Top 10 Delusional Fanbases in Sports
If your particular team makes this list, please do not take offense. Delusional fanbases are often largely caused by a bandwagon effect. Less informed fans swell the ranks and their delusion taints the entire group.
For instance, as a N.Y. Giants fan, I was exposed to an enormous bandwagon effect prior to the Super Bowl. Essentially, they were convinced that the New England Patriots posed no threat at all and it would be an easy win. Consider that the two teams played in the regular season down to the wire and the Patriots were on a 10-game winning streak. I did not see anyway that it was not going to be a close game.
The Giants escape the list because the bandwagon in New York has moved to Madison Square Garden. An ever-present bandwagon exists in the Bronx.
Also, in the Northeast we will visit New England and Philadelphia. Following that, we will be taking our talents to South Beach, say hello to SEC country and pay a visit to the house that Jerry built in Dallas.
We also will check in with a nomadic fanbase, as this player travels often. Finally, we will also check in at the Mile High City.
Tiger Woods: The Entire World
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He is the fan of golf when Tiger plays, but he never watches a single hole without him. He predicts him to win every tournament and is actually surprised when he does not. If you mention the name "Ben Hogan," they most likely think you mean "Hulk."
Tiger will inevitably return to greatness solely based on the fact that he is Tiger Woods. Any problems putting or with his swing will get fixed because he is Tiger Woods. That is the only answer needed for the delusional fan of his.
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America's Team should be renamed America's Bandwagon. They stole many people my age from the New York era, as children did not have much patience for the Dave Brown era of the Giants. The appeal of Troy Aikman, Emmit Smith, Michael Irvin and Jimmy Johnson was quite strong. They even managed to recruit LeBron James.
Getting spoiled as a child can lead to frustration later on. This may cause you to blame people like QB Tony Romo. The real culprit is owner Jerry Jones, who: replaced Bill Parcells with two head coaches who are clear subordinates, brought in multiple troubled players and Roy Williams, etc. But many choose to blame the problem on Tony Romo.
New York Rangers
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The Giants' bandwagon has hit the Broadway Blueshirts. While the Rangers are having a very good season, I would not be waltzing them to the Stanley Cup Final just yet. Many good Ranger fans are getting very excited. After all, the last time they challenged for the best record in the league was 1994, when they won the Stanley Cup. Good memories are abundant.
The bandwagon fans are emerging with absolutely no idea that many teams are going to be a tough out in the East. They also have no clue that the Rangers are having a tremendous difficulty generating offense. They see Marion Gaborik and Brad Richards, meaning the offense is fine.
If the Rangers finish first, the cockiness factor will be off the charts. If the Rangers are upset, the bandwagon fans will be unable to comprehend how such an upset could have occurred to the No. 1 seed.
Personally, I am not looking forward to having to explain forecheck systems, power-play setups and other details to people who don't know what offsides is.
If you are planning a parade for the Rangers right now, you're a delusional fan.
The Vancouver Canucks lost both of their Stanley Cup appearances in 1994 and 2011. Riots have erupted in the streets following each defeat. Actual riots, not just some minor property damage which may get labeled as one. Many other cars met the same fiery fate as the picture to the left displays.
Notre Dame Football
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I actually am a fan of Notre Dame football, but not to the point that I live and die with them. Seemingly every year, Notre Dame is ready to get back to an elite status. Whether it be from highly-rated recruits, good bowl games the previous year or perceived talent ready to contribute, we hear that they are close.
The two most recent examples are the 2011 and 2009 seasons. Notre Dame was given a preseason top 20 ranking and was considered a BCS Bowl contender. They finished 6-6 in 2009 and Charlie Weis was fired. They ended up with the same 8-5 record in 2011 that they had in 2010.
Notre Dame needs to go out and win a BCS game before they are declared close to "being back."
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Let's keep this simple. Miami is a horrible sports city. Fans do not care unless they have a big winner.
Now onto people who became fans of the Heat after the Big Three united. Why root for cowards? You think Magic Johnson and Larry Bird would have joined with Michael Jordan in an attempt to make a joke out of the league? That is exactly what LeBron did when he went to Miami. He backed down from trying to win and has become a sidekick.
It should be plainly obvious why people hate the Miami Heat and LeBron James especially. They took the easy way out by not embracing a challenge. They declared multiple championships before a game was played. Finally, LeBron acts like a self-centered child, and it becomes more evident by the month.
The delusional fans of Miami will label you a hater and as jealous. You should appreciate the greatness of talent assembled. I would appreciate it if they faced off against each other. Otherwise, it is a team of cowards.
New York Knicks
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Jeremy Lin has unleashed Linsanity in New York. The Harvard educated, undrafted point guard who has been with several organizations has played a great few games. He was serrated with MVP chants following a 38-point performance against the Los Angeles Lakers.
It certainly appears that he was overlooked for some reason and could be a solid answer at PG this year. However, no player of MVP quality could possibly have gone through two teams and been undrafted.
In a way, you can't blame the fanbase for getting excited. The Isaiah Thomas Years made the team a joke and home games were showcases for other teams' superstars. So with the improvement that happened last year, many of them are going to be optimistic.
Then Carmelo Anthony came. True fans knew this meant a step back to hopefully better things down the road. The bandwagon fan sees a superstar entering town and expects a run in the playoffs. Now they expect a title again when Carmelo and Amare Stoudmire return, not realizing the effect it will have on the offense.
Jeremy Lin wins MVP, and the Knicks will roll to the title in their minds.
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Tim Tebow certainly provided some dramatic moments last season. He showed a remarkable ability to remain confident and focused at all times. What he did not show is any indication that he should be the franchise quarterback. With only a 46.5 percent completion rate and a clear regression at the end of the season, why commit to him?
Well apparently, Tim Tebow is capable of winning games that defy explanation. He is also capable of radically changing the quarterback position. He also plays defense and special teams, or at least deserves credit for the plays they make.
It is quite funny that none of this delusional banter is served on Cardinals QB Matt Skelton. Skelton went 5-2 as a starter for the 8-8 Cardinals. In every win he had a game-winning drive and had four comebacks in the final quarter. He also had terrible numbers and Arizona is not committing to him.
Maybe Tebow can really improve, but to commit the franchise to him based on that season is delusional, unless you want to be a losing franchise.
New York Yankees
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A generation has emerged that first remembers the 1996 Yankees. Given the franchise's success since that point, very little humility develops. Baseball Reference currently projects them to spend $209 million for their 2012 payroll. This is $40 million more than the next closest team.
That difference is seen as irrelevant because other teams also have high payrolls. However, that amount of money is good enough for Tim Lincecum and Matt Kemp. I am sure they would not be of any help.
Many of these people see the World Series as a divine right to the Yankees. Listen to WFAN during hot stove season to hear people propose a bag of balls and Francisco Cervelli for Felix Hernandez. Don't teams have to accept offers from the Yankees?
It is a land where all free agents must sign with the Yankees. All Yankee trade proposals must be accepted. Half of the major league teams serve as the Yankees' farm system. A place where a $200 million payroll does not offer an advantage over other high-spending teams. A team that can pay players for past performance, like Derek Jeter.
If by some circumstance they do not win the World Series, heads will row. Trade Mark Teixeira. Send CC Sabathia to fat camp. Get A-Rod a shrink. Steal Joe Girardi's binder so he has to manage with his gut. It is a scary place to visit after a somber October.
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Obviously, not a particular team, but these fans deserve mention. The BCS is perhaps the stupidest way to determine a champion in sports. The FBS needs a playoff system like every other division of college football and the NFL.
The arguments against a playoff system are silly. They usually include the season being too long, the regular season being ruined and loosing the storied bowl games.
The FCS level has a 20-team playoff and teams play up to 15 games. So clearly, the longer season is not an issue. Regular-season games would be pivotal for seeding purposes and getting in the dance. You could keep the four major bowls; just rotate them between the championship, consolation and semifinal games.