I need a ruling - If I go to a Washington Nationals game when they are playing the Cubs IN DC, is it still bad form if I wear a White Sox hat there? Or is it only bad form if I wear a Sox hat to a Cubs game at Wrigley?
-Confused in DC
Personally, I wouldn't do it because the Sox are a Chicago team and people might mistakenly think you're rooting for Chicago - which, in this case, would be bad, because you'd be rooting for the cubs. Many people outside of the city don’t realize the inherent animosity between fans and think you were just rooting for your home team. You don’t want anyone making that mistake.
Your best bet would be to wear something for the Nationals or something completely neutral (and root for the Nationals – hey, someone has to). Watch out for team colors, because at a sporting event, the neutral genre is not limited to something with no logos.
In general, I think that you shouldn't wear anything having to do with any team not involved in the game you are watching. This would include wearing stuff from a different sport, but the same city - wearing Bears’ gear to a White Sox game, or Bulls’ stuff to a Bears’ game (or any other city you might live in). It’s great that you like a lot of sports, but it just doesn’t apply, you know?
Having said that; hats are sort of a different issue. Some people have deep relationships with their baseball caps, and rarely go anywhere without them. For example, I sat next to a guy at the Sox game last night who was wearing a Kane County Cougars hat – for those that don’t know, the Cougars are a minor-league tem. That’s sort of cool. It’s a little obscure, but it fit within the context of the game, plus he had other Sox stuff on and it was clear he wore that Cougars hat everywhere. If you have a Redskins hat that you wear everywhere, go ahead and wear it to the Nationals game.
In this specific case, I would leave the hat at home, due to the possible confusion of Chicago support. If it were a Dodgers or, God forbid, a Yankees hat, I’d say you were in the clear.