With all the controversy about fans jumping on the bandwagon of teams that do well, I decided to write this article to explain how a football fan forms that bond with a team. In my experience, I have found that fans fall into three categories.
First off, there is the fan that was born into liking a team, be it a granddad or father figure rooting for a team and bringing his grandson or son along to enjoy some male bonding. The experience showed the li'l one the father's love of the great game of football and proved that testosterone is alive and well in the household.
These fans are the ones that have a history of either going to all the home games, or having a ritual at home on Sundays where the guys, young and old, sit around the living room watching their team play and taking credit for all the great things that happen during the games.
They bond together, they scream at the TV together and eat all the game food put down in front of them, knowing that this ritual will be repeated every Sunday until the Super Bowl. These are lifelong, true-blood fans.
The second group of fans are the ones that have either gone against the male authority in the house or have no male available in the house. As such, they will pick their own team. More often than not, this end up being a team that's a perpetual winner or that has a particular athlete this person likes.
These fans will also follow their teams whenever they can, especially if they don’t have DirecTV. They also have a food spread and yell and scream as their teams march down the field. They have friends over to watch the game too. But, more often than not, they like more than one team, because that permanent bond wasn't formed at birth.
The last group of fans are not fanatical in any way except to occasionally watch a game when there is nothing else on TV or they have no plans for the day. There are usually the ones that aren’t up on the newest rule changes or what players have left the hometown team for greener pastures somewhere else in the NFL.
This last group is most likely to jump on the bandwagon of the team that is winning at the moment. These are people who wear team jerseys because they think it's cool (yes, grown men), but have no idea what the stats are or where a particular player went to college.
Regardless of what group you fall into, and I'm not here to judge, it's clear that football is so popular that its fans need their own categories. And I think we can all agree that, despite your particular reasoning for rooting for the team you do, we all share that love of fall, the leaves turning colors, and the chill in the air telling us that football is upon us.