NFL Preseason Etiquette

I was looking at the old TL Sunday morning. One of the things that annoy me about Twitter is its insistence of showing me things I missed. It would be fine if it was stuff I cared about, which it usually isn’t. Anywell, @DustinJames tweeted the following message that Twitter thought I may have missed:

People who celebrate preseason NFL wins absolutely crack me up.

My first reaction: Who actually does that? My second reaction: Who died and put Dustin James in charge of football fan behavior?

After some thought I remembered that people these days just don’t know how to behave. Turn on the news any day in 2017, especially this past weekend, and that’s pretty obvious. At some point, Americans stopped caring about manners. Nobody is telling these lunatics how to act anymore and that’s how we end up with idiots running around carrying Home Depot torches and running over people with cars in terrorist attacks.

It used to be the kind of behavior we would read about in the newspaper, back when we read newspapers. Now, Americans lack the ability to act right. I feel it’s because they haven’t been taught. Lord knows our current leadership can’t reach anybody anything.

With that in mind, I’ve decided now is as good a time as any to teach football fans how to act when it comes to the preseason.

1. Be happy that football is back

prslow

I used to get annoyed by preseason football because it wasn’t actual football. It didn’t count in the standings, most of the actual players weren’t involved, it just seemed like a big waste of time to me.

It isn’t.

Preseason isn’t just important for players, it’s important for fans too. It gives us reps for game-watching. It gets us ready for our fantasy drafts. It helps us learn the new players. It’s not quite as fun as regular football, but it’s more fun than no football at all.

So be happy.

2. Don’t get drunk or gamble

nfldrunk

A few years back I probably would have said that getting drunk was ok. But honestly, if you’re getting drunk to celebrate preseason football, you have a problem and need to seek immediate help. Alcohol is not the answer…at least not in preseason. Once the regular season starts, go ahead and drink all you want.

The same is true if you’re betting on preseason football. I mean…really? It’s not like there’s nothing else to bet on. Baseball is in full swing. There’s always horse racing somewhere. The PGA Championship was this past weekend. Hell, Premier League soccer is kicking off. Just bet on the team you’ve kind of heard of, you’ll probably win! If you’re even looking at lines on preseason games, you have a problem and need to seek immediate help.

3. You may tune out at halftime

tvoff

It’s possibly the toughest question any football fan will face during the preseason. When is it acceptable to tune out without seeming like a bandwagon fan? For the first three games, halftime works. You’ll see any action from the starters in the first half. The last game usually doesn’t feature anybody that will start on Opening Day, so I’m ok with completely skipping that one. Yes, the last game is important for deciding those last couple of roster spots, but odds are that those guys won’t be big contributors to the team anyway. Unless things go horribly wrong.

I lasted halfway through the third quarter of the Bengals/Bucs game on Friday night. I had work early the next morning, so once the Bengals went up 20-12 with a touchdown I figured it was fine to go to sleep on a good note. As far as I can tell, I didn’t miss anything too important.

4. Don’t make your hot takes too hot

fire

I know it’s tempting. It’s been a few months since there’s been actual football to analyze. You can draw some conclusions from preseason. But you have to dial it back.

“Mitchell Trubisky looks pretty good out there.” GOOD

“Mitchell Trubisky looks like the next Joe Montana out there.” BAD

Pretty simple, right? One of the nice things about preseason is that unless somebody is just godawful, you can stay pretty positive about your new players. After all, it’s just preseason, so if they suck it’s no big deal. If they’re good, it’s a good sign going forward. Doesn’t mean they should get a spot ready in Canton for the youngster, but it’s still encouraging.

5. Celebration?

its-all-in-the-hips

Back to the original point. Celebration of preseason success really depends on your team. As a Bengals fan, I have a tough enough time celebrating actual wins. There’s always something to be concerned about even in the best of times. So celebrating a preseason victory isn’t something that would cross my mind.

Fans of more successful teams wouldn’t celebrate. They also wouldn’t know the season has started until December.

If you’re a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, and the Jags beat the New England Patriots in Week 1 of preseason…you might as well celebrate. It’ll probably be the high point of your year.

Thanks for reading! If you need any more help on etiquette check me out on Twitter @stevecook84

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