Three things are certain in this world: death, taxes, and bandwagon fans. Over the years, monumental events in the sporting world caused an influx of fans jumping on the bandwagon. For instance, the perennial success of LeBron James wherever he goes and the rise of the Golden State Warriors have attracted many such fans. Don’t know if you or someone you know has become a bandwagoner? Here are a few telltale signs:
1. Having more than one favorite team in a sport.
This idea is very basic: If you have a favorite team without any close seconds, then you are not a bandwagon fan. However, if you support the Redskins because you grew up in Washington D.C., but later move to New England, you cannot support both the Patriots and the Redskins. Look at yourself in the mirror—if your support sways from team to team like a blade of grass in the wind, you are clearly a glory hunter.
2. Not knowing the team and its history.
True fans should be able to identify their team’s players or recite the team’s history in their sleep. The Golden State Warriors have been dominating the NBA as of late, and bandwagon fans are flocking to the West Coast. But can these fans name any players on the team before the Curry era? Does “Run TMC” have any significance to them? If “no,” they are most likely a bandwagoners.
3. Switching teams because you go wherever your favorite player goes.
For all you soccer lovers, I’ll put this idea in terms you can understand. This summer, Romelu Lukaku moved from Everton, a mid-table team, to Manchester United, arguably the best team in England right now. If you think by any means that just because Lukaku is your favorite player, you can switch because he switched, you’re just plain wrong. Determining favorite teams based on where players go does not make you a true fan. As a fan of all sports, I have certain players, like LeBron James, that I pay attention to, but by no means would I ever root for him to win if he played against my beloved 76ers.
4. You don’t live near the team or have familial ties.
I’m sorry, but giving an excuse along the lines of, “I’ve supported them ever since I was young,” is not going to cut it. I understand if you are from Boston or Jamaica and you want to root for a Premier League team, but to say you are a true fan through thick and thin is plain BS, especially with no real reason for supporting the team.
5. You have never experienced a losing season.
Lastly, it is really easy for bandwagon fans to hop on the glory train when the team is doing well but quick to hop off when the team struggles. The best example of this comes from the great city of Philadelphia. If you think for one second you can say the words “Trust the Process” and not be able to name five players on the 2013-14 76ers roster, you are a disgrace.
The true fans of the game know who they are—if you’re one of them, be proud that you have been by your team’s side through thick and thin. And if you see a bandwagon fan, don’t even give them the time of day. Chances are, when they talk sports, they have no idea what they’re talking about.