Guide to Playoff Season Etiquette

Comments 15 by Guest Author

New Contributor Update: Believing in giving everyone from Surrey a chance, this is Bradley‘s first post (long time commenter, first time writer). – Rebecca

The last few days when I step outside on my deck, I notice a big change in the air. The sun is out, the birds are chirping, the hookers on the street no longer require their Boca sweaters and bubble gum jeans…… but its more then that. Smell it, feel it, (not the hooker, I’m past that now), ah yes, its Playoff season.

Living here in Vancouver and traveling to other cities, I have noticed that we are perhaps the best fan base in the world. We flip out when we lose, we flip out when we win and we riot when Axle Rose no shows. Ok scratch that last one, its not one of our cities proudest moments.

Now I’m all for showing your “homer” pride, as I believe everyone should at every sporting event they view or attend, but some people get a little TOO caught up in it. Which is why I’ve consulted with several people (ok just me) and created the 2007 VANCOUVER FAN PLAYOFF ETIQUETTE GUIDE

The following tips and advice should be read by all hardcore sports fans, in any city. Except European soccer fans, there is just NO getting through to them.

Towel Whippage – It started here in Vancouver and now is practiced all over in various arenas. Its a great way to show your team spirit and to root on your team, but this is actually quite a dangerous practice if done with ignorance.


If you are gonna wave the towel, WAVE IT. Give it some effort. Pretty self explanatory. BUT out of courtesy for the people beside you, in front of you and behind you at the arena, i would suggest “choking up” on the towel. A firm grip about 1/3 of the way up the towel. Don’t be a hot shot and think its cool to hold it at the very end of the towel. You don’t stand out in a sea of 18000 people cause your towel has an extra 3 inches of potentially deadly whip. If possible, try to keep the “vortex” centre directly above your head. This prevents the people around you from developing purple welts on their head, nose, cheeks and eyelids if you follow the choking up rule of thumb. I once saw a kid get sucked into a towel vortex… it’s not pretty and it kinda ruins your buzz.

Hugging Strangers – Ok ok ok, it gets pretty passionate during the playoffs. You want your team to do well, you get happy when they score a goal, you get happy when the game is over and they won and you get happy when they win that bracket in the tournament. This is natural. However, hugging a complete stranger is not usually. To ensure that your well spent money on playoff tickets doesn’t result in you getting a beating, i would suggest the following if you are a playoff hugger.

As soon as you get to your seats, or in between periods, talk to the people beside you, in front of you, etc. This way you are not a complete random person if you decide to hug someone in joy.

Playoff hugs don’t have a gender preference really. During this time it is ok to hug a dude if you are a guy. However, make it brief, perhaps just a hearty pat on the back followed by a “HELL YEAH BUDDY WOO HOO GO TEAM” . Do NOT make eye contact, and do not look at him for the rest of the night. Order more beer to retain your masculine image. Unless you are a European soccer fan, which involves playoff kissing. Another time though. I told u there was no getting through to them.

If you want to hug a member of the opposite sex, please make sure shes not sitting with a guy who might be with her. Things can get ugggggggggly.

However if a girl wants to playoff hug, there are no rules. Its cute when girls do it, and guys wont mind. Unless they are ugly, then we will look at our buddies and make that “sick face”. Hey, I’m just the messenger.

Car Flags – Recent study shows that more then one team flag on your car causes a Wind Drag effect (Flagmosis) and can actually cost u gas mileage. And also, you look like a major loser. We see the flag, you don’t need more then one ok?

Team Jerseys – “Oh hey, is that Sami Salo? No wait, he’s not 5’2″, chubby, and working the cash at Home Depot.” I’m sure the players are flattered but u aren’t fooling anyone pal. Wear your hat, wear your t shirt, wear your sweat pants, whatever…….but leave the jerseys to the players. If you put your own last name on the jersey, for each letter of your last name is one more year you will be single. Very similar to the Dungeons and Dragons theory.

Anyways, those are just a few brief tips as to how to act around playoff time.

Keepin’ it real since ’79.

– Bradley.

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15 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Miss604Tuesday, April 17th, 2007 — 7:13am PDT

    It’s posted! Geez!
    The towel whippage is tricky – and as for the jerseys… they’re fine by me I just think it’s funny to see the entire town walking around in clothing that’s 4 sizes too big. I think we all need lovely coordinating t-shirts to get the whole “Believe in Blue” thing going on in the stands. We gotta beat out Calgary’s “Sea of Red”

  2. AdelaideTuesday, April 17th, 2007 — 11:26am PDT

    OMG…that was too hilarious.

  3. Mort-yTuesday, April 17th, 2007 — 1:11pm PDT

    I’ve heard you like going to games mainly for the hugs. And it sounds like you speak from painful experience when talking about hugging a girl accompanied by a guy… a big, burley, ugly dude. And, hey, give the ugly chicks a bit of a thrill by giving them a squeeze now and again. Chances are they are not accompanied by said big, burley, ugly dude.

  4. Mom604Tuesday, April 17th, 2007 — 1:35pm PDT

    Well, done, Bradley. I laughed, I cried. (us ugly girls never got any hugs!)

  5. JennyTuesday, April 17th, 2007 — 3:51pm PDT

    Now I know where I can go to get some love

  6. GZ ExpatTuesday, April 17th, 2007 — 5:39pm PDT

    The flag on the car thing is so…90’s. Morons with goaties hang flags off their cars.

    I appreciate your jersey theories. I have wanted to buy a jersey with my name and number on it. I grew up wearing the same number, as it was the number of my favorite basketball player a LONG time ago. But that number is also the same as Trevor Linden. Having that number on a sweater with MY name on it…its just wrong. So, I have the plain, ‘whale’ sweater.

    As for the towel thing…although Canuck fans want to take credit in 1982…and it was used as a surrender flag initially (which is original), the idea of having a towel in hand and twirling it over your head to cheer on your team started in 1975 with the Pittsburgh Steelers…the ‘Terrible Towel’

  7. KeithWednesday, April 18th, 2007 — 12:44am PDT

    Great post, Bradley.

    I agree completely about the Car Flags, Towels and hugging (that one can get dangerous 😉 ). As for the Jersey’s I proudly wear my Blue & Red Third Jersey bearing the Linden’s name, his #16 and the ‘A’.

    What about playoff beards? Do you have any words of wisdom around that topic? Surely there’s etiquette involved there as well!

  8. JennyWednesday, April 18th, 2007 — 7:30am PDT

    Ya, I was wondering about the beards also

  9. fotoeinsThursday, April 19th, 2007 — 12:34pm PDT

    One may also want to include the addendum:

    “no rioting, please.” I’m sure the events of June 1994 need not be revisited.

  10. What a Game!!!Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 — 2:00pm PDT

    […] to Miss 604, I was up to speed on towel whippage etiquette: If you are gonna wave the towel, WAVE IT. Give it some effort. Pretty self explanatory. […]

  11. daveoTuesday, April 24th, 2007 — 5:01pm PDT

    Real fans practice growing their playoff beards all year round and then start the playoffs with a nice trimming – having a head start allows you to look playoff-ready without looking like a juvi delinquent from Whalley for the first round. Playoff mustaches are cool but the high maintianence activity of shaving and trimming is counter-intuitive to time-crunched hockey addicits.

  12. MarvinSaturday, April 28th, 2007 — 11:00pm PDT

    “GZ Expat Says:

    April 17th, 2007 at 5:39 pm
    The flag on the car thing is so…90’s. Morons with goaties hang flags off their cars.”

    Morons with goatees?

    I say it’s a good thing to show some civic pride. I’ll take over the World Cup soccer nonsense that goes on in this city, esp. on Commercial.

  13. debSunday, April 29th, 2007 — 10:01am PDT

    I don’t agree at all with the car flag/jersey thing…when it comes to team support – show all you can. Etiquette goes out the window, especially during the playoffs when’s it’s fans gone wild.

  14. debSunday, April 29th, 2007 — 10:02am PDT

    *when’s? (see, I’m already going wild!)

  15. Miss604’s Canuck Life :: A Vancouver Blog » Blog Archive » Guide to Holiday Season EtiquetteTuesday, December 11th, 2007 — 6:41pm PST

    […] to Holiday Season Etiquette You may remember his “Guide to Playoff Season Etiquette” so due to popular demand, I’ve asked my sorta brother Brad to contribute something […]

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