With each passing autumn, we see the best in sports and, at times, the worst of fans. Saturday night in Knoxville, we saw the worst, as fans chucked debris on the field and at players towards the end of the Ole Miss-Tennessee game. One even hit Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin with a golf ball. Yes, Kiffin did quit as Tennessee head coach in the middle of the night in 2009 and that was tacky. You know what else is tacky? Throwing things at people because you're mad.
So Vol fans — actually all fans — I make this plea to stop doing the trashy behavior we have come to see in stadiums across the country. If you can avoid doing these five things, the sports world will be better off.
5. The wave
Just because you can get people to stand up and wave their arms in succession throughout a stadium doesn't mean you should. For the players, nothing shows support like a bunch of spectators saying, “This game is so boring, I need to stand up every 15 seconds to entertain myself.” For the actual fans, it is simply annoying trying to watch a game while a bunch of jackasses keep blocking your view while reveling in their gooberish glee. If you get the urge to start a wave or participate in one, it's time to go home.
4. Booing injured players
This often happens in football games where fans think a player is faking injury to slow a team’s offensive momentum. While that may happen on occasion, it's not like Montgomery Burns is sitting in the owner's box, saying, "Smithers, tell (#)76 to fake a knee injury on third down." There may be instances where your booing is shaming a player for compromising his integrity, but there will be others where it precludes the stretcher coming onto the field. Either way, you’re the one who looks like a jerk.
3. Screaming profanity at games
Whether you're emphasizing your anger with an occasional "damn," or you are channeling Andrew Dice Clay and Amy Schumer in a cuss-off, no one wants to hear you. And if a mom or dad tells you to watch your language, you deserve it.
2. Wearing shirts with profanity
Recently, T-shirts in college football towns across the country with the template [City], F----n' [State] swept the nation. If you got a few beers in you and decided to buy one of these witty shirts outside the stadium, I can excuse your poor judgment. But if you actually decide to wear it — or any shirt with profanity on it — in public, you might as well get a naked lady tattooed on your forearm. There's no going back.
1. Chucking items into the crowd or onto the field
As we saw on Saturday night during the Ole Miss-Tennessee game, this is the absolute trashiest of trashy behaviors. Whether it's a cup of urine, binoculars, a seat cushion, or a golf ball, if you're sitting in the stands and toss it towards the people below you, then you should go home and do some soul searching.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.