The 20 Biggest Bandwagon Fan Teams

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2013

The 20 Biggest Bandwagon Fan Teams

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    Besides being extremely passionate, sports fans are absolutely stubborn.

    So when someone comes at us declaring that we're only rooting for a team because they're winning, it can cause some serious debate as to what we have and haven't dealt with in our fan lives.

    Sadly though, it does happen. Which is why we're giving you the teams most commonly affected by bandwagon syndrome.

20. Miami (FL) Hurricanes Basketball

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    During any NFL broadcast, there's a good chance that you'll hear a player introduce themselves as a proud grad or former player of "The U."

    But when it comes to basketball, the hooping Canes don't get quite the same support.

    The team may have won the ACC regular season and tourney title—helping secure a No. 2 seed in this year's NCAA tourney—but few Miami fans have been there through the bad times too.

19. Tiger Woods' Fans

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    As a golf fan, we admit that it's good for the sport to have Tiger in contention on Sunday.

    What we don't like is how the entire gallery at these majors continues to pull for the guy with each ball strike, hoping he wins, yet couldn't care less about Woods on any other day.

    The flip side to that are the fans who only cheer for him because it's all they know as a golf fan. 

    Dig a little deeper, man.

18. Anaheim Ducks

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    Though some of us older 20-somethings have a soft spot for the Ducks thanks to the early-'90s Mighty Ducks flicks, most current fans can't even back them for that reason!

    Filling just 92 percent of their home seats, it's clear Ducks supporters don't recognize their team currently sits atop the Pacific Division—or that they won a Stanley Cup as recently as 2007.

17. Cleveland Indians

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    As a native Northeastern-Ohioan, here is an exact conversation I had with a buddy this weekend about the Indians. Mind you, we're less than 10 games into the season.

    Me: "So, gotten to any Tribe games at all this season?"

    Him: "Dude, they suck. Unless Justin Masterson's pitching improves, there's really no reason to go to a game since the pitching blows."

    And that, my friends, sums up Cleveland Indians fans.

16. Manchester United

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    For every reason you'd imagine, Man U fans are absolutely nuts.

    For being the most valuable sports franchise on the planet—as well as one of the most successful—Reds supporters have a mix of both blue blood and new age, making them an easy team to support.

    Yes, they're the Yankees of the U.K.

15. New York Yankees

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    Speaking of the Bronx Bombers, if you like winners, chances are you're jumping on the Yanks' bandwagon.

    With names like Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle and Jeter donning pinstripes each day—along with 27 World Series titles—anything less than a title each season is considered a failure.

14. Notre Dame Irish Football

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    Yes, the Irish have some of the most diehard fans in all of sports, but that doesn't mean they don't have some that are bandwagon as hell.

    Whether you're a raised Catholic who fears that God has it out for you if you're not cheering on the Golden Domers, or you liked the movie Rudy, it seems that Notre Dame has more and more fans by the time August comes around. 

    That being said, they inevitably lose about half of that fanbase by mid-October, with the exception of last year's national title-playing team.

13. Atlanta Hawks

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    We'll put it like this—we've never lived in the A-T-L, yet even we've been to more Hawks games (three) than most people who are in the city full-time.

    It's not like the team is bad or have no-namers suiting up for them, so don't know why there's the disparity in fan support.

    With the team being a consistent playoff invitee, we're not sure what it's going to take for them to start getting more fans.

12. Miami Heat

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    Chris Bosh.

    There are all many reasons why the Heat are one of the most beloved and buzzed teams in NBA history.

    But even with all that star power, the franchise struggles to pack the house each night—until the playoffs roll around, of course.

11. USC Trojan Football

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    Does anyone remember that SC was ranked the preseason No. 1 before the 2012 season?

    With returning guys like quarterback Matt Barkley, wideouts Marqise Lee and Robert Woods and safety T.J. McDonald, the Men of Troy looked ready to challenge the SEC's reign of national titles.

    Thanks to injuries and underperforming, fans seemed to lose interest by the time Halloween rolled around.

10. Detroit Red Wings

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    Like the Yankees, the Red Wings are one of the oldest and most prestigious sports franchises on the planet.

    So it's really no surprise that any casual hockey fan might pick-up rooting for the Winged Wheelers.

    With 11 Stanley Cup titles—good for third all-time—you won't be hard-pressed finding Motown fans anywhere you go.

9. Adam Scott

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    Adam Scott might have just won the Masters—leaping up to No. 3 in the world rankings in the process—but before getting his arms measured for his green jacket, he was always just a good golfer without that major title.

    The Aussie won over the gallery during the playoff with Angel Cabrera, making everyone watching this past weekend some of the biggest bandwagoners around.

8. Dallas Cowboys

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    While we have the absolute most respect for the Cowboys as a franchise, we're not too fond of their fans thanks to their bandwagoning.

    With the persona as "America's Team," owner Jerry Jones has lived by the moniker "Everything's bigger in Texas," doing what he can to live up to that saying.

    Fans have taken notice of the glitz and glam, yet aren't short on opinions about head coaches, free-agent signings and of course, quarterback Tony Romo.

7. Chicago White Sox

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    If you've ever been to a White Sox game then you know why they fall so high on our list.

    Unlike fans of the Red Sox or Yankees—who seem to continue to populate because of winning—fans on the South Side of Chicago don't even take notice.

    Yes, fans came to support the team during the World Series run in 2005, but even with a couple of Central Division titles since then, the White Sox continue to struggle with filling the seats.

6. Sacramento Kings

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    Oh, so now you care, huh Sacramento?

    With the team's ownership threatening to sell the franchise and potentially relocate to Seattle, fans of the NorCal Kings haven't been this passionate about them in, well, forever!

    They had a few good seasons in the early 2000s, but ever since then few fans have shown up at Arco Arena (now named Sleep Train Arena) on a nightly basis—that is, until word got out they may take their court services elsewhere.

5. Baltimore Orioles

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    During the mid-'90s the Orioles were always a pretty decent team, boasting several playoff years.

    With a 15-year gap between postseason appearances, a lot of fans just kind of turned a shoulder towards Camden Yards, preferring to countdown the days till the Ravens season started.

    What do you know, the turnstiles are starting to spin again now that expectations are back up..

4. The NCAA Tournament's Cinderella

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    As fans, it's not uncommon for priorities of the NCAA tournament to go like this:

    1. Win bracket—until it's ruined by day two.

    2. Root for your alma mater.

    3. Cheer on the Cinderella team—now that your bracket and alma mater are out.

    Each year we see the country follow teams like Florida Gulf Coast and Wichita State, hoping that the mid-majors and double-digit seeded teams can somehow make history.

    Is it fun? Obviously.

    It is bandwagon? Most definitely.

3. New York Jets

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    The Jets are in the biggest media market in the world so of course they're going to be overexposed and over-dramatized.

    Add in the fire and confidence of head coach Rex Ryan and more fans continued to jump on the wagon following back-to-back AFC title game appearances.

    After falling flat in 2012 though, Gang Green seems to have lost a bit of its luster.

2. Chicago Cubs

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    Living in Chicago before, we swear we understand North Siders won't be happy to find themselves at No. 2 on this list.

    They'll argue they've suffered through supposed curses of Billy Goats and Steve Bartmans, yet continue to pack Wrigley year after year.

    We agree with all of that—except for when July rolls around and fans are more interested in being hammered in the bleachers than seeing an underachieving team play baseball.

1. Minnesota Vikings

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    Alas, our No. 1 team finds itself to have some of the most passionate—and educated—fans in football.

    So why are the Vikings at the top of our list?

    Even with NFL MVP Adrian Peterson leading the team to a playoff berth this past season, fans still weren't convinced to make the trip to the Metrodome—finishing 27th in attendance.

    Fans just simply won't show up to games unless expectations are sky high heading into the season.