In Defense Of The Bandwagon Fan

Jack MeoffCorrespondent INovember 21, 2008

I love sports. I spend every Sunday on the couch, it’s established. I probably miss five Shark’s games a year. It irritates my wife, hinders my ability to get anything done, and if you replaced sports with Wild Turkey, I’d be encouraged to go to meetings.

Is my life slipping by while I’m staying up past midnight to finish the game I recorded hours earlier, or checking to see if Clinton Portis is injured on my computer at work?


But I enjoy it.

Five years ago I was enjoying the Giants, religiously. Now I enjoy the Giants when Tim Lincecum pitches, and I rarely watch otherwise. I don’t watch Barry Zito getting paid more then I make in a year to go out and give up 10 runs in 4 2/3’s innings, and I’m certainly not buying a ticket.

I feel the same way when the 49ers are mismanaged to the point that they’ve become the laughing stock of the league and the only hope offered is in the form of a 27 year old whose greatest qualification for running what was once the greatest franchise in all of football is the fact that “he really wants it”.

Yeah, because otherwise it was one of the other 40-50 million people in this country who love football and/or money.

A dying breed really.

Ladies and Gentlemen of San Francisco: The John and Denise York era!

My point, after my bloated introduction is this:

I may stick with my teams through thick and thin, I haven’t abandoned any of them, I’ve owned Reggie Wayne in enough fantasy leagues through consecutive years that some states recognize us as having a common law marriage, but I don’t own his jersey.

(I’ve thought about it though.)

As fans we like to pride ourselves on sticking with our teams as if we were in a marriage. We look down on the fair weathers, and wagon jumpers.

But the point of watching sports is to enjoy yourself.

So what’s wrong with rooting for the teams that always win? (Other then the fact that it’s detestable on a spiritual level, but that’s all a bunch of ocean front property in Arizona anyway, so really, who cares?)

This is big business. Donovan McNabb is being paid millions to play like a man who doesn’t care whether he wins or loses. Owners of losing franchises raise ticket prices year after year.

Where’s the loyalty to you?

I love the 49ers. I’ve felt that way since I was a little kid, and no matter how hard I try from time to time I still get sucked in. Yet I know the York’s are incompetent and I have no hope that the team will ever win the Super Bowl. Raiders’ fans, at least, can hope that Al Davis doesn’t wake up tomorrow, but my team has been a black hole for years and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

Yet somehow, there’s something admirable about sticking with them. Supporting a franchise being run into the ground by a rich couple that don’t seem to care about the team or its’ fans?

You’re telling me that knowing going into this season that my team is going to suck, and just sticking it out, for as long as it takes, is better, then jumping on the Patriots wagon a few years back before jumping on with Eli and the Giants right now?


Isn’t the point of sports enjoyment?

Doesn’t it suck to watch a loser?

Following the same team is loyal, sure.

In the past five years I’ve suffered through Tim Rattay, Ken Dorsey, Cody Pickett, Alex Smith, Trent Dilfer and JT O’Sullivan.

Bandwagon jumpers don’t have to do that.

And I’ve always thought I was better.

I keep putting money on the same horse and he keeps losing.

I think there’s a word for that.