Bandwagon jumpers, also known as front-runners, also known as faux fans, absolutely disgust me. Now, “wagoneers” come in several different categories, and I’ll briefly explain a few of them. First you have your “Hometown Wagon Jumpers”. These are the folks who may not follow a particular sport, or may not even follow sports in general, but when one of their hometown teams get on a miraculous postseason run, they hop on the bandwagon, even if only to avoid being left out of the city’s excitement. I’ve witnessed this in Philadelphia over the past several years as baseball and now hockey fans have come out of the woodwork.
Then you have your “Hometown Frontrunners”. This is the group who can care less about the hometown teams unless they’re doing well. This may sound similar to the “Hometown Wagon Jumpers”, but this group is comprised of knowledgeable sports fans that actually follow the sport or sports in question. However, their televisions stay on a different channel and the stadium/arena seats stay empty until the team starts to show some promise, and when that team is finally considered good or “special”, the television ratings start to suddenly skyrocket and the arena is miraculously filled for the rest of the season. (See Miami Heat fans in the 2005-2006 NBA Season. Even their President & General manager Pat Riley jumped on the bandwagon by forcing Stan Van Gundy out and making himself head coach of an obvious contender).
Then there are the “face-savers”. These are the ones who pick teams that they saw winning when they were young, newbie sports fans. Later in life when those teams stink and aren’t worth rooting for, you don’t hear much about them but they still claim them to save face and avoid getting called out by assholes like me. Then when those teams are back on top, jerseys are purchased, car flags are flown, and they represent as if they never left.
Finally, you have your straight up “Wagon Groupies” who hitch their wagons to one of the odds-on favorites in each sport year after year. This is the most shameless of the bunch because their “loyalties” have the potential to change every year. Year after year, they’re representing different teams and act as if they have no clue why other sports fans they know look at them with a crooked eye. Every year, they have a new “childhood team” (even if that team is an expansion team that wasn’t around in their childhood), or so it seems.
Now don’t get me wrong…this is a free country, so wagoneers have the right to root for whomever they please, whenever they please. My biggest beef with them is that they always sought out the most die-hard fan they know to talk their trash. I think THEY THINK it makes them look and feel more “die-hard” to pick fights with REAL “die-hards”. Just know that if you have to constantly explain your “fanhood” to people you talk to every day, then we know you’re not real. So my message to the “Wagon Contingent” remains………….”WE DON’T BELIEVE YOU. YOU NEED MORE PEOPLE!”
GET OFF THE BANDWAGON!!