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The Orange::44 Legislation Project: Part 3

Gotta keep it classy people.

Editor's Note: This is Part 3 of a multi-part series on trying to codify fan behavior for the betterment of all college athletics and their fans as determined by my best judgment. Part 1 can be found here. Part 2 can be found here.
[THE LAW]
Brian Harrison’s Law of Fandom in College Athletics

Chapter 1: Fan Guidelines
Part C: Behavior


[Sec. 1(a)]

(a) GENERAL RULE: Fans, whether at a home stadium, neutral site, or away venue, shall cheer loudly for their team and never engage in behavior that would cast a negative light on yourself or fellow fans of your same college or university’s rooting interest, or that institution. Fans also must stay the entirety of the contest and clap for your team, win or lose, for their effort.

[Sec. 1(b)]

(b) EXCEPTIONS
    (1) Subsection (a) shall not apply if provoked into a public display of loyalty to their team in defense because of the actions of an opposing fan. However, one must only give an appropriate response, specifically proportional to the initial unreasonable attack.

    (2)
    A comment made that causes five (5) or more fans you did not attend the game with to chuckle or laugh in your area shall never be considered to have cast a negative light for the purposes of subsection (a).

    (3)
    The provision about leaving before the contest has concluded in subsection (a) will be void if there is an emergency situation.
[COMMENTS]

This is basically the “don’t be a dick” rule. You have to keep it classy and represent your school or the school you root for with dignity and decorum. Thus the general rule mandates that you support your team (which you should, and probably are doing, anyway), but more importantly you need to conduct yourself with decorum and class. That being said, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say sassy, entertaining things or heckle the living hell out of opposing players.

Also, I’ve always said and I’ve always believed real fans stay the game. Nothing will convince me otherwise. If the team is losing and you leave you aren’t a true fan. If you just want to get home five minutes sooner you aren’t a real fan. On top of that you’re the one paying money to see these athletes pay. Chances are quite a lot as well. Stay the game and cheer them for their effort and for the entertainment.

Exception (1) is basically similar to a self-defense claim. If some opposing fan says something that demands a public response you are allowed to do so. In short, you can be as rotten to someone else as they were to you, but only if they are initiating it. This may not be right, but it is the way of the world and it is fairly understandable. I didn’t want a law abiding person to get punished because some opposing fan is being above and beyond outrageous. Moral of the story is know where the line is and don’t go over it unless someone else does it first.

Exception (2) is the codification of the ancient and time tested truth that you have to be smart to be an asshole. If you’re smart and clever chances are it can be funny. If you want to yell something, no matter how outrageous, if it is funny it should be allowed. I’ve personally tested out this one in Madison Square Garden and it’s true.

Exception (3) is basically just granting the exception that you should be able to leave early for emergencies. This is common sense and does not warrant any more explanation, save for the fact that it needs to be a true emergency, not because you want to get home and watch Burn Notice.

In summation, go out there and root and even push the envelope. But never be a dick just for the sake of it or because you think it’s cool. It isn’t. It’s never acceptable to throw a beer on someone. It’s never acceptable to be racist. It’s never acceptable to be vulgar if children are around. Otherwise go nuts. Laptop jokes are still funny. Murder jokes… not so much.

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