Jumping on the bandwagon doesn’t make you a fan


So you’re wearing a Giants cap on your head, got on your shiny new Buster Posey jersey and have a Hunter Pence bobblehead nearby all ready to root for the Giants.

The only thing wrong with this scenario is that most folks either just purchased the merchandise or  did not wear it until after the team got into the post-season, especially once they became the National League Champions, and secured a spot in the World Series.

In fact, for many that chose to don themselves in Giants colors after their winning games, they probably haven’t watched any Giants games, or any baseball game at all the entire season.

These fans are referred to as bandwagon fans, and they seem to pop up in every single sport when the big games come around.

You’re not a Giants fan. You’re not a Seahawks or Broncos fan because you watched them in the Super Bowl earlier this year. You’re definitely not a fan just because you watched and rooted for the L.A. Kings to win the Stanley Cup.

Sporting events are not just some trending now topic to get all excited about when it happens. People can, but don’t call yourself a fan when you’re not really a fan.

True fans of a team are on the edge of their seat during tense moments, throwing things when a bad call is made or leaping up and screaming in joy when the team pulls out a win.

When a team loses they are crushed, and when the team is at their best they are right there cheering them every step of the way, even if from a distance.

They follow the team through their ups and downs, even if they know that their team is really sucking at the moment.

When the organization makes bad calls and tosses good players or rewards bad players they take it personal in many cases.

Sitting on the weekend to watch a game isn’t just something to do to pass the time, it’s a ritual of sorts. One that needs to be repeated.

Hell, even the superstitions that athletes hold, wearing the same socks or eating the same food before a game in belief that it’s good luck, go over to fans. They’ll wear the same hat during every game, or sometimes they’ll even not watch a game because the last time they didn’t watch their team actually won.

It’s good to be happy for a local team, as their success is usually good for the area. Just don’t go out and grab a bunch of stuff to blend in and pretend to be a fan.

Someone pretending and only jumping in when the going is good is not fair. Real fans fight through an entire season to get the satisfaction of seeing their team succeed.

It’s just as bad as leaping onto a television or book series that is popular once it is popular and acting as if you have been a fan all along.

It’s disingenuous. It’s not some horrible thing to do, but it’s best if you just stick to being the fan you are of other things. There is no need to fake it and jump on the train.

Those seats on the train are better left for true fans.