I went to my first football game today. And people say cosplayers are weird.. They've obviously never been to a football game.
I once heard cosplayers being compared to football fanatics, because they both share an extreme passion for their hobby. I disagreed with this at the start, but I couldn't quite pinpoint why. Maybe it was because cosplayers directly imitate their hobby, while football fans.. Well, they don't. At the game today though, I did see some awesome costumes. Football padding with metal studs, football helmets with spikes, and a full-out metal-studded uniform and skull mask with a helmet with feathers and spikes on it. That was amazing. The tricked-out gear, I would equate to, let's say, a "normal" cosplay. One that requires a fair amount of construction, but nothing over-the top. The full-out, studded, masked, feathered man I would equate to a fursuit. Even if it doesn't sound like much here, trust me, it was amazing. It obviously took a lot of thought, time, work, and money. There were also average fans with just their faces painted. It'd equate these to girls who throw on cats ears or the like. Not bad, just not cosplaying.
There is one big difference between cosplayers and football fans though. Football fans are LOUD, and many of them are obnoxious. Yes, cosplayers and con-goers can be loud, and there are the obnoxious few, but this was way different. The guy sitting in front of me at today's game yelled at the top of his lungs the entire time. He heckled the other team and it's fans. He even shot rude comments at his own team's fans, telling them "If you ain't makin' noise, go home, take a pill, and go to sleep." (To which I mentally replied "okay" and imagined I was leaving.) Don't get me wrong, I respect people and their fandom, but even a fan of the same team asked the obnoxious man to sit down and quite down, but he refused, saying, "I paid my money for this seat and I'll do what I want!" My boyfriend, whom I went with, said that he and his family have been to games where they were harassed by drunk men, fights broke out at the end of the games, and there was even a stabbing. I can't imagine being part of, and enjoying, such a rowdy fandom.
However, this difference is indeed diminishing. This past year, I attended a convention (I won't say which) where in the masquerade, I wound up sitting in front of a guy who would not stop talking during the performances. I understand wanting to discuss the skit material and topic, the costumes, if you can see them, and whatnot with your friends, but please do it quietly, or at least politely. This man behind me, and yes he was a full-grown man, who should really know better, went on and on about how attractive or unattractive the girls on stage were. Loudly. I nearly turned around and punched him. Also, whenever there was a break between skits or setup for a skit where there was silence, someone would yell out "I LOST THE GAME!" Yes, admittedly, that was fun the first thousand times, but it's getting old now. If you insist on playing, please keep it between you and your friends. even during a skit, which, no, wasn't the best, but still deserved respect, a male cosplayer on stage walked up to a female cosplayer who was lying on stage pretending to be dead, and an audience member yelled out "Surprise buttsex!" I giggled for a second before I realized just quite how rude that was...
Yet all of that was incomparable to having to sit through four hours of this football fan yelling and screaming. At least at the masquerade I could switch seats and soon as new ones opened up. All of that being said, I do respect football and its fandom, I just ask to be kindly left out of it. (And don't say cosplayers = football fans.)