Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The 5 Spookiest Fanbases in Football

Photo credit:
Every sport has its passionate fans, but football tends to bring out some of the more creative and diehard fanbases. From homemade costumes and lots of face paint to pre-game rituals, fans of certain teams just do it better and scarier than everyone else. In celebration of Halloween, here are five of the spookiest fanbases in football.

1. Oakland Raiders
No discussion about football fans is complete without Raider Nation. What started in the team’s first stay in Oakland as a counterpoint to San Francisco’s white collar vibe, fans of the Raiders go big every game. Every jersey is accented with face paint, anything black is repurposed for the game and it generally feels like you’re in a Mad Max movie if you happen to be sitting in Oakland’s famed Black Hole fan section. Enter if you dare.

2. Cleveland Browns
The team may be in the midst of a historically bad stretch, but that hasn’t stopped their fans from coming out in droves (or packs). The team’s most passionate fans sit in the Dawg Pound section and wear a variety of dog masks over their faces. What started as a few droopy Bloodhound masks has gotten spookier and creepier over the years, including wolves and 3-headed monsters like this one. Good dog.

Photo credit:
3. Seattle Seahawks
In the city known for its incredibly loud fans and “12th Man” deafening noise, Seahawks fans have begun to embrace their teams colors in recent years and taken a page out of Raider Nation’s playbook. Enter this horrifyingly muscular creature. Whether you’re seated next to Hulk 2.0 or a face-painted screaming fan, it’s not the most inviting environment.

Photo credit:
4. Green Bay Packers
These fans are more crazy than they are spooky. In America’s Great White North, there’s a battle going on between NFC North Bears and Packers fans for who can withstand the coldest game temperatures possible. As least they’re wearing beanies in this photo. We’re shivering just looking at them and thinking of the head cold that likely soon followed.
Photo credit:
5. Philadelphia Eagles
You’re likely to run into nightmarish fans like this one here, but the spookiest thing about Eagles fans is their relentlessness. If you stand out in the crowd during an away game, expect to get incessantly heckled by the Philly faithful. Make any kind of public gaffe? You’re public enemy #1. Keep your head down, wear neutral colors and reserve your celebrations for the car ride home.

Photo credit:
So there you have it: Our top five spookiest, most intimidating, scariest fanbases in football. Did we miss any? Did we get any wrong? Let us know in the comments below, and have a Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

6 Tips for a Successful Tailgate in the Rain

Only amateurs let a little rain scare them away from a tailgate. With preparation and the right attitude in mind, you can prevent the weather from putting a halt to your fun on game day. You’ve probably already got the attitude part down, so here are some tips on how to prepare for a tailgate in the rain.

1. Optimize Your Shelter
First and foremost, you want to make sure your shelter is in tip-top shape, and that starts with checking for any potential leaks in your canopy. Because you normally use a canopy for shade, you may not have noticed any small holes in it. With everyone huddled in the tent on game day, you want to make the best use of your space. And don’t forget to pack some handy duct tape to take care of those last-minute leaks!

Photo credit:
Next, you want to rainproof your canopy with some walls and a gutter system. The canopy walls will keep you sheltered if you start to experience that heavy horizontal rain, and the gutter system will prevent the top of your tent from collecting a pool of rain and caving in. It sort of defeats the purpose of having a canopy if you have water coming at you from all angles. You can buy the canopy walls and gutter system or just use tarps for makeshift canopy walls and hula hoops to prevent the top of your tent from caving in.

2. Bring Extra Clothes
Ponchos, rain shoes, rain jackets, umbrellas, trench coats - bring it all! You never know what level of rain you’re going to get, so go ahead and assume the worst. You’ll be grateful that you brought everything once it starts to pour. Plus, you can save someone’s day by lending him or her an extra jacket if he or she forgot one at home. You should also bring an extra change of clothes, especially if you plan on heading inside the stadium later. You don’t want to ruin your clothes while you’re setting up and end up having to sit in wet clothes all day. You might go for something more casual during your tailgate, but once you’re inside, don’t forget to wear something colorful to get you noticed, like colorful game bibs - which leads to our next tip.

3. Get Noticed
On game day, you want your friends to be able to find your tent in the murky, gray weather. What better way to stand out from the crowd than in some colorful game bibs? You’ll really stand out if you get a bunch of your friends to dress up in game bibs with you. Who’s going to miss the crowd of people all wearing colorful bibs? Wear them under a matching poncho, or you can even wear them over regular clothes to keep you extra dry.

4. Arrive Even Earlier
Every experienced tailgater knows how important it is to arrive early to get your tailgate started on the right foot. Premium spots are limited, and they are even fewer on rainy days. Nothing is worse than getting stuck at the lowest point of the parking lot and ending up in a flood area. So get there as early as possible to make sure you score an area on higher ground, which will make all the difference in the world when it rains.

5. Keep It Simple
Save the five-course gourmet meal for another day. This is probably not the tailgate where you want to go all out with the food you serve, so keep it simple with handheld food and save space in your tent. You won’t be able to fit as many people in your tent if you serve plate food, so it’s better to just stick to grill food like wings, burgers and chips and dip. Plus, you have enough to worry about as it is preparing for the rain, and you’ll just be adding more to your plate if you have to worry about cooking for and cleaning up after more elaborate meal options.

6. Exercise Caution
Err on the side of caution on a cloudy game day. If you think there is even the smallest chance of rain, go ahead and prepare for it. Even if the weather radar says there won’t be rain, it doesn’t hurt to be a little cautious, and you will be grateful that you listened to your gut when it starts to pour later. Once it starts to rain, it’s also time to turn off your generator. Your first instinct might be to just cover it up with a tarp, but this is a really bad idea that can lead to accidents. The generator needs to be in a dry area with proper ventilation, so covering it is literally playing with fire. It’s not worth ruining your fun over this.

Don’t let the weather stop you from enjoying a proper tailgate. With a little preparation, your rainy tailgates are sure to be just as fun. And remember that the most important thing on game day is your enthusiasm and passion for the sport, so don’t sweat the little things like your clothes getting wet. What are some ways you prepare for a rainy tailgate? And what are some of your stories? Let us know in the comments below and stay dry out there!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Seeing Blue in Pro Sports

Photo credit:
This postseason will mark the fourth straight year that all four competitors in the League Championship Series feature some shade of blue predominantly in their uniforms. In the American League, you have to go back 13 years to the 2005 matchup between the White Sox and the Angels to find the first series that didn’t include blue uniforms. The National League is a bit more recent, with the 2014 matchup paring the black-and-orange Giants against the red Cardinals. Why is blue such a popular color in baseball and sports for that matter?

Considering the generations of history some of these baseball teams have, it’s easy to see why blue is included in their uniforms. Blue fabric dyes were easier to naturally make from plants before synthetics came along, making blue much cheaper than brighter, vibrant colors. A darker uniform color was also less likely to show dirt and wear, and baseball teams at the turn of the century weren’t tossing their uniforms in the wash between every game.

Photo credit:
On the psychological side of things, blue is a calming color that is associated with tradition, stability and uniformity. Considering its natural presence in much of daily life, it’s also one of the most viewed colors in the natural light spectrum. Sports teams want to tap into that color psychology, giving their fans something that’s visually pleasing and comforting to look at on television or from the stands.

Statistically speaking, blue-clad teams have performed well over the course of baseball history, and sports history for that matter. Here are some of the most successful teams in North American sports, all of whom happen to wear a shade of blue:

  • New York Yankees - 27 World Series championships in 40 appearances
  • Los Angeles/Brooklyn Dodgers - 6 World Series championships in 19 appearances
  • Toronto Maple Leafs - 13 Stanley Cup championships in 21 appearances
  • Golden State Warriors - 6 NBA Finals championships in 10 appearances
  • Chicago Bears - 9 NFL championships/Super Bowl championships in 19 appearances
  • New England Patriots - 5 Super Bowl championships in 10 appearances
  • Los Angeles Galaxy - 5 MLS Cup championships in 9 appearances
  • Minnesota Lynx - 4 WNBA Finals championships in 6 appearances

Photo credit:
You get the picture, blue teams just win! While this baseball season won’t produce a champion that doesn’t don blue, the tournament and its history certainly speaks to the success and popularity of the color. What do you think of teams wearing blue? Is it a tired color that needs to be replaced? Let us know in the comments below, and enjoy the last three series of the baseball season!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

MLB Playoff Predictions Based on Color Schemes

After a grueling up-and-down season that took one day longer than scheduled to determine seeding, the MLB playoffs are finally upon us. This year brings a lot of familiar faces to the postseason tournament, with a few new entries to break up the monotony and provide some different colors to look at during the game. For that reason, it seems only natural to give our predictions for the playoffs based on team colors!

Yankees/Athletics vs. Red Sox
Green and yellow is one of the most underrated color combinations in sports, and we kind of appreciate that so few teams use it. It doesn’t overstay its welcome and has great balance. On the flip side, the Yankees just LOOK like they know how to wear navy blue more than anyone else. It’s a toss-up, but we’ll take Oakland to advance and face Boston. 

Photo credit:
In the Red Sox, we have another team that just LOOKs like they know how to wear navy blue and red more than anyone else. That’s saying a lot, considering how overused the color combination is in baseball. We’ll keep riding the green wave and go with Oakland all the way to the ALCS!

Astros vs. Indians
Get ready for a visual snoozer, unless Houston busts out their orange tops. Orange is a great color, and the Astros do a good job of utilizing it in their uniforms without overdoing it. Houston tops the Indians in the battle of navy blue.

The Astros know their way around orange, but the Athletics have been a color combination mainstay for decades and decades. No one has come close to replicating the simplicity of their colors and uniform, despite their best efforts. It’ll be close, but you just can’t beat Oakland’s color combo.

Cubs/Rockies vs. Brewers
Photo credit:
In one corner, we have tried-and-true red and royal blue, in the other corner, we have the remnants of the 1990s color fad. Kudos to Colorado for not bending to pressure and changing up their color scheme like the Marlins, Rays and Diamondbacks all did, but you can’t top tradition. Cubs pass the test in this one.

We’re firm believers that the Brew Crew should’ve never moved away from royal blue and yellow back in their golden years. The colors were balanced, that glove logo was a thing of design beauty and the league just doesn’t need more navy blue. That being said, the Brewers look has grown on us. Milwaukee squirms by with a close color scheme victory.

Braves vs. Dodgers
Like the Red Sox, the Braves just LOOK like they know how to wear navy blue and red. The Dodgers also know their way around royal blue. This will be a visually-pleasing matchup, and we expect it to be hard-fought on the field. The Braves’ colors win, but just barely.

Navy blue and gold against navy blue and red! If you see the Brewers enough, the nice touches of gold and script letters begin to grow on you. Respect to the Braves for (mostly) not messing with their uniforms over the years, but it’s time for the navy blue and gold of the Brewers to take the win.

World Series
In a tough battle of modern navy blue and gold design and traditional green and yellow elements, it’s difficult to know which one to pick. The yellow just pops on Oakland’s uniforms, and the gold of Milwaukee’s tends to get lost in the background, despite the nice design. Oakland runs away with it.

Photo credit:
As always, we’re likely to be wrong on our picks, but seeing as how we know a thing or two about team colors and fan fashion, we think we’ll be right more often than we’re wrong. Who do you think will walk away with the World Series title? Which matchups are you hoping to see in the various series? Let us know in the comments below!