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American Pastimes: Heckling Your Opponent

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One of the great things about college is athletics. I am hands down one of the least athletic people in the world. There’s no way in hell I’d ever have been able to play any sport in college. Not even D3. I just absolutely suck. I’m not out of shape or anything, I’m just not an athlete. I’m fine with that. Instead of playing sports, I pay money to watch other people play sports. It’s not a bad gig, really.

Even though I couldn’t support my school on the field, I supported it and our team from the stands. It’s our duty as fans to do so, right? That’s how I feel about it, at least. Now, we could support them by cheering them on in victory and in defeat, but that’s for nerds. We’re real men. We support our team in the most effective way possible: we heckle the shit out of the opponents.

Let me clear that up. We don’t just heckle the other team. That’s bush league, guys. Honestly, it’s beneath us. We’re much better than that. We heckle the opposing team, their fans, their families, and even dead relatives if we have to. It’s all about doing everything we can to help our guys to play well out on the field. Sure, some may argue that heckling has little to no effect on the outcome of a game, but I beg to differ. Trust me, guys. A seasoned heckler with a good repertoire of heckling techniques can be the difference between victory and defeat. Well, at least I like to think so.

One common misconception about heckling is that it only takes place during the actual game. That’s 100% incorrect. If you think that, you literally couldn’t be more wrong. That’s just plain stupid. Any good heckler will tell you that heckling truly begins before the game. You see, anyone can go out there and yell stupid shit like, “You suck!” Again, that’s bush league. Veteran hecklers will tell you that it all starts with research. Thanks to our good friend, the Internet, that’s pretty easy these days. You need to look up everything you can about the opposing team that you could possibly exploit and use to your advantage. Find one of their player’s Facebook pages? Too easy. A post about one of them on an anonymous gossip site? Perfect. I’m telling you guys, there’s a veritable cornucopia of information out there ready to be used.

After you’ve researched, the next step in the heckling game also takes place before the game. If you don’t heckle during the tailgate, you’re doing a great disservice to your school, to your team, and possibly to your country. This is truly an optimal time for some good, old-fashioned, American shit-talking the way I like to think our Founding Fathers did to the British. If you see a tailgate plot full of people wearing the other team’s colors, it’s your duty to start talking shit. You need to let those jackasses know hours before the game that they’re going to lose. Badly. The more colorful you are about it, the better. Don’t just stick to heckling them regarding their team. One of my favorites is to call the other team’s fans poor. It works every time. Remember, one of the keys to good heckling is being shitfaced. The tailgate is the best place to work toward that state of being. The drunker you are, the more effective you are. Provided you can still talk and haven’t pissed yourself, of course.

Then of course, there’s the game. This can sometimes be a little difficult because of the volume, as well as the fact that by this point in the day, you’re probably too drunk to put together coherent sentences. Regardless of those minor difficulties, you still have a job to do. My advice for optimal heckling is to sit as close as you possibly can to the opposing team’s bench. If you’re really doing it right, they’ll hear you. Remember, when heckling the actual opponents, be sure to throw out some individual insults. They wear numbers on their backs, so this one is pretty easy. The best thing you can possibly do is get the whole crowd heckling along with you. While sometimes difficult, when accomplished, it’s rewarding as fuck. You’ll still have to deal with the other team’s fans, but if you’re at home, this shouldn’t be a problem. Just put those idiots in their place and they’ll stop whatever fuckery they were doing in the first place.

Sometimes, if you’re straight heckling the shit out of your opponents, the event staff or security personnel will attempt to remove you from the game. It’s complete and utter horseshit, as well as downright un-American, but it happens. It’s a shitty situation to be in, but you just have to make the best out of it. If you’re not talking shit all the way out of the stadium, you’re not giving it your all. You need to give 110% in a situation like that. Let everyone know that an travesty is taking place before their eyes. You let all who are watching know that some jackbooted, fascist thugs are removing you from where you rightfully belong just for speaking what’s on your mind. It’s just what has to be done.

When your team is out there giving it their all, shouldn’t you be in the stands giving it your all? I think so, and I know many of you do, too. From the time the other team and their fans enter the stadium to the time they leave with their heads hung low in defeat, you must deliver an unrelenting, merciless wave of shit-talking and verbal harassment upon them. It’s your duty. It’s what’s right. It’s just what we do.


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