Going to an NFL game for the time can be both exciting and intimidating. But if done right, even a casual fan will find themselves hooked for life. This is what happened to me personally when I purchased season tickets over a decade ago. (Thank you, Mr. Blank) If you are looking to go to your first Atlanta Falcons game this year, then here are some important things to know when purchasing your tickets.
Where to sit:
A new fans first instinct is to get as close to the field as possible, but this is the worst place for a first time attendee. The closer one gets to the field, the more blind spots there will be. While there might be a bigger impact for fans on a few plays, other plays will be harder to see.
Instead, fans should seek tickets from the second level up to row 15 of the third level. This will provide a great view of the entire field. I would also recommend the corner sections near either end zone. I have tried other angles and other levels, but these are not only the least expensive seats but the best viewing experience as well.
How to watch:
There is no instruction booklet given on how to enjoy an NFL game, and fans are sometimes put off by not being spoonfed the action like on television. There is one simple rule to enjoy the far immersive live experience. Follow the ball. It sounds simple and it is. Follow the ball from snap to tackle. It won’t be long before you are able to take in far more activity than you are allowed to see broadcast on television.
When to cheer:
This is one of the most important lessons for any fan attending an NFL game! Unlike any other sport, fan participation can truly affect an NFL game. You are not simply invigorating your favorite team. Fan noise disrupts the communication of opposing teams and can directly hinder their performance.
O means no! If your team has the ball, then you are silent until after the ball is snapped. Period. If your team is on defense, then you scream like you are on fire being chased by a pack of wolves. Do not worry what anyone around you may think. This means a lot to the team, and is contagious. Other fans will join eventually.
When it comes to standing, follow the crowd. No one wants to try and watch the game with your hind quarters in the middle of their view. There will be times to stand and cheer, and you will find those to be obvious.
Which games to attend:
2012 will be an exciting year for the Falcons home schedule. While there will be great opponents, there are also some pitfalls to a schedule like this. Make sure you choose an appropriate game for your situation.
November 18th versus Arizona Cardinals will be your safest bet, especially if bringing children. Cardinal fans do not travel well and there is no rivalry between the two teams. This would be the perfect game for first time ticket buyers.
September 17th versus Denver Broncos might be the best choice for adult fans. Monday night games always have the best atmosphere. Denver Bronco fans travel well, but are far better behaved than most teams.
Which games to avoid:
The biggest problem the Atlanta Falcons 2012 home schedule is that some notoriously unruly fan bases will be coming in to the Georgia Dome this year. There are some games that you should avoid bringing children to.
October 14th versus Oakland Raiders may be one of those games. Raider fans have a reputation that they have earned in the headlines. While fans of New Orleans and Dallas can be the most annoying, you may want to avoid the game against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers seem to inspire more anger than any other fans that enter the Georgia Dome. I don’t know why, but I have seen the parking lots turn into war zones after those games.
In closing, I would remind you to enjoy yourself. Leave the stress of the real world at the turnstile and let loose. You may become an NFL addict. I did.