Recently, I was having an argument with one of my friends about our favorite football team. During the argument, I was being really critical about our team, saying that the quarterback is a bum, and that I do not expect them to get more than 6 wins this year. My friend proceeds to tell me that I am not a true fan of the team; that I am what some would call a “bandwagon” fan. Now for one, he obviously doesn’t know the meaning of the term “bandwagon” fan; and two, a true fan of a team is without a doubt allowed to be critical about their team.
Just to get this out of the way, a “Bandwagon Fan” is someone who hops on board for the ride when a team is doing well, even though they didn’t even care beforehand. An example of what a “Bandwagon” fan would be; a majority of the Miami Heat fanbase was filled with “Bandwagon” fans when Lebron and Chris Bosh decided to form that super team with Wade. An example of what is NOT a “Bandwagon” fan would be; someone who has been a fan of the team since the beginning, has not changed his/her favorite team ever, and still watches their games even though they may not be doing so well. And in addition to that, as a fan, I have the right and the obligation to be critical about my favorite teams and the decisions that they might be making.
Let’s compare this to having dinner at a restaurant, shall we? Let’s say you go to your favorite burger place, and ask for the double supreme with bacon, and all of the fixings; but you would like it medium. Then, when you receive your burger, it was cooked past well-done, completely burnt, and it tastes like chalk. Now, do you just sit there and tell the chef that it’s not very good, but there’s always next time? Hell No! You go up to the chef, tell him/her that this tastes like a shoe, and that you would like a new burger. The same thing goes with being a fan of a sports team. Fans put money into their team’s, buying all kinds of merchandise, tickets, TV packages, and so much more. They are customers, and they have the right to say that what you are putting on the field/court/ice is garbage and that you need to do something about it.
Being a fan of a team means you have a right to say that something isn’t right, or if something needs to be changed. One of the major reasons that these organizations actually exist is because they want fans to come in and be entertained. It’s not like they just open the gates and whoever wants to come in can come in, but if there’s nobody then that’s fine too. A majority of the teams actually care about the product that they are putting out there, and they want to put a team out there that the fans and the city will be proud of. So, simply put, you don’t have to always be positive and say things like; “Aw shucks, well there’s always next time.” If the team sucks, SPEAK UP!