10 Sports Teams Filled with Bandwagon Fans
There are plenty of bad names to be called as a sports fan, but one of the lowest of the low is when a friend, enemy or stranger actually accuses you of being a bandwagon fan.
You see, bandwagon fans aren't often looked as being true fans, only enjoying a team's run because it's successful and not sticking around when things go wrong.
Some franchises have great fans, but that doesn't mean they don't have great bandwagon fans—which is why I'm giving you the top 10 teams that have high counts of bandwagoners, as some people just can't help but celebrate when the good times roll.
It pains me to add the Seattle Seahawks to this list since I live here and could easily get my place egged once some of the 12s read this, but, sadly, new Hawks fans are some of the most bandwagon in sports.
Of course, that's not to discount the effect they have on the team while playing at home, as they pack CenturyLink Field and are one of the loudest fanbases in all of sports.
Unfortunately, prior to the team's successful run these past few years, many people up here in the Northwest weren't as giddy about them, as tickets to games were fairly easy to get and support was only coming from those who actually grew up watching the team.
Nowadays? Well, with an influx of outsiders moving to the city, the Seahawks have plucked a lot more fans—who could easily change allegiances if the team's performance goes south.
Much like the aforementioned Seattle Seahawks, the Chicago Blackhawks have experienced a heavy increase in fan support these past few years because they've become the sexy team to root for.
With young superstars like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews leading the Hawks to three Stanley Cup titles in six seasons, it seems like anyone who moves to the Windy City instantly invites themselves aboard the bandwagon.
Success breeds both love and hate, but in Chicago, even those who grew up rooting for other NHL franchises have seen their fondness for the Blackhawks expand exponentially thanks to the team's winning ways.
That's different from those fans who rooted for the team during the Jeremy Roenick, Ed Belfour and Chris Chelios years, when they could never get over the title hump in the early- to mid-'90s.
Even after a regular season that included 60 wins and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, Atlanta Hawks fans are considered to be some of the worst fans in all of basketball.
In fact, former Hawk Josh Smith even went as far as calling the fanbase out, defining them as "bandwagoners."
There's not much Hawks fans can say to refute the claim, though, as the team constantly tries various promotional stunts to get more people through the turnstiles during games and more support year-round to show love for the team.
More fans may have been around last season during the Hawks' deep run, but if they slip back in the standings, look for the fans to flock the nest, too.
Toronto Blue Jays
It's incredible what a couple major trades can do to a franchise and its fanbase, isn't it?
On July 24—just a week prior to MLB's non-waiver trade deadline—the Toronto Blue Jays and their playoff hopes were doggy-paddling to stay afloat, with hope and optimism floundering with a 54-49 record.
Just a little over a month later, the team was the hottest in all of baseball, running off a 21-5 record in the month of August and becoming many experts' favorites to win the World Series.
Still alive in the postseason, many have fallen in love with the Jays' ability to hit the long ball and offensive firepower—many of whom were silent and idle just a few months ago.
Florida Gator Football Fans
I'm not saying that the Florida Gators don't have great fans; they do. But do they have more fans today sitting at No. 8 in the nation with a chance to win a national title than they did during the past few seasons under former head coach Will Muschamp? Seems like it.
Sure, Gators fans will always be loyal to their squad and chomp away at disbelief when their football team does poorly. They'll also show up in masses and with an inflated ego once their team gets good again.
With the current news that quarterback Will Grier is suspended for performance-enhancing drugs, I wonder if Florida football fans have already jumped ship in their title hopes, or if the loyal ones have talked those bandwagoners off the ledge to keep the faith?
Only time will tell.
Much like their opponent in this year's American League Division Series—the Toronto Blue Jays—the Texas Rangers found their bandwagon welcoming a few more members aboard after midseason trades helped improve the roster.
Acquiring former All-Star pitcher Cole Hamels from the Philadelphia Phillies and riding momentum in the second half of the season, the Rangers steamrolled to the AL West title with a 46-28 finish following the All-Star break.
For that reason, the same fans who were booing the team and refusing to come to the ballpark became the biggest cheerleaders as Texas entered the postseason.
Don't worry. The team has taken notice, too.
Notre Dame Football Fans
Notre Dame football fans will forever be married to their team, having formed a special relationship that goes beyond just football.
As a Catholic, I'm allowed to say that, since the school seems to have an aura about it that requires us Catholics to root for the Irish deep down—especially when times are good.
While those who went to school in South Bend, Indiana, and/or grew up Irish fans are lifers in cheering for the football team, too many people find themselves rooting for the golden domers once they creep up into the national title picture.
There's a ton of hate for Notre Dame—rich history and tradition will do that—but there's plenty of love that isn't unconditional from some, too.
Look no further than Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals to know why Miami Heat fans are so high on this list of bandwagoners.
With hundreds of the "supporters" pouring into the streets after assuming the team had lost to the San Antonio Spurs that year, the disloyal ones were burned when the Heat staged one of the most historic comebacks ever seen in sports—and one of the most clutch shots in NBA history.
Even when the roster was packed full of superstars and made four straight NBA Finals appearances under the leadership of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Miami's arena was rarely packed to the brim—as many would expect.
Miami Heat fans aren't the worst fans in sports, but they aren't exactly the best, either.
The Arizona Cardinals have been pretty solid the past few seasons, going a combined 25-12 under head coach Bruce Arians, who took over the team prior to the 2013 season.
With the resurgence under Arians, fans in the desert have certainly taken notice, as the team boasts a solid defense and a combo of young and old stars on offense.
For that reason, Cards fans are coming out and acting as if they've been loyal from the early days of four- and five-win seasons—even if that's not the case.
And if you need further proof that this is true, a study was actually conducted during the 2014 season by Emory University that proved Arizona Cardinals fans to be the most bandwagon bunch in the NFL.
Maybe more than any team on this list, the Chicago Cubs plucking people to jump on their bandwagon is really understandable.
After all, the franchise hasn't won a World Series since 1908 or made it to the Fall Classic since 1945, constantly losing in disheartening ways—remember Steve Bartman?—or missing out on the postseason altogether.
Lovable losers whom the entire nation has a big heart for, the Cubbies will continue to see their bandwagon filled up as long as their current playoff run is alive and well.
Much like the Boston Red Sox in 2004, nearly everyone wants to see this team finally win a championship and forget about the streak of bad luck or poor play that preceded it.
Will 2015 be the year? Who knows. But the team will have a boatload of support.