Let the bandwagon go

Taylor Stuck, Managing Editor

It happens every year, usually around any sporting event’s championship game. Whether it’s football, hockey or tennis, die-hard fans, in an effort to proclaim they are the No. 1 fan, deem other fans “bandwagons.”

A good example is during the Super Bowl. Turns out the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t make it. So, instead of not watching the Super Bowl, Steeler fans decide to root for the Seahawks instead. What do you hear?

“All these bandwagons fans, man.”

What determines whether you are a real fan or just on the bandwagon?

The term bandwagon originates from the 1848 election when Dan Rice, a famous and popular circus clown at the time, used his bandwagon to gain attention for his political campaign. Other politicians began to use bandwagons for their own campaigns. Then, during William Jennings Bryan’s 1900 presidential campaign, “jump on the bandwagon” was used as a derogatory term.

Today, it is used from politics to sports to music to explain a person who associates his or herself to a popular and successful person/team/artist/ect.

My beef particularly is with sports fans.

In no way is support for your team a bad thing. So what if they tweet “Go Broncos” after not talking about football all season? So what if they buy a T-shirt for the Super Bowl? It’s money for your team (cough…NFL…cough).

There is nothing more irritating to me than being called a bandwagoner. You don’t know what I watch on TV. You don’t know whether or not I watch every single game Peyton Manning has played, or if I just think he’s cute.

It doesn’t just happen with professional sports, either.

For the record, I am a born and raised Steeler fan, but I am a die-hard Thundering Herd fan. This football season, my final season as a student, my love for this team has been solidified. I’ve only missed one game, and that’s because I was in Florida. I love Herd nation.

But Herd fans are also guilty of labeling others. Now, I get annoyed at fair-weather fans as much as the next person. The people who leave at halftime and never come back, the people who leave when we are losing or bash the Herd after a loss, that gets under my skin. But the people from across the state who didn’t pay much attention to us before we had a winning season, they don’t irritate me. In fact, I welcome them. Even if just for a season, they get to experience the beauty of Herd football. They get to see a team support each other after a tough loss. They get to see a town come alive for a championship game. Maybe they will stick around next season, maybe they won’t, but the support is support nonetheless.

Die-hard fans, I appreciate you. You want every one to feel the passion you feel for your team, or none at all. But drop the defensive tone and welcome the fans to the bandwagon. Just as all PR is good PR, all support is good support.

Taylor Stuck can be contacted at [email protected]