Watching football, specifically the NFL, can be a great social activity. You can talk to your friends, eat snacks, and yell at the TV. However, like everything else in life, it can be ruined when people do not follow the proper etiquette. Fortunately, you have me to guide you through this process.
I am a lifelong fan of the Denver Broncos, having grown up in Denver. Like many fans, I also have a second favorite team in the other conference, the Minnesota Vikings. Even as a kid, I liked the Vikings enough to be sad when they failed to advance to the Super Bowl after the 1988 season. I will cheer for those two teams with the Broncos trumping the Vikings when they play each other every four years. This background information is important as I set several scenarios for football watching etiquette.
Scenario #1: The 2013 season kicks off with the Broncos hosting the Ravens. If I host the game at my house, then the people coming to watch should cheer for the Broncos. The exception, of course, is if someone is a lifelong Ravens fan. They should feel free to cheer for their team but not be too obnoxious about it since they are at someone's house. As the host, as long as I am not being a jerk to the Ravens fan, am free to be as excited about the game as I want.
Scenario #2: I am invited to my friend Zach's house (difficult since he lives in Florida) to watch the Chiefs play the Chargers. Zach is a MO native and a lifelong Chiefs fan. I can't stand the Chiefs since they are a division rival but I also don't like the Chargers for the same reason. If either the Broncos or Vikings were playing the Chiefs I could feel free to cheer for those teams. Since they are not, I feel that I should rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. For the sake of my friend, I should cheer for his team to win. Even if it is the Chiefs. (Did I just write that?)
Scenario #3: The Raiders are playing. There is no scenario where I could cheer for the Raiders. Let's move on.
Scenario #4: I invited some friends to watch the Broncos vs. Raiders. One of them comes in and asks who everyone is cheering for. When we say the Broncos, he responds with "ok, I am going to cheer for the Raiders." That fan is the worst. Don't be that guy. He is not going to get another invitation to watch football.
The most important thing to remember in football watching etiquette is that friendship always trumps football. Except for Raider fans. Nobody is that good of a friend.
Two weeks before the start of the season! Go Broncos!