Many years ago I went with a friend of mine to a Syracuse University football game. I haven't been to a lot of football games over the years, which is why I seem to remember them better than I remember all the basketball games I've been to (except for the Pearl Washington shot). My friend Josh had free tickets, so I figured why not go and enjoy myself.

I remember we had a good time. We had great seats, so I only lost the ball a few times (I find it hard to find the football sometimes). Syracuse won the game, which was wonderful. One thing I'd forgotten that happens is that it's easy to get caught up in a group mentality when you're at a live game, which means screaming and cheering and sometimes booing... luckily the other team. I had the same experience this past weekend at a hockey game; I don't go often and I don't follow the team all that well, but when I'm there in person it's a blast!

At the football game, there was one fan in the crowd a few seats in front of us who couldn't contain himself. He was loud and easily heard in the cavernous stadium; it wasn't close to being packed, and in a stadium that can hold around 50,000 people, being able to hear someone yelling explains why we were able to get tickets.

This guy, wearing his Crocodile Dundee hat, couldn't find anything to be happy about. I'm sure the beer helped fan the flames some. He started on the coach after the other team scored its first touchdown too easily. There was more piling on of the coach, then it was time to yell at individual players. He took a couple of shots at the referees also, but that's to be expected.

A couple of times during the game, he got up and tried to walk down towards the bench to voice his displeasure, and his friends grabbed him and pulled him back. Josh and I wondered if it was part of a planned act, because, miraculously, he never spilled or sloshed any of his beer. However, near the end of the game, when Syracuse needed a field goal to finally put the other team away, he got away from his friends and was standing directly behind the bench, waiting to unleash a tirade if the kicker missed; he didn't, thank goodness.

As I said, we wondered if the guy was out of control, but I wasn't so sure. He was drinking a lot of beer, but I learned that he was a season ticket holder, so obviously he knew there were some limits. He also never uttered a single curse word, which I found surprising because, in today's world of lax language, if he'd really been out of control, nothing could have stopped him.

Or... maybe he was actually a good example of something I often say. I tend to believe that most people, when they say they're losing control of themselves, are actually capable of being in control of bad behavior when it's expected of them. For instance, if someone utters bad words as if it's water, you know they're not doing that where they work, or in front of their parents (most of the time anyway). In essence, they know when it's not allowable, and even if they're in the mode where they'd normally let go, they don't.

I believe this is the difference between someone who does something because it's convenient at the time, and someone who really does have a problem controlling their behavior. You can tell smokers are addicted when they have to take a break every hour to get a few puffs, especially if they're working in a no smoking environment. Addictions are a different thing than other control factors. Some people are addicted to anger, and when it manifests itself all the time, then they need help. For everyone else, they do it because they can, not because they should, but also know they can behave when necessary.

Being in control of yourself is a good thing to do. If you can't control your behavior, work on getting some kind of help. I know mores have changed drastically in the last bunch of years, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have times when you need to contain it.