I'm thinking they might have taken it easy on me.

Hopefully the Niners come to Charlotte next year, so I can finally go all-out. Bring it on, Panther #*%(@*#!!! :D

That said, BofA Stadium is a phenomenal place to watch a football game. Sure, you have a few rowdy and loudmouth fans, but it's civilized at least. I'd say definitely one of the best in the NFL.

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I've been to Cardinals games at Wrigley and in Milwaukee and neither place recieved anything but good natured ribbing and talking good baseball.

Football brings something different out in people. I've never been to a football game behind enemy lines, and frankly, I don't think I want to. Its not being a wuss, its I want to have a good time at a game. I know what happens to opposing fans at a game, and I don't want to go through it. If I spend 100 bucks on a ticket, I damn well better enjoy myself.

That's why I love going to baseball games just as much as football, its just for a different reason.

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I saw the Jays in Montreal... I didn't notice a difference.

You were probably all by yourself in your section... ^_^

I went to a Alouettes game in Ottawa. The stadium was pretty full and we were about 50 fans all in the same section. The rest was heavily cheering for Ottawa.

The game was pretty close until a good defensive play from the Alouettes made them pick up the ball on their own 15. All the fans were yelling "Defense" until Woodcock caught a 95-yard pass for a TD. A good way to shut them up, but man did we laugh in their faces!!!

But fans were very polite with us, except one drunken a$$hole who had to be controled by his friends...

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Ah, being a road fan is quite fun :lol: Most of it is hockey related, but there will be a few baseball ones chucked in.

NHL

Nassau Coliseum--Saw the Rangers and Isles in a typical battle between the two blood rivals back in the 2000 season. Wore Rangers gear to the Coli and didn't have a problem. The place was 50/50 for the most part and well, after the abject beating the Isles got, the Isles fans in the house left early to beat the traffic on the Meadowbrook or decided that going over to Roosevelt Field Mall was much better than seeing the Isles get their brains beat in by their neighbors from Manhattan

FleetCenter/TD Banknorth Garden--Saw the Rangers and B's in a late season game there in '03. Once again, busted out the Rangers gear and sat in the upper levels of the barn. Personally, I liked the place and for the most part, the fans were kinda not too obnoxious...well, outside of 2...one guy during the warmups asked me when the last time the Rangers made the playoffs, so I looked at the banners hanging from the rafters and commented "Gee, ya think that 1972 Stanley Cup Champions banner's getting awfully lonely up there?"...the other bad thing was after a Rangers goal, I made the mistake of getting up to cheer and got some used food items tossed at me...no biggie..they didn't hit the jersey so I didn't make a big deal out of it.

USAir Arena/Cap Centre--No real probs here when I went to see the Caps (saw 3 games there...2 vs. the Whalers and 1 vs. the Flyers right before the MCI Center opened)...although I was fearing for my life at one Whalers/Caps game...it was Travel Mug Night and well, Peter Bondra decided to make Sean Burke's life hell...well, Bondra went off for a hat trick. I was sitting about 5 rows from the glass (how I scored those seats was a mystery to me) and as soon as I heard the siren go off, I saw the mugs start to fly. Needless to say I ducked when I nearly got clocked by one of them

AHL

Providence Civic Center--I'll echo jp's comments about P-Ruins fans...they're a-holes to a high degree. Then again, I sum it up to "little state syndrome" and leave it at that :lol:

New Haven Coliseum--God, I miss this place. The fans were rambunctious to say the least, but there were never any real problems...the folks in The Jungle (Sec. 14) were f-ing HILARIOUS. The funny thing is that now a lot of those same people now trek up to Danbury for UHL games and I've gotten to know a lot of them.

Springfield Civic Center--WORST. PLACE. EVER. I nearly got into a fight with some drunk idiot after he decided to drop a "C-bomb" in reference to the girlfriend of a buddy of mine that I made the trip up with...and fluffing security did NOTHING. Swore never to go there again.

Pepsi Arena (Albany)--A morgue, plain and simple. There's no interaction with home fans because, well, the River Rats don't have too many.

Harbor Yard (Bridgeport)--Another morgue. The only time the Sound Tigers get ANY fans is when they're playing Hartford and the Pack fans take the place over. The team blows, the tickets are way overpriced for the lack of talent they have and the food sucks...other than that, it's a nice place.

HersheyPark Arena--CLASSIC OLD BARN! Had a blast going to games there when I was in college (was only about 30 min. from Hershey)...Fans were really cool for the most part (well, outside of one idiot I had to deal with during a Bears/Wolfpack game, but I decided to let the whole thing go) and the place reeked of hockey. Only downer was that it was a dry arena (no beer sales) and they hadn't replaced the seats since the place opened in 1936 (namely, they were a little tight for a fat-ass like myself :lol: ). The only time I saw Bears fans really get nasty was when they played Philly...I went to a Bears/Phantoms game on, ironically, Valentine's Day one year :lol:....nothing like seeing a 60-something year old woman shout "Phantoms suck and so do you!" to some random guy wearing a Phantoms jersey walking to his seat...

Wachovia Center & Wachovia Spectrum--Had the treat of seeing the Phantoms play in BOTH arenas. Had a blast at both places and amazingly, I didn't get any heat for rooting for Hartford (one fan told me, "as long as you're not wearing a Bears jersey, you're safe").

BASEBALL

I've only gone to one game where my faves were playing on the road....most of the times when I visit parks away from here, the visiting teams are usually ones I couldn't give a rat's arse about.

Camden Yards--Saw the Mets play there in 1997...O's fans treated me pretty well. Guess they let the sting of 1969 go by then....either that or they figured that Mets fans hate the Yanks as much as O's fans do :lol:

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I saw the Jays play the Yankess at the Rogers Centre.... That's practically a road game.

The only times I had to break up fights in the stands was when the Yankees or Red Sox were in town.

Draw your own conclusion.

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My dad and I used to go to Milwaukee every year to see the Twins play outdoors and the Brewers fans were great. Everything they said to us was good natured. I've seen the twins play in about 10 ballparks and never really had any trouble.

When I was a senior at Wisconsin, some of us went to Iowa. We were drunk and obnoxious all weekend. And their fans were totally cool.

Two years later, I went to grad school at Iowa and was in the student section when UW came to town. There were a bunch of UW fans in the student section (because the lowly 1999 Hawkeyes could not sell out their student section). If you can imagine something being thrown at, it probably was. That was the worst treatment I have ever seen.

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This past may i went to see the Cardinals play in Kansas City and was pleasently surprised at the hospitality of the KC fans. Granted they were few and far between as Kauffman Stadium was completely red but the ones I encountered were really cool. There was a group of guys behind us that had season tickets and we enjoyed intelligent baseball talk with them about how the KC ownership won't spend any money and whatnot. And naturally there was the talk of the '85 series. From what i expereinced first hand this is a really friendly rivalry. I'd go back to KC for a game in a heartbeat.

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Ah yes, being the road fan...

I've been the road fan a couple times in my life. The first was in 2003, when I went to Tiger Stadium and sat in the Florida section to watch my Gators screw LSU out of an undefeated season. We had a couple beers thrown in our general direction, and there were chants and crap in the beginning, but it wasn't quite as bad as I expected (probably because Florida won 19-7).

The second time I went to see the Packers play the Saints in the Superdome (cough..mistake). I wore my Brett Favre jersey, knowing full and well the Packers would dominate the 'Aints. Well I happened to have tickets in a lovely drunken Saints fan section, and the Saints dominated the Packers and won the game big. Those Saints fans never let me here the end of it...in my section, in the bathroom, at the concession stand, on the streets, in the parking lot 2 miles aways...I don't think I'll ever make that mistake again.

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I've been to Chicago to see the Phillies play the Cubs (which actually sounded more like a Phillies home game than a Cubs game.) The Cubs fans were really friendly, all talking to us about the Eagles and Flyers. I heard a couple of comments on the street, and kind of got into it with one guy, but 5 minutes later we were buying each other beers at one of those Wrigleyville bars like we were boys or something.

I've been the road fan at a Steelers / Eagles game last year. It didn't help that the Eagles got pummeled. I got a lot of middle fingers, a bunch of "F*** T.O." and other stuff like that, but nothing I couldn't handle. At the end, most of the fans were saying that they were actually rooting for the Eagles to get into the SB.

Some guy in Pittsburgh (not the most economically sound part of PA) was giving me a hard time about the Eagles, and getting a little personal, so being the smart a** that I am, I asked back (in a totally calm voice) "why do you have so much pent up anger in you? Did you recently get laid off? I guess I'd be angry all the time too if I didn't have a job." The guy just shut up. Turns out he did just get laid off.

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Some guy in Pittsburgh (not the most economically sound part of PA) was giving me a hard time about the Eagles, and getting a little personal, so being the smart a** that I am, I asked back (in a totally calm voice) "why do you have so much pent up anger in you? Did you recently get laid off? I guess I'd be angry all the time too if I didn't have a job." The guy just shut up. Turns out he did just get laid off.

No offense, but I'm getting the vibe that you are really judgmental of people who "aren't economically sound." Do you hate poor people?

I went to a Pens game two years ago at Mellon Arena. They were playing the Red Wings, and all the turncoat Pittsburghers made me feel like a visitor in my own teams' arena. I actually got heckled for wearing a Lemieux jersey. Astonishing.

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