6 Rules to Watch the Game Without Irritating Anyone
No one wants to be “that person” who says or does the wrong thing at the big game party and can never live it down (because people will bring it up forever). Instead, use these game-watching etiquette tips to be a well-mannered guest. And secure your invitation for next year.
1. Be Gracious in Victory and Defeat
“Beware not to cross the fine line between laughing and bantering and taunting and heckling,” says Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert and owner of The Protocol School of Texas. Same goes for celebrating when your team scores. Cheering is acceptable, but don’t rub it in anyone’s face.
2. Practice R-E-S-P-E-C-T
You’re in someone’s home, not at the stadium. House rules apply. Avoid lewd, unruly behavior—like barking and swearing at the players, coaches, and refs—even if kids aren’t present.
3. Keep Fan Gear Minimal
You’re expected to show team pride, so wearing your jersey is fair game. But bringing along your bullhorn, handmade posters, and oversized foam finger is overkill. Remember: Your goal is not to make others feel uncomfortable or annoyed, Gottsman says.
4. Bring a Gift
Gottsman suggests giving the host a pretty set of napkins, decorative hand towels, or a special seasoning blend. For those bringing a dish to share, consider leaving the serving platter as a gift. Simply attach a note beneath it to explain your gesture.
5. Stay Engaged
Just because you don’t care who wins or loses doesn’t mean you should stare at your phone and avoid conversation. Mingle with others who aren’t glued to the TV screen. Also, sports fans love to sound knowledgeable. “Make an effort to learn from the guests who are really into the game,” Gottsman advises. Save your inquiries for commercial breaks and halftime, however. You don’t want to fire off questions in the middle of a third down blitz play.
6. Pace Yourself
It’s easy to lose track of your drink count when the game gets tight and tensions rise. Gottsman cautions, “Remember that you’re not there for the open bar; you’re there to socialize and celebrate the game with other guests.” Her simple sage advice: Less is best.