While Mercer University prepares for their first football game in decades, students should keep a few guidelines concerning the etiquette of the game in mind. A famous coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi once said, “Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.” The qualities signified above deserved to be admired through proper etiquette for the up becoming event.
Bearing this in mind, lets review some do’s and don’ts of football both as a fan and a player. Fans should show their team spirit by wearing black and orange, making signs, and singing the fight song. Another way to show support for the bears is to attend the Tailgate before the game. This is a great way to get involved and meet other Mercer football fans.
On the same token, it is a good idea the avoid wearing the opposing team’s colors on game day.
While watching the games this Saturday, do not yell when the bears are on the offense because it is distracting for the players. Minimize commotion by not participating in the wave when the score is close.
Try to be respectful to fellow Bear fans at the game on Saturday. Face out when walking through aisles in the stands. Avoid disrupting fellow on lookers by standing during the middle for a play.
One of The Cluster’s issues for November 10, 1922 said, “One of the most important phases in the benefits derived from football is the increased school spirit among the students themselves. The school yells are college songs, the hand-clapping and immense enthusiasm are roused to such a pitch by no other game as by football.”
As a football player, taunting the opposing team is a breach of etiquette and shows bad sportsmanship. Sophomore and long snapper for the Mercer Bears, John Garrett Abernathy said when a player is in a dogpile it is advisable to, ““Keep your mouth shut and go for the ball because in that pile…things can be squeezed and pitched…so if you keep your mouth shut people will stay away from you.”
Abernathy also discourages trash talking with opponents in general in order to avoid unnecessary confrontation.
During a football game players should strive to maintain good sportsmanship not only to prevent confrontation, but also to show respect for other team. Senior Marketing Major and Mercer Bears fan, Daniel Dupree said, “Personally I don’t think anyone should celebrate when they make a touch down. You just give the ball to the referee and move on.”
Injuries are bound to occur in football, and there are a few ways to handle this type of situation. “When you hit somebody and you knock them down, you always help them up,” said Abernathy. On the other hand, if a player is injured take a knee and wait for them to be taken off of the field.
Traditionally, at the end of a football game coaches and players shake hand with one another. “It’s common curtsey for the coaches to shake hands after the game out of mutual respect for one another,” said Dupree.
By following these simple rules of etiquette Bears fans can show their respect and admiration for our new football program.