The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Crowd Control: Restraining the Riot

When it comes to sports, there really isn’t a fine line regarding fan behavior. At sporting events, spectators are asked for nothing more than to carry themselves in a polite manner that presents no distractions to the athletes and to cheer “appropriately and accordingly to the game being watched,” said Senior Captain Allison Day.

Depending on the sport, “good etiquette” can range from only applauding during certain situations to screaming your lungs out the entire game. In more “sophisticated” sports such as golf, tennis, and even wrestling, proper manners involve only cheering after play has stopped: after a point or period.

On the other hand, in “rowdier” sports like basketball, volleyball, or football, fans are typically free to make any comments or gestures they want, provided it is respectful to the teams, coaches, and referees. Sadly, these unwritten rules are often ignored and there have been many instances of fans making rash, discriminatory remarks to both referees and players.

Whether it be Little League or the NFL, the spectators undoubtedly play a significant role in athlete performance. “Fan behavior is pretty influential…” said Girl’s Tennis Captain Senior Tiffany Yen. “In tennis, rude fan behavior is rare, so when it occurs, it makes a big difference on how we play.”

In many instances, it can get out of hand and lead to disaster. Most of us can recall the famous Pistons-Pacers basketball brawl in 2004 that resulted in the suspension of nine players and increased security at NBA games. Not only did this cast a huge shadow on the league, it made many question whether fans should be able to attend sporting events at all.

However, if the fans can display proper conduct, the impact these people have on a team’s performance is unprecedented. We all witnessed this at the incredible Homecoming Game earlier in the year. Feeding off the enormous crowd’s electrifying energy, the football team exploded for the best offensive game they’ve had in a while. Last year, during an NCS match against Deer Valley, the Boys’ Volleyball team experienced a similar boost as “the crowd’s constant cheer of ‘Let’s Go Mission!’ played a big part by pumping up the team,” said Senior Captain Tim Ye.

Going to a game is not just about cheering for the team; it’s also the time to enjoy the event and show the hard-working athletes appreciation through proper decorum.

By showing good manners, it gives the players confidence that they have the respect of their fans and allows them to perform at the best of their capabilities. Even though enthusiasm can definitely make the game more entertaining, at least attempt to keep your remarks moderate or considerate so that both you and the athletes can enjoy the game.

Written by Grace Han
Mar 19, 2010 at 04:23 PM

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