Life on the road

Hitting the road to follow your favourite team, no matter the sport, can be an almost spiritual pilgrimage for some, and simply an excuse to party and get rowdy for others. Several bus tour companies operate in Winnipeg, offering a convenient option to follow your favourite team on the road.

Life on the road can be rough. Fans of the host city can be less-than-hospitable at times, so if you want to make it back home alive and intact, here are some valuable tips to keep you safe.

1.Know your drinking limitations
It’s just common sense, but it’s worth noting. Every bus tour I’ve been on has featured copious amounts of drinking, and it’s always a good idea to avoid getting absolutely wasted, especially when you’re in the U.S.. Nothing will ruin your weekend faster than a hospital visit, getting into a physical confrontation with another fan, or spending some time in the local jail. Plus, you’ll be able to remember what happened during the game!

2. Don’t say anything you might regret later
Chirping and playful ribbing between rival fans is essential to keep sports rivalries alive and well, but while you’re deep in enemy territory, just respect the fact that you’re out of your element. Once the game is over, you’re going to have to wander through crowds either as a proud victor in a sea of bitter losers, or a disappointed loser in a sea of boastful winners. Anything stupid you say or do will come to represent your team’s entire fan base — remember that.

3. Always wear your team’s colours
What’s the point in traveling on a smelly bus for many hours to support your team, only to standout among the die-hards when you arrive at your destination? It’s important to pack as many jerseys, shirts, hats and whatever else you’ve got related to your favourite team as possible. No matter what you get up to before or after the game, everyone should know exactly where you’re from and which team you represent.

4.Never wander the city alone
If you find yourself looking for something to do at night during your sports trip, it’s sensible to tag along with some fellow fans from your trip. I’m not saying that you will always find trouble if you go out alone, but if you’re hoping to hit up a local watering hole or club, there’s always a chance things could go sideways in a hurry. There’s something about sports rivalries and drinking that creates a powder keg needing just one uninhibited moron to set off. It also helps if you’ve got a friend who’s a fan of the local team in your entourage to help calm the situation if a dispute arise.

In summary, if you don’t lose control of your inhibitions and stay relatively respectful of your hosts, you should have the time of your life following your team into battle on the road.