The Cardinals should have the NL Central division title wrapped up in the next eight to 10 days. While the team’s focus should be on the impending playoffs, you, the fan, have a much more daunting task ahead of yourself in preparation for October baseball.
I’ll forgive you if you’ve forgotten, since 2006 was the last time you encountered this rare, but rapidly multiplying scourge.
But he’s gearing up for a run at you. At your integrity. At your core beliefs of life.
The bandwagon jumper is coming for you, Cardinal Nation—and every John Kruk SportsCenter hit licking the choad of this franchise only breeds them faster.
It’s OK, though. We’ve been through a lot in the past three years. We don’t have to be afraid. We just need to know what to look for—the tried and true signs that, yes, you thought you might be talking to a Cardinal fan, but it's actually a bandwagon jumper.
Today, let’s take a more in-depth look at the signs that what you’ve encountered is a true bandwagon fan.
1) The guy decked out in 2006 World Series gear.
This guy went absolutely batsh*t insane with the Visa after the Cardinals won the 2006 World Series, buying any cheap chotsky he could get his grubby little paws on, including, but not limited to, commemorative Bud Light cans he’s still got collecting dust in his basement.
In 2007 most of this stuff looked dated. By 2008 it was downright laughable. But in 2009? It’s going to show the world he’s been with this Cardinals team...since the last time they were good!
You’re not fooling anyone, bud. You crave the warm caress of the bandwagon in the night. If you’re going to enjoy the spoils of a winning season, you need to suffer through some crap ones too. Go ahead and take your Scott Spiezio fun patch and head directly to hell.
2) The guy who has no clue who Brian Barden, David Freese, or Joe Thurston were.
That giant sucking sound that kept you awake at night this past May wasn’t early cicada hatchings. That was the third base triumvirate of talentless hacks the Cardinals were trotting out each night.
Couple this with Khalil Greene batting under .200 and a converted OF attempting to switch over to second base, and you’re starting to realize this incarnation of the Cardinals wasn’t peaches n’ cream from the get go.
No, in fact, they pretty much blew a big holy dong and rode the coattails of the greatest hitter ever to a fairly average first half of the season. THEN the trades came. THEN the winning started.
If you weren’t taking sides on the Jason Motte vs. Chris Perez for closer role and just thought Ryan Franklin had a stellar year? Screw off. You’re taking big loads of bandwagon straight in the mouth. Nightly.
3) The guy that insists Matt Holliday is the reason the Cardinals are dominating.
Matt Holliday turned from the Cardinal Killer into the Cardinals’ Killer, yes. And I also love him, yes. But he’s ahhh reason the Cardinals are playing well. Not the reason they’re playing well. That’d be the pitching.
And no, buttface, not just Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter. But Joel Pineiro and Trever Miller and Franklin and John Smoltz. Pitching makes all the difference in MLB, and the Cardinals starters have absolutely been murdering lineups since July 1.
That’s why they didn’t give up any ground to the Cubs for an NL-record 29 straight days. That’s why this division title was wrapped up before September began. That’s why they’ll be going deep into October.
While Holliday has been silly since joining this team, he’s not as important as your bandwagon-humping ass would lead us to believe. Get a room, you and that bandwagon. We don’t want to see that in public.
4) The guy that didn’t want to go to a Tuesday nighter against Cincinnati back in June but was wondering if you knew anybody with tickets to Game Two?
Sorry, pal. Fresh out. Especially for guys like you that flaunt your fancy “job” and your expensive “money” and price us out of tickets we would have killed for...against the Pirates.
Worse yet, your loathsome cousin—the business exec that’s getting buttered up for some other deal by getting tossed a few ducats to the playoff games. The same guy who’s most certainly cheating on his wife with a stripper from Larry Flynt’s later that night but voting straight Republican come November.
If you haven’t parked your ass in a red plastic seat this season, you’re not welcome to do so in October. Stay at home and watch the game on your 55" HD LCD TV and leave the rest of us real fans the F alone. Maybe see if that bandwagon still has a headache or if it wants to try the two hole.
Trust me. These people will be out en masse over the next three to four weeks, and we, as vigilant Cardinal fans, need to be on the offensive, cutting them down at every opportunity. Letting them know that this aggression will not stand. Man.
It’s us vs. them. We’ve got a lot of anger built up since 2006, and it’s time to unleash the beast on the coming of the “Bandwagon Cardinals Fan.”