Alex Lehmbeck | Contributing Editor
As a true sports fan, it’s impossible to separate sports from your everyday life. A 24-hour-period doesn’t pass by that doesn’t involve you checking your team’s latest activity, and there’s nothing better than game day.
You’ll need your living environment to reflect your passion. This mindset especially applies during a global pandemic. Without the ability to go cheer on your team in person amongst other fans, sports fans have had to acclimate themselves to creating a home game experience in their own homes. To feel like the stadium on game day, your house or apartment needs a few quick additions that will create a world of difference.
Here are the best options to transform your apartment into the prime location for kick off.
If you choose to take one thing away from this article, make it this — put up team posters. This is far and away the cheapest and most productive way to show off your team. While sports memorabilia can get pretty expensive, you can acquire schedule posters for your team for free. Nearly every sporting event features a stand somewhere in the concourse that will give these out to anyone who wants them. Colleges and professional teams want their fans to have these, because the more people that know the schedule, the more money they will make from ticket revenue or fans tuning in on the television. Most collegiate programs have promotional events where people can pick up these posters as well.
A schedule poster works perfectly for your apartment for dual purposes — it looks good, and it’s helpful. You’ll never have to waste time typing “Pitt football schedule” into your Google search bar, as you can just look at your living room wall to know exactly when you can catch the Panthers next and against whom. These posters usually take up a lot of space and attention, so you can use them as the base to your gameday environment, setting the tone for visitors on the territory they’ve entered.
If you don’t feel the need for the team’s schedule on your wall, or want a better aesthetic, you can purchase large or small posters for your team for a pretty cheap price. Get one of your favorite player, and remember to thank them for all the joy they’ve provided you every time you walk by it.
These can take more of a dent out of your wallet but will last you for a long time. Put a street sign at your apartment’s entrance, letting your visitors know exactly what organization you support when they walk through the door. If you have a driveway, make sure you declare it a fan-affiliated parking lot.
In my case, these signs served as a perfect holiday gift for the family. I purchased my father a customized sign (seen above) that signified his distance from the Petersen Events Center. As a Pitt fan in Virginia, he loved the reminder to plan a visit to Pittsburgh to watch the Panthers hit the court.
It wouldn’t be a sports fan apartment without a sports-themed refrigerator. Take advantage of that magnetic block taking up space in your kitchen by turning it into a customizable palette.
Just like schedule posters, you can usually get schedule magnets for free from your favorite team’s sporting event. Next time you retrieve some butter or eggs, make sure to check that you aren’t missing a Pitt sporting event in your naivety.
Magnets present a cheap option to show team pride. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but nobody cares about the countless polaroids of your beach trip that you taped all over the fridge to relive the glory days. Instead, do your guests a favor and put up something that everyone can appreciate — the classic, beautiful Pitt script.
Be warned — this isn’t for everyone. It takes a special kind of psycho to shell out a hundred bucks to stamp a life-sized cut-out of a person who plays sports for a living to your wall. But if that athlete means enough to you, it might just be worth it.
Make sure you’re careful with which Fathead you choose, though. You’ll want to choose a safe option for such a grand purchase. Pick a player who has already cemented their legacy over years of success, like Sidney Crosby for Penguins fans. Don’t choose someone who’s unproven and is only temporarily a fan-favorite. I feel for the Dwayne Haskins fans who purchased his Fathead feeling the hype this offseason, only for Ron Rivera to bench him four games into his sophomore season, putting him on the trade block as yet another disappointment in Washington.