I always go by the saying: "Learn something new everday".
Last year I was conversing with a Houston Rockets fan on the ESPN message boards and I heard a term being thrown around very liberally: bandwagon fan.
I had never before heard this term used in reference to sports fans, politically, yes. Sports stan's? Never that.
It quickly became clear that a bandwagoner is defined as a part-time, fairweather fan who roots casually for the most popular team.
Most times they can't even name all the player's on their own team's roster. But they will gladly dish out 165$ for an authentic jersey of the most popular player in the league to display their bandwagon-hood.
Being a Utah fan, a team that has virtually never been popular, it's is no wonder why I never heard of this bandwagoner mumbo jumbo.
What the hell is a bandwagoner?
I conjured up visions of Kobe Bryant jersey wearing kiddies holding on for dear life to a wobbly wagon with sideways wheels that can barely move due to the excessive bodies on board.
I am sure there are Laker fans who are not bandwagoners but consider themselves die-hards but they have been spoiled by multiple championships and their fanhood can never compare to that of a Jazz fan.
Let me explain something to you: a raging dichotomy exists in the heart of a Jazz fan.
Personally, I love this team with all my soul, but I also hold a slight tinge of resentment for the Utah Jazz and what they have done to me mentally throughout the years.
Year after year of paradoxical seasons, making it to the threshold and tripping over your shoes.
Yes, they always make it to the playoffs and yes they are a good team that has tons of potential now..... but the two runs in 1997 and 1998 to the finals were painful teases for what a championship tastes like.
We all remember the Malone free-throws and the infamous push-off by Jordan. What would have been if Russell got the call or Malone nailed his free throws in the clutch??
But hypothetical reasoning has no effect in this argument because at the end of the day the team with the most points wins.
The tears I shed in 1997 and 1998 still stain my cheeks.
And you wonder why we have such a strangle at home?
There are only 19,000 people who feel just like me, the energy runneth over. At the Energy Solutions Arena, opponents usually dont matter, they all look the same there is no distinction.
They all get stole on.
In addition to consistently coming up short in the playoffs and not having many bandwagon fans, the media's classification of the Jazz as the red-headed step child of the league just adds salt to our wounds.
Every ESPN Jazz highlight consists of 12 seconds of highlights of whatever other team we are playing, maybe a Boozer dunk or a Williams jumper concluded with "Jazz Win this one". Next.
But this is something that I can see could possibly change.
Deron Williams has become one of the most flashy players with his crossover skills, the crossover move equals attention from youngsters. People want to see him play so maybe we can get more than 11 nationally televised games next season.
Maybe if we kidnap LeBron James, but a bird that beautiful would never be subjected to the concrete cage that is Utah.
I actually think the underdog, under-appreciated forgotten relationship we have with the media, except for Charles Barkley and John Hollinger, is a benefit for the Jazz but I do not like the continual pain of getting so close and coming up short....
but like Voltaire said: "There is nothing beautiful without struggle".